Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft .Net Libraries Not Acting "Open Source"

Comments Filter:
  • by yakatz (1176317) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:14PM (#32088546) Homepage Journal
    As most people who have tried to write a blog can testify, it is hard to maintain a procedure by force; the reason why so many new blogs are abandoned. If the culture at Microsoft is anti open-source, it will take a constant effort to continue this type of project. The power was obviously not there.
  • Same old, same old (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ls671 (1122017) * on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:14PM (#32088556) Homepage

    Same old, same old. Some things will never change.

    I am still glad to hear about this specific topic although, just for my personal information.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:17PM (#32088600)
    ... why?
  • Re:Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:18PM (#32088602) Journal

    I bet they expected the OS community to have mirrored the reference code sites, start their own blogs, and master the libraries and dole out advice, if they really wanted the .NET Libraries to be Open Source.

    Not defending Microsoft, it's not exactly cool, but like you said, what were they expecting?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:18PM (#32088608)

    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.

    How is this different from the majority of "real" FOSS projects on SourceForge?

  • Re:Sons of Bitches (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:22PM (#32088674)

    ...what, just NOW?

  • Bait and switch. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _the_bascule (740525) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:22PM (#32088678)
    Yup, bait and switch. "We're all warm and fluffy with open source, we're a safe alternative to java, honest, look." *sigh*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:23PM (#32088696)

    The other points in TFS might be valid, but I have doubts as to the poster's credibility.

    Even if the statements about the blog and the forum are true, there's no requirement for open source projects to have active blogs and forums.

  • by Fencepost (107992) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:23PM (#32088698) Journal
    How many projects out there become the hot new thing for a week or so, then the primary person working on the project changes jobs / gets married / joins a commune and eventually people start saying "Well, I found this open source project that sounds right, but it looks like it's been dead since 2007."
  • by machwon (12734) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:30PM (#32088782)

    This one was supposedly run and supported by the biggest software company in the world, not by a high school student in his basement.

  • by mpapet (761907) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:34PM (#32088848) Homepage

    I think Microsoft's goal is/was to pollute the term 'open source' to mean things friendly to Microsoft's practices like this read-only license.

    The license cites the code available as "read only."

    "Reference use" means use of the software within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging your products, maintaining your products, or enhancing the interoperability of your products....

    http://referencesource.microsoft.com/referencesourcelicense.aspx [microsoft.com]

    Oh, and yes, Microsoft still sucks. In this case it's because their brand of misinformation is particularly toxic to innovation.
       

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:35PM (#32088868) Journal

    They made it open source so that they didn't have to support it.

    Then when they stopped supporting it, the open source community went Huh?

  • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:39PM (#32088942) Homepage
    There's a huge difference. If you wanted to make a modification to an abandoned project, you could just fork it. Here, you can't. So you're tied to requesting the modification from MS... It's a similar theme to many OS projects, but it's not a similar situation...
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:54PM (#32089150) Journal

    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.

    Which means that looking at it "contaminates" the developers with knowledge of proprietary code.

    If this article were about the the code itself, rather than the lack of support on Microsoft's end, I'd hang an "itsatrap" tag on it.

    IMHO we're better off if the site DOES go away.

  • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:58PM (#32089208) Journal
    No news in a year and a half, no source code, forum questions unanswered... sounds like the typical sourceforge project to me!
  • by Eirenarch (1099517) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:59PM (#32089228)
    So it seems like people here think tha MS wanted or at least promised .NET to become Open Source? How completely wrong. MS never said that and never wanted it. They just released the code so .NET devs could debug it. They still can debug it through Visual Studio integration. Microsoft never wanted to contribute .NET source to the community and to allow forks and I believe that I speak to the majority of the .NET developers when I say that I don't want anyone but Microsoft messing with .NET's code let alone creating forks.
  • by RobDude (1123541) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @03:02PM (#32089272) Homepage

    Maybe I'm missing the point but I'm *glad* there is only one version of the .Net Framework 4.0

    If the source was truly open, I'm sure someone, somewhere, would make something awesome, that I'd want to use, but it would require me using the forked (or whatever they call it) home-brew version that may or may not introduce instability into my application.

    And when I took my problem online and said, 'WTF! I'm just doing System.Console.Writeline()' why doesn't this work!' it would lead to all sorts of confusion.

    But yeah, I'm probably missing the point as my understanding of OpenSource is limited. I just don't see why you'd ever want to a modified version of the .Net Framework.

  • by just_another_sean (919159) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @03:17PM (#32089486) Homepage Journal

    I wonder what the exact percentage of largest software company in the world hosting an open source project to young, naive programmer thinking he can help by throwing up a sourgeforge page is? Comparing MS doing an open source project to most open source projects hardly seems fair.

