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Microsoft Slaps Its Most Valuable Professional

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the schizophrenic-is-one-word-for-it dept.

Microsoft 474

Violent Offender writes with a touching story in The Register about Microsoft's awarding of its Most Valuable Professional credential to a British hobbyist, Jamie Cansdale, then turning around and threatening him with a lawsuit for the very software that won him the award. The article links to the amazing correspondence from Microsoft on Cansdale's site.

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8====D Cockslap! 8======D (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406645)

8====D
Cockslap! thunk...
8======D

How... (0, Offtopic)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406709)

on-topic of you!

Really! :-)

DUPE (5, Informative)

Ekhymosis (949557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406649)

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406883)

What's stopping people from downloading the version that still works and distributing that?

If anyone actually cared, it could be the next 09 F9... Err, well, actually there's already the 45 5F key, but no one seems to care about it yet because I haven't heard about any mass C&D notices and a few stories passed quietly through Digg.

Re:DUPE (1, Offtopic)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406903)

Dupe tag, anyone? Is it me or do tags like "Dupe" no longer show up?

Re:DUPE (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406943)

They no longer show up. The editors claim "dupe" is special and notifies them rather than showing up... but, uh, apparently they have to be paying attention.

Re:DUPE (5, Funny)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407043)

Maybe the editors just can't get enough of the guys who feel that their sole purpose in life is to point out Slashdot dupes, and the incredibly boring conversation about dupes one is forced to wade through just to get to the topical discussion...

Re:DUPE (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407063)

there are actually quite a few tags they banned: dupe, gay, bonkthezonk, etc.

Re:DUPE (0)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407347)

I was happy to not have to see the itsatrap, yes, no, etc etc etc crap. However, I don't think I ever saw a bonkthezonk.

Probably a good thing. The first time, I would have likely sprayed my tea across the screen. =]

Re:DUPE (5, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407029)

Is it me or do tags like "Dupe" no longer show up?

I think Tags were revamped a while ago, and as a result the fun tags don't show up anymore.

Personally, I don't bother with them any longer. When you could tag something "fud", "yes", "no", "itsatrap", "omgponies", "09F911029D74E35BD84156C5635688C0", etc it was a fun way to comment on a story (even if it is the epitome of groupthink). I thought the tags gave Slashdot users another interesting way to communicate, and to express the general sentiment of a story.

Sorry Taco, but Tags are boring and useless now. Bring back the old ones or do away with these.

But Stay Tuned! (4, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407315)

Tomorrow is special. It's the deadline M$ gave him to remove Express support.

Thanks for pointing to the old article. The Dan Fernande's letter [msdn.com] is priceless entertainment parodied in the following Power Point Slide:

Please Don't Help Express Users
by Dan Fernandez

  • We've done so much for you, even calling you on the phone - twice in two years.
  • Most people prefer our no cost version, they are not Professionals and some admit it.
  • Non Professional users are easily confused, please don't make their life easier with confusing choice.
  • Back when I programmed in BASIC, I would not have wanted anything else.
  • I know Professionals who can't code.
  • Helping people violates our "ethos"
  • We are going to pick up our toys and go home now and it's all YOUR FAULT.

Why do they try? There's no way for them to win this.

Let's see what happens next! Will they stop issuing Express, remotely disable it and then sue Jamie? Do they leave him alone and let it keep working with ... the appropriate apology? Ha!

MS is on a roll... (5, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406667)

They did just go after this guy [slashdot.org]

What are the odds?

Re:MS is on a roll... (4, Funny)

Anml4ixoye (264762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406731)

No kidding. It must be awful to have two people, both developers, producing similar products, with the same name, both getting nastygrams from MS.

Re:MS is on a roll... (4, Funny)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406813)

thanks, I thought I just saw this story the other day. Although I wasn't totally sure it was here or somewhere else. Good to know that /. has reruns. I guess this means if I miss a day of news I can get it a few days later :D

Re:MS is on a roll... (5, Funny)

seaturnip (1068078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406991)

You must be new here.

No wait, you have a 5-digit UID. Wha?

Re:MS is on a roll... (1, Funny)

spotter (5662) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407199)

5 digit UIDs are newbies (/me looks longly at 3 digit UIDs)

Microsoft hates testing (0, Troll)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406671)

The only explanation for the state of Vista, and this attack on an innocent developer. Software written for Windows "Just Works", no need to waste time testing it.

Ballmer said it best... (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406679)

Developers, developers... lawsuit.

