Microsoft targets developers with 'open' license
.NOT open source
Microsoft is continuing its hesitant slide towards open source by releasing .NET code under a look-but-don't touch license.
The company said Wednesday it plans to offer source code for .NET Base Class Libraries, ASP.NET, Windows Forms, ADO.NET, XML and WPF in the .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 due later this year.
After a summer spent dashing from one open source show to another trying to convince developers of its good intentions, Microsoft is releasing the code under a license recognized only in Redmond and which rather helpfully prevents any changes from being made to code. You can look though.
Code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL).
Scott Guthrie, Microsoft general manager, blogged the look-but-don't touch approach would help developers debugging applications.
"Being able to step through and review the source should provide much better insight into how the .NET Framework libraries are implemented, and in turn enable developers to build better applications and make even better use of them," he writes.
While likely to help thousands of developers building Windows and .NET applications using Visual Studio, developers working with open source code will wonder why on Earth Microsoft has bothered to show them goods but not allowed them to touch.
The Ms-RL is not recognized by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), which approves open source licenses, and Microsoft has decided against submitting Ms-RL for official approval. Meanwhile, its companion license, the Microsoft Permissive License that was submitted to the OSI has been judged as flawed by that organization.
It is unclear if Microsoft plans to fix these problems to achieve compliance or if it'll simply follow its standard procedure of setting up its own body to rubber stamp its technologies and that excludes competitors.®
Nice effort but
Whiteboxing the code is no substitute for providing quality libraries that do what they say on the tin. I don't want my developers stepping through trying to sort out 'unexpected' behaviour.
If the cap fits here....wear it?
"their code" ?
Now that is an arrogant presumption and cosy arrangement for exclusive profit rather than general benefit.
QuITe why it is tolerated says more about weak men masquerading as powerful, than they know.
It is not the computer or the software installed on the computer which is important....for that is just so much inanimate plant .... it is what you make IT do for you, as ITs Controller/Messenger.
And for those working in Sensitive Fields where FeedBack will Instantly Create a Paradigm Change to the Status Quo, [and therefore dialogue is studiously avoided], it only requires the Sensitive Field Subject and Sent Mails to be succinctly presented Open Source for Beta Progress, just in case the System is programmed to channel Innovation through Closed Channels.
Or IT is sold to A.N.Other Status Quo System which can Beta Utilise IT. And that is an Embarrassment of Riches if Home Forces/Sources are not Fit for Purpose/on another Agenda. It is, after all, their choice?
When you use their code, watch out.
It wasn't that long ago when El Reg had the story about some fella who'd won an MS award for being a great programmer was then facing charges for using the code examples shown to do something MS didn't want done.
So even if it is open, you may not be allowed to use it.
And this is probably why the OSI doesn't accept this license.