    To put it another way, if you compare MS to say Apache, Red Hat, Novell or Gnome then MS looks pretty bad at open source. Which, on the surface at least, is surprising because they do a much better job of hosting their MSDN content which is similar in scope to hosting a large open source project.
    But it's actually not so surprising considering MS's schizophrenic attitude towards open source in general.

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @03:17PM (#32089488)

    Or they'll upload a javadoc/pydoc dump of their uncommented and undocumented code as well, which is about as useful as simply being told to figure it out yourself.

    Another possibility is of course that the maintainer comes up with some fairly lame excuse for not working on the project ("my dog had puppies a year ago and I've been completely dedicated to playing with them...") complete with promises of getting the project up to date ("...but I've been looking at some of the patches that have been submitted and there's gonna be a big update any day now.") which means most people will hold off on forking the project.

    Then there's the "it's in CVS" projects, you know them, those projects that are required by a whole host of apps yet they haven't had a proper release since 2006, and before that the last release was in 2003, but hey, you can just grab the extremely active development branch from CVS/SVN/Git!

    The last one has a close relative, the "1.x is featureless and out of date (but still gets security patches) and 2.x has been in alpha for three years now" projects. Just like the "it's in CVS" projects the bulk of interesting code for these tends to be in source control or in the 2.x.y.z.alpha23.tar.bz2 releases, and if you dare use the dev/alpha branch and find a problem with it and file a bug report you'd better be prepared to be chastised for not also submitting a patch...

    And last but not least there are the "closed" projects which rarely accept patches from "outsiders", they have a dedicated group of developers who will tell you to write your own patch and submit it when there's a bug that's been around for over a year with all reports closed as "WILLNOTFIX" or "NOTABUG", and when you do it will be rejected only to have one of the "regular" developers submit an almost identical patch a few days or weeks later (yes, this has happened to me a couple of times, can you feel the bitterness?).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @03:30PM (#32089626)
    But they are doing that? The /. article was just written by an idiot who didn't check his shit and wrote bunch of bullshit without any reference.
    asp.net MVC 2.0 sourcecode, dated 11 march 2010 http://aspnet.codeplex.com/releases/view/41742 [codeplex.com]
    freshly updated MS blogs regarding asp.net http://weblogs.asp.net/ [asp.net]
    forums regarding most MS technologies seems pretty much alive also http://forums.asp.net/ [asp.net]
    etc...
    seems to me everything is very much alive, unlike some other open source projects...
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @03:34PM (#32089652)

    And last but not least there are the "closed" projects which rarely accept patches from "outsiders", they have a dedicated group of developers who will tell you to write your own patch and submit it when there's a bug that's been around for over a year with all reports closed as "WILLNOTFIX" or "NOTABUG", and when you do it will be rejected only to have one of the "regular" developers submit an almost identical patch a few days or weeks later (yes, this has happened to me a couple of times, can you feel the bitterness?).

    Even if the code is open source, that's still plagiarism.

  • by Americano (920576) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @04:19PM (#32090342)
    And if you listen to all the talk here on slashdot, you'll easily conclude:

    1) Microsoft is bad at anything they do. Terrible. Absolutely no business attempting anything in technology because they only exist for their goal of returning us to the dark ages.

    2) Free Software-supporting high school students are the smartest people on earth, and write software that is orders of magnitude better than any of these "pros" who work wage-slave jobs for proprietary-software companies.

    Given that, I'd say it's entirely reasonable to expect that SourceForge and other FOSS repositories would be orders of magnitude more active, well-supported, and well-constructed than anything those bumbling idiots in Redmond would be capable of.
  • by Threni (635302) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @05:29PM (#32091212)

    I'm not sure why an abandoned site with a dead blog and no progress is somehow seen as un "Open source" like - the poster has clearly not looked at many open source projects!

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @06:00PM (#32091578) Homepage

    Apple has exploited FOSS but that is something else.

    They bolted their proprietary OS on top of Unix so they wouldn't have to re-invent that part.

  • For the same reason that people who voted for a party that then did not hold a single promise, but did the worst things possible, will get voted again by the very same people, as soon as “the other party” is in power, and the lie-machine of pre-election promises has started again.

    99.999% of all people are fucking stupid cattle!

  • by Anpheus (908711) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @10:53PM (#32093666)

    To expand on what he said, Visual Studio supports downloading and using the .NET source code and stepping through it with the debugger. This lets accomplished users determine where a problem in the code lies if it involves (often-times) complex API calls.

    This would be akin to, I suppose, using GDB with your kernel + library sources plugged in as well.

Never trust a computer you can't repair yourself.

Working...