Mod me flamebait all you like (5, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406741)

But you know it's true. Read the article. The guy got an MVP and a cease and desist for the same freaking program.

Is making a joke that runs parallel to the truth flamebait? If so, what does that say about that truth?

Re:Mod me flamebait all you like (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406779)

Wow, that really makes me wonder about anyone who WANTS to work for microsoft....

--jeffk++

Re:Mod me flamebait all you like (3, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406857)

Money talks, integrity walks.

Re:Mod me flamebait all you like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406909)

They have free Pibb in every building (at least they did when I was there in 98). That was enough for me.

Re:Ballmer said it best... (4, Insightful)

Tomy (34647) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406783)

Why is this moderated flame bait? I find it quite insightful. You don't award engineering ingenuity, and then turn around and let the marketing and lawyering dweebs come in and take it away because it doesn't fit their marketing/licensing plans. Either you value developers are you don't. And if you do, you have to understand herding cats [wikipedia.org]

completely offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406697)

This is completely offtopic, but can someone give me a slight history of trolltalk? I just found out about it, and every single post there seems to be automatic crapflood posts. From what I read, there was at one time actual discussions there. What happened to that? When did it transform into the unreadable crapflooded mess that it is?

thanks

Re:completely offtopic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406769)

wikipedia used to have a great article about it. it was deleted when people who hate information found it. wikipia is full of people how hate information, and they just keep trying until they delete it. they are pathetic, but were eventually victorious in deleting the wikipedia article.

I was there when it became a crapflooded wasteland and for a little while before. It was nice. It was place where you could declare your intention to rape Condoleeza Rice without getting modded down. Someone finally found a script that could sustain a crapflood indefinately. there were many claims of responsibility, most undoubtably just trolls. we held on as long as we could, but eventually it got boring.

*pours out a 40oz for muh homie that aint with us no more*

HI I'M VLAD WILL U BE MY FRIEND (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406841)

hi there!! *FART* my name is vlad and i like linux *FART*

will you be my friend?! *DEFECATE* hey stop looking at me shitting in public is perfectly fine!!!!!

my favorite movie is blade *FART* 2

Re:completely offtopic (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407253)

In one early version of slashcode, you could create a "hidden sid". I think you created it by just going to the URL, kind of like a wiki, but I am not sure. Then you started posting comments to it.

Trolling in those days was cool and mostly actually funny, and usually more insightful and thoughtful than the normal posts. It was also more vigorously suppressed. There were a lot more immaginative trolls going on. On-topic rewrites of popular songs, Weird Al style, were common. Some guy named Gnarphelgager or something posted long fantasies, a chapter per post, into articles over the course of weeks -- they were pretty good but homosexual rape was involved disturbingly often. You could impersonate famous people, such as Bruce Perens, by selecting a username that looked similar, such as with the period at the end. They started displaying the userid to expose that, and the song parody guys wrote "Will Real Bruce Perens Please Stand Up". Look up the user OGG_THE_CAVEMAN for some quality shit. People actually got angry about the *BSD is dying post. Goatse, ascii goatse, and etc became more popular as trolling started go down hill. This guy named Klerk kept figuring out how to make posts that made the page very wide, so their was a scroll bar at the bottom of your browser, and he could basically kill any thread with a PWP (page widening post).

The trolls were so good you had to browse at -1, otherwise you saw just shit. It was a lot of to filter though. Trolls started posting links to their work in a hidden sid called k223320inchfan, but I found out about it just as a bunch of other loosers did, and they moved to sid=10gramspoppylatex and sid=3dollarcrackho and other places. The sids were mostly ruined by a guy named Scott Lockwood, AKA Vladinator, by incessently posting links to posts of his that weren't trolls, or at least, weren't funny and worth reading like all the other trolls.

Trolling those days was high class. OGG_THE_CAVEMAN was a physics undergrad at Harvard. This chick Peridia was actually Esther Sussman, a real-life Jew, a reporter, who you would occasionally see on TV asking a question at some press conference in DC, and most improbably of all, a female. The trolls I met in real life were an eclect bunch of scattered and smart people, some owned their own companies, several were homeless, OGG like I said was at Harvard, Perida was on TV, I was . . . I'm not telling you who I am. Even Vladinator at least owned his own business. Physically it seemed like a lot of trolls were in Austin and Dallas, Texas or Kansas City, but they were mostly spread all over pretty evenly. Surprisingly, I know of no non-American trolls. There is one dude who is a Mexican immigrant, but he's here now so it doesn't count.

