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Xamarin.Android frequently has <Exec /> lines containing paths in the command argumnts. Here is one example
<DarwinInstall>installer -pkg "$(AndroidToolchainCacheDirectory)\$(_DarwinMonoFramework)" -target /</DarwinInstall>
The Xamarin.Android build scripts rely on the \ being automatically converted to /.
When we upgraded system mono from 4.8 (mono-4.8.0-branch) to 4.9 (2017-02) all of these scripts stop working. The problem is that in 4.8, the conversion process was that *all* \s became /s. In 4.9 however a heuristic is used:
…which converts only \s in strings that "look like" paths. Command line invocations never "look like" paths because they are not paths, they are strings that contain paths.
I do not know what the definition of "correct" behavior here is (although my opinion is both the 4.8 behavior and the 4.9 behavior are surprising, and whatever the documentation is it should be clearly documented somewhere). However, from talking to Ankit, as I understand this behavior should not have *changed* between 4.8. So I am assigning this to him.
You can see the effects here https://github.com/xamarin/xamarin-android/pull/445
update: The issue in the PR build was due to `mono` missing the `$PATH`. Also, the difference in behavior was seen between a 4.6 build and 4.9 build, due to the `$PATH` issue. Closing.