REVIEW: MonoDevelop 2.2 Looks Good on Windows
Although it lacks some of the features of Visual Studio, MonoDevelop 2.2, which-finally-supports Windows, doesn't disappoint.When I first reviewed MonoDevelop in June of 2009, I focused on the IDE running under Ubuntu Linux. At the time, some developers had been working on porting MonoDevelop to Windows, but the project wasn't complete. But now it is. With the release of Version 2.2, MonoDevelop is now officially supported on Windows. And it looks and works great.
The GUI is tight. It's fast and easy to get around in. The code editor is excellent, including everything you'd expect in a modern code editor, such as full syntax highlighting and a code completion menu that pops up. The code completion pop-up includes functions, variables and members from your own code (which means the code completion is accurately parsing your code).
Does It Match Visual Studio?Certainly, different people reading this review will have different expectations of a product like MonoDevelop. Some might be looking for a complete replacement for Visual Studio. Those people might be disappointed; Visual Studio has some fantastic features that aren't yet available in MonoDevelop, such as direct access to SQL Server, including the ability to edit table schemas, table data and stored procedures right within the IDE. So in this regard, if you're looking for a free drop-in replacement for Visual Studio, you won't find it. (In that case, you'll want to instead explore the Visual Studio Express editions, which are free-but are also limited and don't have the full Visual Studio features.) But if, instead, what you're looking for is a pretty sweet IDE for developing .NET software that can target the GTK framework, Mono, and from there port to other operating systems, then you'll be pleased. And while at it, you can target the .NET framework itself without requiring your end users to install Mono. That's not so bad either. If that's what you're looking for, MonoDevelop will certainly deliver.