Feeds

Microsoft taints open source CodePlex well

Some projects less open than others

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.