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Microsoft Releases ASP.NET MVC Under the Apache License 177

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the microsoft-is-that-you dept.
mikejuk writes "Microsoft has announced that they are being even more open with their new approach to ASP.NET MVC. It is making ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Razor open source under an Apache 2 license. The code is hosted on CodePlex using the new Git support ... You can compile and test out the latest version, but if you do have anything to contribute you have to submit it for Microsoft's approval." To get code upstream Microsoft has to approve (pretty typical), but the git branch is supposedly tracking the latest internal release candidate branch (a bit better than Google does with Android, even). Things seem to have changed quite a bit since the days of Shared Source (tm).
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Microsoft Releases ASP.NET MVC Under the Apache License

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  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:34AM (#39496443)

    i just looked and saw one fly past the empire state building

    • by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:38AM (#39496505) Homepage
      I haven't seen any flying pigs, but a guy with red skin, horns and one hoof came to our door the other day, asking if we could lend him some blankets, his home just started to get chilly.
    • I think it comes down to the fact that they want to sell more Visual Studio... I have to admit Visual Studios is a Decent IDE. However if you you are doing PHP or Java. You might as well be using Eclipse or Netbeans as well other Decent IDE.

      Being that ASP.NET only runs under Microsoft .NET framework or Mono. It gives developers a bad feeling if you are going to do anything beyond your intranet.
      • I've seen too many "developers" created with VS wizards, who didn't even know what language they were programming in (VB or C#? I don't know!). The apps they build technically work, but are slow, ungainly, and if something breaks, who knows how to fix it? That was SOP at the family-owned Fortune 500 I previously worked at. The open source programmers were forced out, now their whole development staff are dragging and dropping their way to app mediocrity. However, i can see real developers benefiting from th
        • by terjeber (856226) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:26AM (#39497001)

          I have seen the same (and worse) with people developing on JBoss and Java. What's your point? That some developers are bad? Honestly, working day-to-day in VS2010, NetBeans and Eclipse, VS is by a good margin the better IDE. C# is what Java could have become had its development not been handed over to Yet Another Committee With a Decision Making Disorder (TM). In many ways, C# is moving closer to good stuff like Ruby and Rails (and Sinatra). Look at what the Play! Framework guys did with version 2.0. Not implement it in C# obviously, but look at their rendering engine. Highly Razor inspired.

          Prior to v 6, IIS was junk. At 6 it was OK. IIS v7 is actually very good.

          On the other hand, if someone ever asks me again to maintain a Web Forms (often known as ASP.NET) project, I will decline the kind invitation. If they insist I will leave the company. Web Forms is (IMnsHO) an abomination. As is JSP. Same with the horror that is JBoss Seam.

      • VS itself is also growing "more free" as time goes by. On one hand, there's web edition of VS Express, which is slowly growing in features that were previously only available in paid editions - in v11 it's (finally) going to get unit testing [hanselman.com], for example. And then there's also the free WebMatrix, which basically tries to steal the "no-framework PHP" cake.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Might want to lay off the drugs a little. Nothing has changed here. You still have the same issues you've always had with apache v2 which is that it's basically the same as the BSD license with the same problems.

    • i just looked and saw one fly past the *space needle*

      TFTFY

    • Must be Pink Floyd on tour again.

  • ...my job would be easier. I have the source code. I hit the bugs. Sometimes it's even obvious how to fix them...

    • Of course... The time that it takes you to find the bug in a program you didn't write (and the specifications may not be open for you to quickly find it) then you fix the bug, if your fixed isn't approved to go back to the Core code, then you will need to check each time to see if the bug has been fixed and reapply the patch and test it every time.
      Sometimes it is much easier to code a work around, report the bug and continue on.
      • MFC isn't a program, it's an MVC framework library combined with a C++ wrapper around most of Win32, which itself is mostly organized as OO, even though it has a C API. And when things don't behave the way you expect, you're tracking it down anyhow. Once you've worked with MFC (or any library) for five years, you're going to know parts of it at almost as well as your own code--and, given that the framework represents a hotpath for you across multiple projects, you'll know parts of it better than your own co

        • MFC isn't a program, it's an MVC framework library combined with a C++ wrapper around most of Win32, which itself is mostly organized as OO, even though it has a C API.

          Do you need more coffee this morning/[time of day where you are]? MFC [wikipedia.org] is not an MVC [wikipedia.org] framework. It is (as you say) a sometimes precariously-thin OO wrapper around the native C-based Windows API. And most people who work with it would like for it to die. Which Microsoft has actually been working at facilitating in various ways, between the whole .NET ecosystem and now the ability to write Metro apps in C++ against WinRT, leaving the C API out of the picture completely.