There was (is ?) a Troll High Council the handed out some smack down occasionally. I think before the hidden sid thing, they maintained a secret mailing list to exchange troll links on and co-ordinate efforts. They apointed some guy named George who tried to install BSD to be "King of Trolltalk" to keep order, and that worked for a while.

I'm not sure when it totally became crap. Vladinator was targeted by a committee of sid safety known as "AV3" or "Anti Vlad Triad" but there were actually 4 of them, and he set up his own blog site about guppies or sporks or something and his fan club followed him, and the sid was cool again for a while. I think the breaking point was when Klerk blew his brains out with a shotgun. After getting over the shock of that mind-widening news, I was refered to the blogspot posting of his boyfriend, and had to comprehend that he actually was gay. Then I had to deal with the fact that a lot of these gay shit the trolls were talking about might actually be real, not just homephobic locker room type shit, and that some of these guys spewing out the gay rape fantasies might know way too much about my physical location -- and they have guns. Shotguns were purchased and I started using proxies to communicate.

I am skiping over a lot of stuff, like the GNAA and Meow Army and shit, but you can google for it. The point is, you could track that whole scene from one place, the trolltalk sid.

A newbie troller, who is suspected gay, who even worse runs it on a Windows NT box, who lives in Kansas City, modified the FirstPostalator, a perl script used by trolls to get First Post, and started using it to crapflood trolltalk. The community moved to new sids a couple of times, but around this time an update to slashcode killed the ability to create new hidden sids. The old ones keep working until no one posts for two weeks, then they die. As the remaining hidden sids were crapflooded or Vladinated (Vlad was like a manual crapflood) they were abandoned, sometimes recoevered when the flood stopped, but sometimes no one would check them for two weeks, and they winked out one by one.

We knew about the change coming, because of course slashcode in open source. In anticipation, a parody song "The Day That Trolltalk Died" was composed on the sid itself, with almost everyone contributing a verse ( I wrote one ). The song was fristpostalated into all the stories on the day of the slashcode update.

I think the Troll High Council and those they identified as worthy found a new place to hide in the internets and continue their work. Unfortunately, in my homophobic attempts to change IDs and use proxies and etc after Klerk blew his gay brains out, I lost track of them and never made it back to their good graces.

I think trolling declined in comment posting, because post-911 a lot of the real world news was basically trolls anyway. Just read foxnews.com sometime, with all that Holloway shit, or listen to Lou Dobbs lie about Leprosy, etc. We used to have contests to see who could be the first to get a completely made-up story on the front page of slashdot, making fake websites and press releases, but no made-up cancer cure that gives you aids or whatever I came up with can beat what Roland Pipisqually or wtf his name it posts on the front page every day these days anyway. We used to make fake scientific breakthrough sites wehre the gifs were animated and would suddenly morph into goatse after two minutes, but after a while, no one ever complained because no one ever read the articles for two minutes. WTF. I went back to usenet.

Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (5, Informative)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406757)

...apparently Jamie has until 4 PM tomorrow (the 6th) to respond to the lawyers or remove the offending application.

If you read through ALL the correspondence (a boring, lengthy exercise), you'll find out a few interesting facts:

  • Weber, the guy at Microsoft stirring up trouble, was a jerk on 3 counts
    • He assumed that Jamie was hacking the low-end free version of Microsoft's products, when in fact Jamie used APIs published by Microsoft
    • Weber was rude
    • Weber wouldn't state what part of which license Jamie had violated. This is the boring part of the correspondence, because Jamie asks over and over again, and keeps getting back generalities such as "the relevant parts apply." That is crazy making, and I would not at all be as polite as Jamie has been.
  • Now that lawyers are involved, it's pretty clear how Jamie violated their terms.
  • Jamie is looking for a way to "stand up to the bullies" so to speak, even though it's now clear how he violated Microsoft's contract. That's not to say he's BAD -- he's quite great, actually, with a great product, too -- but now that MS has said "here is what you violated, please correct it" he should correct it. With no tricks, no reinstating the feature months later (which he has done once already).

The end result is that Jamie wants to fight it, but if he does, he's gonna lose in court. However, he is very very right in one aspect -- Microsoft deserves a black eye over this, and I don't blame Jamie for wanting to punch them in the face. I don't think Microsoft/Weber was particularly evil, but they were slightly rude and rather stupid. They would not answer Jamie's requests, over and over again. If they had just answered him plainly and clearly, this would have been solved a year ago.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406817)

I just read through it all too. I'll never get that part of my life back.

I also like how Weber threatens him with other vendors when things look like they're not going to work out.

