Mike Slinn

Connoisseur of Technology

IKVM.NET - Java applications on .NET

2008-01-16 / All Blog posts

Still looking to see how EmpathyWorks (a Java library packaged as a JAR) might run on .NET, I found IKVM.NET.

IKVM is an open source project that converts Java JARs into a .NET assembly. I was pretty skeptical, but after downloading IKVM I was able to convert EmpathyWorks into an EXE that ran on Windows XP in about ten minutes.

IKVM also has a mechanism for converting .NET stubs into JARs, important when developing .NET code in an IDE so that Intellisense tooltips appear for code completion. I am next going to try converting the Microsoft Robotics Studio runtime to a JAR so I can try writing a sample MSR application that co-operates with EmpathyWorks.

There is a brief note in the IKVM documentation that says debugging from Java in this circumstance does not work. Hmm, what about the other way... can one debug the .NET application from Visual Studio, and reach right into the converted Java code? I suppose no source code would be available.

Update Jan 18/08

I built a DLL from Java using IKVM's -target:library option. Visual C# 2008's object browser happily showed all the public objects and methods in the DLL. Once I discovered the "Add to References" button in the object browser my test C# program was able to call into the DLL. Most cool!

Final Update

FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017

The End of IKVM.NET

After almost fifteen years I have decided to quit working on IKVM.NET. The decision has been a long time coming. Those of you that saw yesterday’s Twitter spat, please don’t assume that was the cause. It rather shared an underlying cause. I’ve slowly been losing faith in .NET. Looking back, I guess this process started with the release of .NET 3.5. On the Java side things don’t look much better. The Java 9 module system reminds me too much of the generics erasure debacle.

I hope someone will fork IKVM.NET and continue working on it. Although, I’d appreciate it if they’d pick another name. I’ve gotten so much criticism for the name over the years, that I’d like to hang on to it 😊

I’d like to thank the following people for helping me make this journey or making the journey so much fun: Brian Goetz, Chris Brumme, Chris Laffra, Dawid Weiss, Erik Meijer, Jb Evain, John Rose, Mads Torgersen, Mark Reinhold, Volker Berlin, Wayne Kovsky, The GNU Classpath Community, The Mono Community.

And I want to especially thank my friend Miguel de Icaza for his guidance, support, inspiration and tireless efforts to promote IKVM.

Thank you all and goodbye.

Contact Mike Slinn

Unless you are a recruiter, in which case you should not try to make contact!

  • Email
  • Direct: 514-418-0156
  • Mobile: 650-678-2285


The content on this web site is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this web site are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting their own legal counsel regarding any specific legal issues. Michael Slinn does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this web site. The articles published on this web site are current as of their original date of publication, but should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose.

Accessing or using this web site does not create a client relationship. Although your use of the web site may facilitate access to or communications with Michael Slinn via e-mail or otherwise via the web site, receipt of any such communications or transmissions does not create a client relationship. Michael Slinn does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this web site.

This web site may contain links to third party web sites. Monitoring the vast information disseminated and accessible through those links is beyond Michael Slinn's resources and he does not attempt to do so. Links are provided for convenience only and Michael Slinn does not endorse the information contained in linked web sites nor guarantee its accuracy, timeliness or fitness for a particular purpose.

comments powered by Disqus

© 1976-2020, Michael Slinn. All rights reserved.