          • My apologies; I misspoke. MFC implements a document/view architecture, not a full MVC. WP article is still critically lacking on that point.

          • And most people who work with it would like for it to die. Which Microsoft has actually been working at facilitating in various ways, between the whole .NET ecosystem and now the ability to write Metro apps in C++ against WinRT, leaving the C API out of the picture completely.

            Microsoft has made it entirely possible for many people who work with it to move on to different frameworks, but has responded to developer pressure to keep MFC alive and maintained. I doubt it's one of their priorities, but it's better than where things sat with the release of VS2008. VS2010 has improved MFC, and it sounds like VS2011 is marginally better, with its first-class support of C++.

            And while I'd love to ditch having my code support anything older than Vista, that's just not going to happen any time soon. My code isn't written for the mass market, it's written for specced use cases, which includes things like supporting WinXP and even (at times) Win2K. If you're writing a new application every year, or doing a major refactor of your code every couple years, you can keep with the times and depend on bleeding edge libraries.

            If you're working with a large legacy codebase with install sites over a decade old, you're not going to be jumping at Metro quite yet. It probably isn't going to be until Windows 9 before Microsoft stabilizes their new platform enough to be worth porting code forward. Look at 95 vs 98 vs ME, and then XP vs XPSP2 (which really could have been a new operating system...), and then Vista vs Win7. Microsoft tick-tocks between "what fresh hell is this?" and "Whew! That's a relief!".

      • Waiting for approval is a valid point, but anyone who spent time using MFC probably has their own list of things that drive them bonkers, and most likely know where the fix needs to be. Screw approval, fix it in your code and ship the result linked statically.

        No joke, even the C/C++ headers in MSVC 6 are broken, and due to licensing issues Microsoft can't release a patch for it. People just fix it locally and it's done. Of course, this is mostly STL, so it's not in the runtime DLL files so you could stil

  • by PickyH3D (680158)

    I am pretty impressed. I honestly wonder how this will effect the web development industry moving forward.

  • It seems to me there are two groups inside Microsoft -- Developers and Managers. Developers want to do things like this. Managers want to prevent things like this. Looks like the devs won this one.

    • by alen (225700)

      no, it was ray ozzie or some other guy. can't remember the name. MS hired him and he gave them a business reason to use and support open source standards compliant software.

    • Re:Two Groups (Score:4, Interesting)

      by craigtp (1356527) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:35AM (#39497089)

      It's not just developers and managers as groups. Remember, that these days Microsoft is a huge organisation and is full of many different divisions. There's Windows, Office, XBox, Windows Phone etc. amongst many others.

      The guys that are responsible for this move are the "Web Dev Div", who are a sub-group within the "Developer Division".

      It contains many people, including guys like Scott Guthrie [wikipedia.org], Scott Hanselman [hanselman.com], Phil Haack [haacked.com] (who recently left to join GitHub) etc., who have always done things that don't seem very Microsoft-like, like releasing ASP.NET MVC as an open-source product [asp.net] - albeit one that didn't accept outside contributions - back in 2009 along with such moves as bundling things like the open source jQuery library with Visual Studio and openly committing improvements [stephenwalther.com] back to the core project without trying the usual embrace, extend, extinguish tactics. [jquery.com]

      Within certain parts of Microsoft, they can, have done, and are continuing to do some very interesting, worthwhile and generally community-friendly (and not-so-evil) work.

      • by slapout (93640)

        I didn't mean it as formal divisions, I meant there are two types of people working there -- those with a developer mindset (mostly like the devs you mentioned) and ....others. It seems to be mostly the developers (in whatever division they work in) that want to do the cool things.

    • by spongman (182339)

      two groups inside Microsoft -- Developers and Managers

      you forgot the accountants and the lawyers. those are the key players in this regard.

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:52AM (#39496675)
    I guess Microsoft's MVC stuff is OK, and Razor in particular is comparable to the best of other frameworks out there, but their C# language is the primary glue that enables the awesomeness. C# is the top of the line within the Java-ripoff genre of languages, and I would like to see Microsoft take steps to help it be used more widely. I realize OSS purists will probably never be on board, and I understand why; but it's definitely not based on the quality of the technology.
    • Absolutely. I'd love to see Microsoft either provide a high-quality cross-platform .NET implementation, or at least release the core CLR stuff. C# has a lot of really interesting stuff going on in it.

    • Prior to Sun being bought by Oracle, you could be forgiven for thinking that Java was the safer patent bet. However, now we are about a decade into the conversation and the "safer" platform is the one where there is a major patent battle while Microsoft has never once even bared its fangs at Mono. I think the difference comes down to this...