We have several companies who are offering unit testing scenario tools
integrated into Visual Studio and would love to include you among that
list. In fact last week at the quarterly VSIP developer lab there was a
new startup who was building unit testing tools into the full suite and
my team spent a full week helping them!

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406835)

This is standard micrsoft MO. I interned at Microsoft a few years ago, and was taught how to do a few things with published APIs. The knowledge I learned (via using published APIs) made it clear that I could implement research I was involved with at university on Windows (instead of just Linux where we implemented it). However, this would overlap with features MS wanted for Longhorn. So they got scared and sat me down with lawyers who again tried to scare me. I don't scare. I basically told them, "I'm pissed off now, if you didn't want me to work on it, you could have asked nicely, I'd feel favorable to ms right now, so I wouldn't. Now I won't do it, but mostly because I have no interest in helping you guys improve your product."

well, at least I got 20k for the summer (and no washington state taxes).

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406839)

even though it's now clear how he violated Microsoft's contract.

I'm sorry - that's not clear to me at all.

I'm not particularly up there with UK contract law however. Perhaps you can explain to me exactly how he violated Microsoft's contract by using the published APIs?

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406879)

I'm confused as hell how the software creator violated Microsoft's contract too. To me, it seems like the guy is evasive and saying he hacked the Express edition, when he just used supported capabilities from examples on MSes documentation.

Am I missing something, or did this guy not violate any contract at all? To me, the guy who is writing letters back and forth is awfully vague...

The "I have more lawyers" offense? (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406997)

> Perhaps you can explain to me exactly how he violated Microsoft's contract by using the published APIs?

Because, uhhh, they said so and they will hire expensive lawyers if he doesn't cave!

(Well, that's what *Microsoft* said, more or less... If I have to read any more crap like that, I'm going to SKU their ecosystem.)

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407005)

Nor I. He can't be circumventing anything if he is
using documented APIs. By definition, that is what
APIs are for, to access (not circumvent) the functionality.

Microsoft is blowing smoke and trying to cover their ass.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (5, Insightful)

FreelanceWizard (889712) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407023)

The fact that the APIs are published is immaterial, really. I know of at least one company's software that has a similar clause in its EULA to the Visual Studio one, and they don't do even the slightest protection of their fully documented APIs. Nevertheless, using them would violate the EULA if I wasn't licensed to do so. That's the contract I entered with that company. If I want to use those APIs, I need to pay them more money for the license to do so. This isn't anything terribly new, and even "good guys" do it now and then to protect a revenue stream (cf. MySQL's multiple licenses).

For those not clear on the situation, the short of it is this. TestDriven.NET is an add-in for Visual Studio. Visual Studio Express has a "technical limitation" that ostensibly prevents the loading of add-ins (removal of the Add-In Manager, I believe). The EULA states that:

"...you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways... You may not work around any technical limitations in the software."

Constructing an add-in that can be loaded by Express is presumably a violation of the EULA for Express, because you're working around the technical limitation (weak though it may be) in the software that blocks the loading of add-ins. Technically speaking, anyone who uses it with Express is also violating the EULA. The best argument, IMO (and IANAL), is going to be that disabling the Add-In Manager isn't really a technical limitation against the loading of add-ins, since they can be loaded programmatically. It's a technical limitation against end-users manually loading add-ins. ;)

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407115)

Hmm. Perhaps.

I think you could make a good case that if you're only using *public* API's to do something, then the software is by-definition *not* technically limited in order to prevent you from doing [whatever]. It could be easily argued as being *supported* in fact, just not *supplied* by MS.

What MS *wants* from its licence isn't necessarily how it ought to be interpreted...

Simon.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (5, Informative)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407345)

Except that "public" APIs aren't being used in this case.

http://blogs.msdn.com/danielfe/archive/2007/06/01/ testdriven-net-and-express-technical-information.a spx [msdn.com]

Friday, June 01, 2007 3:20 PM by danielfe
TestDriven.NET and Express - Technical Information
I quickly wanted to respond to questions or misconceptions raised in the comments of my previous blog post.

A common question or misconception in the comments is saying that if didn't want extensibility we should have provided technical limitations to prevent extensibility (see comments: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18).

Express Extension Workarounds
To respond, Visual Studio Express extensibility is limited in a number of ways. One way it is limited is that it does not permit extensibility through Macros, Add-Ins, or Packages. It attempts to reserve these limitations by technical means. Some examples of these technical limitations are that there is no Macros IDE, there is no Add-In manager, and registered Add-In's and Packages are not loaded at startup. The only way to even extend Express is to work around these in-built technical limitations and that is prohibited by the License.

