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Created attachment 2380 [details]
monotouch project that reproduces the problem
I am attempting to talk to Service Stack on Windows by using the dlls made especially for monotouch.
The build/compile step takes 33 seconds on a 2011 iMac. Every time I change any code and want to debug, there is a 33 second compile time. In my mind this makes it very unusable.
I have attached the project with a single service stack dll included. You can reproduce by doing a simple build.
Simulator builds are quite fast. My 2012 iMac takes:
Debug|Simulator (Rebuild): Total time: 1333 ms
But I assume you're talking about device builds since the .NET code needs to be compiled to native ARM code (AOT compiler) and linked as extra steps (the simulator uses the JIT and skip those). That can take quite some time based on the size of your application. E.g. with my iMac:
Debug|iPhone (Rebuild): Total time: 24950 ms
In MonoTouch 5.3.x (soon to be 5.4 stable) we added object file caching. So unchanged files are not re-compiled (AOT'ed) every time a change is done.
E.g. I changed "foo" and "bar" strings in ServiceStackTestViewController.cs and did a new build.
Debug|iPhone (Build): Total time: 8846 ms
Also like I said the build time depends on the application size. You can reduce your application size by enabling the linker on your own code (default is SDK only). This does not help every projects (as user code often does not contain much _unneeded_ code) but projects including 3rd party code can get nice size reduction. What's more interesting, time wise, is that the (managed) linker is faster than the AOT compiler (so you win time by having less code to AOT compile). E.g.
Debug|iPhone (Rebuild) (Link all): Total time: 20112 ms
This gain is possible with MonoTouch 5.2.x but you'll need to ensure your application does not require code, e.g. thru reflection, that the linker could have removed (see [Preserve] attribute for details). Linking everything also helps with object caching (5.3.x). E.g. changing again the foo and bar strings.
Debug|iPhone (Build) (Link all): Total time: 6955 ms
A last note: the time to upload application to devices was cut by about 50% in MonoTouch 5.3.4+. So the edit|build|debug cycle feels even faster.
MonoTouch 5.4 should be available (as a stable release) shortly but you can try this using the latest beta releases: 5.3.5 today, soon to be 5.3.6 (in QA).