updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon September 14, 2009
May expand accessibility for programmers
Through its open-source Mono Project, Novell has released MonoTouch 1.0, a software development kit for the iPhone and iPod touch. The SDK allows programming apps within Microsoft's .NET framework, which incorporates languages such as C#. Most iPhone development is handled using C and Objective-C, which Novell notes will necessarily exclude many people working with .NET.
MonoTouch is particularly designed to circumvent a conflict between .NET and Apple's iPhone developer license, which prevents the use of scripting engines or JIT (Just-in-Time) compilers. The kit includes base class libraries for .NET, and managed libraries for native iPhone APIs. A cross-compiler renders code into software that can be submitted to the App Store, or distributed inside a closed network.
The Personal Edition of MonoTouch costs $399 per year, per developer, and only compiles programs for the App Store. The Enterprise Edition costs $3,999 per year, but covers five developers and also allows creating apps for internal enterprise use. Updates and maintenance are included as part of the subscription.