      For Microsoft, C# is just a gateway drug to making Windows apps. Microsoft honestly doesn't give a rat's ass if you are building products with C# or any other aspect of

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:00AM (#39496779) Homepage Journal

    IANAP, but if:
    Windows 8 is focusing on HTML5 and JavaScript.
    Microsoft still wants to sell .NET tools...

    then open sourcing. NET makes sense. give away the handle, sell the blades.

    • Windows 8 isnt focusing on HTML5 and JS - its just adding them as a development pathway. Don't believe all of the outrage stories, they invariably aren't true...

    • Windows 8 is focusing on HTML5 and JavaScript.

      Win8 Metro apps can be written in any of: C++, C#/VB, JS (out of the box, third parties can add support to their own languages as well). Of those, I personally find C# to be the most convenient, simply because most Metro APIs are async only (to force developers to never block the UI thread with some expensive call), and C# has nice syntactic sugar for this in form of async/await [microsoft.com], whereas in both C++ and JS you have to manually chain callbacks with x.then(y).

    • by Pionar (620916)

      Except, they're not open sourcing .NET, just MVC4. .NET will never be open sourced, because it ties too much into the OS.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:01AM (#39496793)

    All evidence points to Microsoft no longer being "evil". At worst, maybe jerks, but not evil:

    Internet Explorer is following standards about as well as everyone else
    Windows is no longer a horrible, bug-ridden mess - the main complaints are "it's too similar to the last one, no need to upgrade" and "they're changing the interface too much AND I DON'T LIKE IT"
    The 360 is fairly open, by console standards, even with "official" homebrew via XNA (you need to buy a license, but it's not a $100,000 developer's license)
    They've been submitting a lot of code to open-source, using *actual* open-source licenses
    Their stuff works well withttp://developers.slashdot.org/story/12/03/28/142228/microsoft-releases-aspnet-mvc-under-the-apache-license#h virtualization under Linux, and their VM will run Linux (face it, the Old MS would have made it near-impossible to run Windows within Linux)

    Now, they're still far from my favorite company, but I for one am willing to reclassify them from "lawful evil" to "lawful neutral".

    • by game kid (805301)

      Those sound about right. I just wish the respective managements of (e.g.) Google, Slashdot, and Canonical didn't almost-proportionally regress as Microsoft slowly morphed from Hellspawn to New And Somewhat Improved Hellspawn.

      I mean, between Google+, Slashdot TV, Unity (I tried that, and it made me move to Arch Linux with KDE, with a layover in Kubuntu 11.10)...

      • Google, Slashdot, and Canonical didn't almost-proportionally regress

        While I think Slashdot does need to get criticism from time to time, I don't think the editor issues are on the same level as Unity & the cult of Jobs.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jbernardo (1014507)
      Yes they are. As long as they are using NDAs and patent trolling to extort money from companies using open source, they are evil. They might seem less evil in this particular point - but they are still the same microsoft we all learned to hate. At least those of us that did do business with them, or know some company who did, like sendo...
      • by gman003 (1693318)

        NDAs are everywhere in business. Everywhere. You can't call a company "evil" for using them without diluting the word "evil" itself.

        And, while MS does have a huge patent portfolio which is a significant potential threat, I don't actually know of them *using* it the way you describe. They sue other companies, sure, but I have not yet heard of them suing an open-source project for patent violations.

        • No. I call Microsoft evil for the way the use NDAs when they are extorting money from companies using open source (I never wrote open source projects) with crap patents; it is evil in that it allows them to hide the merits (or more accurately, the lack of) and to avoid that the open source projects involved use alternatives that don't violate Microsoft's patents. If you don't know of Microsoft doing patent trolling with dubious patents, check the Motorola or Nook suits. They are suing for the use of open so
    • The problem is, did they do these things because they're trying to fix their reputation, or because they realize they're screwed if they don't?

      I'm inclined to believe the latter, because based on other behaviour (such as the mutilation of the standards process with their open office file format) indicates that they are still doing whatever they can to screw everyone around them and maintain control.

      For example with IE, they *had* to make a standards compliant browser because their gamble to control the inte

    • Microsoft is aggressive towards their competitors, as was IBM in its day. Both had antitrust problems. Google and Facebook are aggressive towards their users. They have privacy-invasion problems.

      This is the price of ad-supported "free". Microsoft wants you to buy their stuff. You're the customer. With Google and Facebook, you're the product.

