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In a Linux OS (particularly testing now in Ubuntu 12.10), if you:
1) Uninstall stock mono packages (apt-get purge mono-runtime cli-common)
2) clone mono 3.0.4 and ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr && make && sudo make install
3) clone gtk-sharp , checkout 2-12 branch, ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr && make && sudo make install
gtk-sharp.dll generated by step 3 is a 4.0 profile assembly, however it links to Mono.Cairo 2.0 dll.
Being a 4.0 assembly it should link to the Mono.Cairo 4.0 dll.
Currently there are in my system 2 assemblies:
andres1210@andres-ubuntu:/usr/lib/pkgconfig$ find /usr | grep -i cairo | grep dll
The problem is that gtk-sharp has extracted the path to the dll from the PC file, which hardcodes to 2.0.
The solution is, I think, to fix the .pc file to not hardcode the 2.0 path.
There are other .pc files that don't specify it (just by using "-r:Foo") and it is mcs the one which chooses the assembly, based on the -sdk parameter passed to it.
Pull request coming...