ShinobiControls MonoTouch Bindings – The Full Story

Written by Colin Eberhardt

The ShinobiControls MonoTouch beta is ready to download now.

A couple of days ago Jesse announced the release of Shinobi v2.0.7 which gave our already lightning fast charts an impressive boost in speed and also introduced the beta release of our MonoTouch bindings. In this blog post I want to say a bit more about our MonoTouch support and future developments in this area.

ShinobiCharts IPad 

The Mono framework has had a long history, having originally been released in 2004 as an open source implementation of the Microsoft .NET framework. The Mono framework covers many of the core .NET frameworks (ASP.NET, WPF, WinForms), but more recently it has extended its reach to mobile devices, providing an alternative to HTML5 for cross platform mobile application development. Released under the Xamarin banner you can download the tools required to develop C# application for iOS (MonoTouch) and Android (Mono for Android).

When I was at the WWDC12 conference a few weeks ago I attended an event where I met with Miquel de Icaza (the founder of Xamarin), the Xamarin team and a room full of enthusiastic MonoTouch developers, many of whom are keen to move their existing .NET products onto iOS as quickly as possible.

Whilst MonoTouch provides C# bindings for the Cocoa Touch framework, if you want to use any other components within your code, you have to generate your own C# bindings. Due to the enthusiasm of the developers I met at WWDC, and the large volume of email requests we have had from MonoTouch developers (some of whom have created their own bindings), we have decided to add first-class MonoTouch support to ShinobiControls.

So what exactly does this mean? We have been through the process of generating bindings for our Objective-C APIs, replacing delegates and datasources with their C# equivalents, making naming convention changes and unit testing the resulting APIs. It’s been a lot of work, but we’re very happy with the result (not least myself, as someone who is still more at home with C# than objective-C!). We’ve even gone the extra mile and generated documentation for the C# bindings.

The MonoTouch bindings have been through a three week technical preview release and are now ready for a public beta, and this is where we want your help. If you are a MonoTouch developer, please download a copy and let us know what you think. In the near future we’ll officially add MonoTouch bindings to our product suite, we also plan to continue maintaining these bindings as we release more components in the future.

We’re very happy to welcome C# developers to ShinobiControls!

Regards, Colin E.