    • I'd love to believe that like Sun's dramatic turnaround after years of being the enemy of open source, Microsoft was doing the same thing. And, to be sure, Sun did their turnaround, and IBM in the early 90s as well, out of desperation to get back on course when they were clearly headed in the wrong direction and losing out on new things because of it.

      But, in Microsoft's case, all I see is case-by-case desperation that lacks the overall cultural change that IBM and Sun went through. Their browser was los

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        Sun's dramatic turnaround? You mean the turnaround from being a thriving business to one that no longer exists? Somehow I don't think Microsoft is looking to make such a dramatic turnaround.

        IBM is not some open source 'angel' either. Sure, they have made some great contributions to open source projects. However, they wisely view open source as just another tool in their toolbox. They support open source as long as it benefits them. They do not belong to some open source religion. Sure, they support

    • IE isn't following web standards and will no doubt fight webgl to the death.

      The 360 isn't fairly open. You have to pay for everything and despite the fact MS is the only company that has real experience in browser development it's the only system without a browser in order to stop people from gaining access to something outside of their paywall. Regarding indie development, they treat that like a disease these days and hope it goes away. But in the early days that was a bonus for the PC gamers that they
      • by gman003 (1693318)

        The 360 isn't fairly open. You have to pay for everything and despite the fact MS is the only company that has real experience in browser development it's the only system without a browser in order to stop people from gaining access to something outside of their paywall.

        Look at who else there is: Nintendo, whose development kit costs more than my car, and Sony, who's fucking Sony. Compared to that, a $100 XNA license is as open as it gets, especially since it doubles as a WP7 license, where it's on par with Apple (nobody really *wants* to write for WP7, but it's a decent gesture.

        Oh, and Nintendo originally charged for the web browser.

        Regarding indie development, they treat that like a disease these days and hope it goes away. But in the early days that was a bonus for the PC gamers that they converted to xbox. But now they brag about how much time is spent *not* playing games on the 360 as they try to out "causal" Nintendo.

        The XBox actually has the best indie support of any console. They're still terrible compared to Steam, but you judge evil based on its compet

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Microsoft is going the way of IBM, after having broken many things in the IT world and caused a lot of harm in the field of "intellectual property" ideology. Are they losing their evil ways ? This may be, but it will still take a few years of "neutral" behavior for me to forgive them.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:05AM (#39496825)

    To get code upstream Microsoft has to approve (pretty typical)

    So, tell me, which flag ship open source projects main branch can you just merge your code into without approval? The Linux kernel? Apache? X? MySQL? Firefox?

    Thats a fucking pathetic jibe "Unknown Lamer", not something an editor should be making.

    • Actually, rereading it you can take that in one of two ways, either "thats typical for projects of this type" or "thats typical of Microsoft *rolleyes*" - I took it in one way, which probably means others will as well. Apologies if it was meant in the other way.

    • by jyx (454866)

      To get code upstream Microsoft has to approve (pretty typical)

      So, tell me, which flag ship open source projects main branch can you just merge your code into without approval? The Linux kernel? Apache? X? MySQL? Firefox?Thats a fucking pathetic jibe "Unknown Lamer", not something an editor should be making.

      I read (pretty typical) as (this is standard practice for most big projects like this). It took your mini rant for me to consider that it could be derogatory.

      I'm all against editorials in my summaries, but I think your freaking out about the wrong thing here.

      (Unless of course it was meant in the way you have interpreted - in which case, yes, by all means fuck that guy right in the ear!)

  • New Approach (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Martz (861209) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:13AM (#39496919)

    Microsoft now seem to have a really good grasp on how to deal with free software. They know they need to get developers and administrators to incorporate or use their products in part, rather than use the defacto standard free software, and that means they need to be interoperable and compatible.

    A conference I attended for CakePHP in Manchester 2011 was sponsored by Microsoft, they provided a 3 course meal and contributed towards the bar tab for attendees.

    They know the way to a geeks heart - food and beer - and they also know that they need to get free software communities to build support for Microsoft platforms as well as the free platforms. For example the CakePHP community, Microsoft went to great efforts to ensure that the MSSQL database abstraction class was improved by the core developers to better support the MS platform. Now I can at least choose between MySQL and MSSQL, and there's a chance I'd buy and license it for a particular application.

    This attitude from Microsoft isn't new, but I don't really see them being able to execute the "extinguish" part of their normal plan on GPL/BSD/MIT licensed software. Instead I can see them at grassroots level trying to make their platform relevant and make sure people can hook into it, but they get left on the sidelines.

  • Really? One project; three three-letter-acronyms? OK, .NET isn't an acronym, but still..
    Playing TLA Bingo in our developer meetings will get too easy if this continues

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