Feeds

Microsoft taints open source CodePlex well

Some projects less open than others

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Microsoft is posting code to its much-trumpeted CodePlex open-source projects site using licenses and conditions that go against the principles of open source.

The company has been posting projects under Microsoft licenses that stop you from running CodePlex projects on non-Windows platforms or restrict access to code.

The practice has surfaced as it emerged Microsoft changed the license of its recently released Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) to the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL), following complaints from at least one leading open-source representative - the Mono Project's Miguel de Icaza.

MEF was released under the Microsoft Limited Permissive License (Ms-LPL) that tied MEF to Windows while Ms-PL is recognized by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and means code can run on platforms in addition to Windows.

CodePlex homepage

Welcome to the CodePlex: open source, not as you know it

Microsoft explained the switch saying it always intended to go Ms-PL but that Ms-LPL had been "the easiest way for us to quickly get MEF out the door as we worked through some details." Community "feedback" had "accelerated' the timetable.

A trawl of CodePlex, though, revealed other Microsoft code also available under restrictive licenses not friendly to open source. ASP.NET is there under the Microsoft Source License, which limits code to qualified Microsoft customers, partners, and governments and requires you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

De Icaza had originally called for ASP.NET along with MEF and "all other platform-limiting software" to be pulled from CodePlex and urged developers to avoid MEF before the change to Ms-PL.

While the CodePlex site does not mandate the license for projects, you are told to pick your own license with CodePlex directing you to the open-source license page of Wikipedia for more information. CodePlex is home to projects under a range of licenses recognized by the OSI, such as Apache 2.0, and open-source-like custom licenses not officially recognized. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.