Feeds

Microsoft taints open source CodePlex well

Some projects less open than others

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.