Feeds

Microsoft's Iron languages embrace 'official' open source

Python, Ruby and DLR conversions

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft has cracked open .NET a little further and surrendered some control over its development platform to the open-source community.

The latest code for the company's take on Python and Ruby – fine-tuned for .NET, IronPython, and IronRuby – has been quietly released under the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) license. So it says here.

Also released is Microsoft's Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR), the company's environment built to run common language features to keep the programming light and scripted.

Until now, the languages and DLR had been only available under Microsoft's Permissive Licenses (Ms-PL), the open-source license Microsoft convinced the Open Source Initiative to ratify as officially sanctioned several years back. One wonders why Microsoft bothered or how the OSI allowed itself to be persuaded.

According to the standard Microsoft response upon discovery of the news here, the switch was in response to "customer feedback". ASF 2.0 was becoming the license of choice for those working on IronPython and IronRuby.

This is not Microsoft's first use of the ASF license – notably, earlier this year, Microsoft released the Outlook Personal Folders .PST file format under ASF.

The move, though, does make you question what's really going on. Microsoft didn't announce the news as it has other community moves in the past – this also being the week of the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, Oregon. Typically, Microsoft likes to hitch such news to passing open source events like OSCON.

It could be that the projects haven't been as successful as hoped. Microsoft's licenses could really be deterring people from contributing, with the official flavors of Python and Ruby the way to go for many. Ruby is under GPL while Python is under its own, GPL-like license.

On the DLR, Microsoft wants dynamic languages to play a part on its Azure cloud.

ASF is also seen as "business friendly" license and will be more recognized by the license police inside adopters and potentially more accepted than a Microsoft license variant. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.