This might seem like a silly suggestion but are you giving the applications enough time to launch?
I tried installing and launching both applications. The first launch took a surprising amount of time; as you describe the icon appears in the Dock almost immediately but then no UI seems to appear. However if you leave it long enough the UI then does appear (about 4-5 minutes on a 2011 Macbook Pro).
Subsequent launches are a lot faster.
If you are curious to see what it is doing you can run this
sudo opensnoop -v | grep mono-sgen in a Terminal when you launch the applications. On my system the delay on initial launch just seems to be Mono reading all the fonts on my system and caching them in
~/.cache/fontconfig. Luckily it just seems wants to do that once.
I think you need a UI Toolkit to interface with the Mono framework.
What is Mono™ exactly?
The Mono Project is an open development initiative sponsored by Novell to develop an open source, UNIX version of the Microsoft .NET development platform. Its objective is to enable UNIX developers to build and deploy cross-platform .NET Applications. The project implements various technologies developed by Microsoft that have now been submitted to the ECMA for standardization.
Will Mono enable GUI applications to be authored?
Yes, you will be able to build GUI applications.
Indeed, that was the main driver for the creation of Mono. Today you can use Gtk# to develop GUI applications on Windows, Linux and MacOS X.
We are also developing a complete Windows.Forms implementation.
A list of pros and cons on the various APIs is available in our Gui Toolkits page.
You can check Banshee (audio player) as a working example. If you mount the disk image and inspect the package contents (
Banshe.app/Contents/Resources) you can see that it uses Gtk 2.0 for the UI.