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Microsoft Open Source Programming

Microsoft .Net Libraries Not Acting "Open Source" 246

Posted by kdawson
from the promises-broken-or-forgotten dept.
figleaf writes "Three years ago, with much fanfare, Microsoft announced it would make some of the .Net libraries open source using the Microsoft Reference License. Since then Microsoft has reneged on its promise. The reference code site is dead, the blog hasn't been updated in a year and a half, and no one from Microsoft responds to questions on the forum."
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Microsoft .Net Libraries Not Acting "Open Source"

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  • Summary Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by SomeJoel (1061138) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:20PM (#32088640)
    I know it's fun to bash Microsoft and all, but the source site here [microsoft.com] is not, in fact, dead. The other points in TFS might be valid, but I have doubts as to the poster's credibility. I believe this "figleaf" character may just be trying to score some free karma or jollies or something by inciting the standard "M$ sux" response.
  • Re:Forking (Score:5, Informative)

    by Florian Weimer (88405) <fw@deneb.enyo.de> on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:23PM (#32088686) Homepage

    No, it's not an open source license. You get to see the source code, but you have no rights beyond that. Preparing derivative works is not allowed.

    I believe source code access functionality is now integrated into Visual Studio, so it is not surprising that the web site is not updated anymore.

  • .net reflector (Score:3, Informative)

    by ForexCoder (1208982) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:24PM (#32088704)
    If you need the source for .NET now, your best bet is .NET Reflector Free Edition (http://www.red-gate.com/products/reflector/)
  • Re:Of course (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vahokif (1292866) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:32PM (#32088830)
    You mean like Mono? The submission is (intentionally or out of ignorance) trying to confuse the read-but-don't-touch "open source" reference implementation that no one uses, their legally binding promise not to sue anyone using open source implementations, and the stuff they have licensed under the OSI-approved MS-PL license.
  • Re:Forking (Score:3, Informative)

    by vbraga (228124) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:33PM (#32088844) Journal

    I believe source code access functionality is now integrated into Visual Studio, so it is not surprising that the web site is not updated anymore.

    You're right. It's integrated on VS2008.

    Tools -> Options -> Debugging -> Check "Enable .NET framework stepping".

    Wait a while while VS2008 download the debugging symbols and you're done.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:36PM (#32088884)

    Exactly; it's not an open-source project if you can learn about it without having to read reams of un-commented code.

  • Lousy post ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheFlaker (1684122) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:42PM (#32088986)
    As SomeJoel has pointed ... the sources are there. Even wpf for the 3.5sp1 stuff (fairly new stuff) ... At least try with something more difficult to verify.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:44PM (#32089018)

    A dead SF project still has the repository. You can still access the code and do what you will with it.

  • by Utopia (149375) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:18PM (#32089496)

    They fixed it as soon as this story was posted. Tricky Microsoft!
    Look at the forums. It was dead for more than a week.

  • Re:Forking (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:25PM (#32089578)

    I thing it IS open source (you can see the sources) but ISN'T free (you can't use it like you want) : it doesn't respect FOSS fundamentals. "Open source" doesn't mean "Free".

  • by AigariusDebian (721386) <.gro.naibed. .ta. .suiragia.> on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @03:26PM (#32090426) Homepage

    You don't remember the Microsoft version of Java? The one that was 'slightly' incompatible with all other versions of Java?

  • by aztracker1 (702135) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @04:20PM (#32091122) Homepage
    MS has kept quite a bit of OpenSource available, mainly in support of the Mono project. IMHO the reference license for the portions of .Net they were putting out there were less important as a learning tool, and more important in terms of discovering issues in MS's code, vs. your code while developing. The DLR portions (DLR, IronRuby, IronPython) as well as the MVC and MVC Contrib libraries have been very OpenSource friendly from the beginning.

    The portions mentioned in TFS weren't ever really to combat or oppose/weaken open source, they were a response to developer demands to be able to legitimately access the .Net internals (without resorting to reflector).
  • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @04:57PM (#32091514)

    First, Microsoft did not promise anything open source. They promised a read-only shared source version under the reference license. They delivered that, and are still delivering it, though as of yet no .net 4.0 libraries.. but that's only a couple of weeks old.

    The reason the site hasn't been maintained was the the functionality was moved into visual studio for automatic download. It's just a part of the tools now.

    Basically, the entire story is wrong.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @06:38PM (#32092418) Journal

    This is wrong on so many counts, I don't even know where to begin here...

    First of all, this:

    Three years ago, with much fanfare, Microsoft announced it would make some of the .Net libraries open source using the Microsoft Reference License

    There has never been an announcement that .NET framework libraries will become Open Source. Indeed, the very name of the license - "reference license" - indicates that it's not Open Source! The source is available for reference, so that developers can see what's going on, debug it, etc. It cannot be modified or redistributed.

    And nowhere in the original announcement, or in any other documentation for the feature, has it been claimed that this somehow constitutes Open Source. Microsoft releases some of its projects under OSI-approved OSS licenses, and labels those OSS, so it is aware of the difference. There is no desire to confuse anyone about the nature of OSS, which is precisely why the term "open source" is not used here, and other terms, such as "shared source" or "reference source", are used instead.

    Since then Microsoft has reneged on its promise.

    Source code for .NET 3.5 was made available under MRL, and it still remains available. Source code for .NET 4 RTM isn't there yet (but one for .NET 4 RC is).

    So, what promise was reneged on?

    The reference code site is dead

    It's not dead, it just takes time to update it with a new code release. It has .NET 4 RC bits, and that RC came out on February 10 this year - that's a far cry from "dead". Yes, it doesn't have .NET 4 RTM yet - but that has been released on April 12, less than a month ago. Give it time.

    No, it's not an open source project where you see the live trunk directly. It was never meant to or claimed to be that, either. If you expected that, then you either misunderstood the original announcement (in which case I hope this clears it up), or you're just trolling...

    Oh, it's a kdawson story. Nevermind.

  • by abigor (540274) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @07:01PM (#32092598)

    I assume that by "exploited", you mean "made significant contributions back to". And it's not an OS bolted "on top" of Unix - if you understood OS X's architecture (and you don't), you'd know that.

    Aren't you the same guy who thought OS X wasn't a real Unix because it doesn't have the same filesystem layout as some Linux variant? A brutal mocking ensued, as I recall.

    To the OP, you can get lots of Apple open source stuff here: http://opensource.apple.com/ [apple.com]

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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