SwitchPalace converts managed applications to native.
The resulting applications are faster than JIT-compiled applications, and have no external dependencies.
← Try some sample output.
See how many animated sprites your CPU can render on a moving background without dropping frames.
OS X: Recent versions of OS X require you to control-click (or right-click) the downloaded application and choose “Open” (after unzipping).
Android, iOS, WinPhone, WinRT, BlackBerry: Most mobile platforms require you to “sideload” applications that aren't delivered through the manufacturer's app store. I'm not going to try to keep an up-to-date list of how to sideload applications on each type of device; there are plenty of options just a Google search away.
See how other CPUs performed.
This test was used to determine if CPU-based rendering is feasible for sprite-based games. Most games only need a few dozen sprites atop a moving background, so this should be plenty.
|Device||Platform||CPU||Sprites @ 60 FPS|
|Laptop - 2011||Mac||2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 (Sandy Bridge Mobile)||110,000|
|Laptop - 2011||Windows||2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 (Sandy Bridge Mobile)||100,000|
|Laptop - 2011||Managed||2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 (Sandy Bridge Mobile)||74,000|
|BlackBerry Z10 - 2013||BlackBerry||1.5 GHz ARM Cortex A15 (MSM8960)||26,000|
|BlackBerry PlayBook - 2011||BlackBerry||1.0 GHz ARM Cortex A9 (OMAP4430)||11,000|
|Samsung Galaxy S1 - 2010||Android||1.0 GHz ARM Cortex A8 (Exynos 3)||8,700|
All development and testing is carried out in C#, from the comfort of Visual Studio (or any other language/compiler/IDE combination that produces a .NET assembly). When the application is ready for release, the executable and all of its dependencies are converted to native code for all target platforms (or one at a time, if you prefer).
The bulk of the SwitchPalace utility is the union of two previous projects: a Portable Executable library that can read and write Portable Executable files (the format of .NET assemblies), and a native code generator that can convert the CIL instructions and metadata into various types of native code.
Paired with a collection of small modules that wrap various platform APIs (OpenGL, ALSA, DirectX, etc.), SwitchPalace can convert a managed application into a self-contained native application for the specified platform.
As for limitations, there are many:
- The base class library is extremely minimal.
- The platform API modules don't wrap the various GUI frameworks for each platform (e.g. winforms, WPF, GTK); any UI is up to the application and its libraries.
- The tool chain can convert assemblies that target any version of .NET, but does not handle generics.
In short, this platform is completely unsuitable for recompiling something like a large enterprise application. It's best suited to applications that are designed for it, so they may produce small native binaries with no dependencies but the platform they target.
SwitchPalace is no longer in active development now that .NET Core has emerged (with the promise of AOT compilation).
Existing SwitchPalace users can continue to use the software on all .NET versions, so long as no runtime features added after CLRv2 (.NET 3.5) are invoked. Compatibility with .NET Core is untested.
Benchmark - SpriteTest
Chrome 135 KB Windows 11 KB Mac 46 KB Linux 22 KB Android 64 KB iOS 40 KB WinPhone 141 KB WinRT 2902 KB BlackBerry 29 KB
Dem0x00 - Twisty
Chrome 185 KB Windows 31 KB Mac 95 KB Linux 51 KB Android 92 KB iOS 82 KB WinPhone 182 KB WinRT 2967 KB BlackBerry 56 KB
Dem0x01 - Frosty
Chrome 197 KB Windows 48 KB Mac 127 KB Linux 65 KB Android 107 KB iOS 115 KB WinPhone 216 KB WinRT 3017 KB BlackBerry 70 KB
Dem0x02 - Trainy
Chrome 189 KB Windows 33 KB Mac 98 KB Linux 51 KB Android 93 KB iOS 86 KB WinPhone 186 KB WinRT 2973 KB BlackBerry 57 KB