Mono is the open source development platform based upon Microsoft’s .NET framework. ONDotnet.com: Miguel de Icaza of Novell explains:
We are an open source implementation of the virtual machine, the C# language, the base class libraries, and we have a compatibility stack (ASP.NET, ADO.NET, and Windows.Forms). In addition to that, Mono has produced a very large set of extra libraries.
A few of the attributes that Mono [has] over traditional environments are:
* Easy to integrate with native libraries: The Platform/Invoke feature allows developers to call into native operating system libraries without having to write glue code.
* Automatic memory management: Using a language with a garbage collector is a great productivity gain, as developers can focus on real problems instead of fighting with the circuitry every time.
* A feature-full runtime: The runtime provides many features to applications running on it, from a thread-aware and thread-safe set of libraries to built-in garbage collection.
* Modern APIs: The industry has learned a lot about OO API design in the last few years; this are now available for developers to use in a nice package.