For a high-level overview on how TestDriven.NET works around technical limitations, here's a response from our development team:

**
The TestDriven.NET product is implemented as a Visual Studio Add-In. In the Visual Studio Standard, Professional, and Team System SKUs, TestDriven.NET is installed as an Add-In and gets loaded into the IDE through the Add-In Manager. In the Visual Studio Express SKUs, because we disabled extensibility (macros, Add-ins, and VS Packages), the Add-In Manager is removed and therefore Add-Ins are not detected or loaded. Jamie has created additional components specifically for the Express SKUs to work around this technical limitation. He takes advantage of an extensibility point that allows user controls (such as a button class) to customize entries in the Properties window. When his property extender gets called, he executes code that finds, loads and injects the TestDriven.Net assembly into the Express SKU's running process, thus replacing the functionality of the removed Add-In Manager. This explains why he instructs Visual Studio Express users to open the Properties window in order to enable TestDriven.NET. Once his code is injected into the Express SKU's running process it can add menu items, enable features that were disabled, and in general take over that instance of Express. These special loading mechanisms that Jamie has built exclusively for the Express SKUs are unauthorized workarounds to the SKUs' technical limitations.
**

For an analogy, this would be comparable to someone working around the technical limitations in the personal version of TestDriven.NET to unlock features in the professional or enterprise versions for free.

What complicates this even further is that this isn't a developer doing this for his or her personal use or experimenting with our product, this is a business trying to sell a product. We tried for close to two years to get Jamie to stop releasing the Express version of TestDriven.NET without success.

I hope this helps clarify some of the questions or misconceptions surrounding this issue.

Filed under: Visual Studio Express
Comment Notification

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (5, Insightful)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407081)

Perhaps you can explain to me exactly how he violated Microsoft's contract by using the published APIs?

Yes and no. I can explain what I read, and why I believe that it will hold up in court. But I don't think you're asking for that. I think you feel that using public APIs should not be prevented or outlawed, and so you object to the entire concept. If I'm wrong about that, you can skip this paragraph and go to the ntext one. But if I'm right, all I can say is that's not an argument I can have with you, as I find it to be a boring one. MS has a contract, they've cited the passage he violates, and they'll sing it out loud in court. Whether we like that or not, it means MS will win in my book. So I don't really care to have a discussion about how ethical MS is, or whether they should be able to restrict a public API. The fact is, they do it, and seem to have a leg to stand on here. But by all means, have that discussion with other Slashdot readers. I'm sure it's one that many would like to have.

So with that disclaimer in place, here is what I read [asp.net] . Near the bottom of the first page of that scan, you'll see that they cite the part of the contract that has been violated. In particular, the contract states that you cannot circumvent the limitations they've put on the low-end product. One of the limitations is no plugins. That's explained elsewhere, but here in the letter from the lawyers we at least see now that they have a clause prohibiting end-runs around the crippled features of the low-end product. This is what Jamie asked for time and time again. No one would cite any clause that he violated. Finally, at last, someone did. Whatever I think about the merits of Microsoft's case, I will continue to think that they're jerks for taking a year to quote the relevant part of the contract.

Elsewhere, in another letter, they explain that they have the legal prohibition in the contract to cover cases exactly like this -- cases where they tried to block it technically, but someone found a loophole. So they use the contract as a way to say, "even if we screw up and left a way to do it technically, you still can't do it contractually." We may or may not think they should be allowed to get away with that, but again, that's where I get bored and drop out of the conversation.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407189)

So did they violate their own contract terms by approving his plug-in previously? I'd like to see him call on MS staff to testify on his behalf.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407141)

I'm sorry - that's not clear to me at all.
It wasn't clear to me initially either... but apparently in the "Scope of License" for the express version it does say "You may not work around technical limitations in the Software", which basically means you can't write plugins for it.

They're idiots... (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406863)

This is why big corporations suck.

They took the bold step of giving away Visual Studio for free and removing a few features. Now, they've got their panties in a knot because someone has found a way to make add-ins work in the express version, and, they shouldn't. Microsoft made a mistake if they assumed the license agreement would deter people from doing this sort of thing. Besides, they've already given a huge part of the program away, why NOT give the add-in functionality away as well? You'd think add-in creators should be behind Jamie - their potential market opens up quite a bit! Unfortunately, things like this show that Microsoft continually fails to see the value in cultivating a hobbyist community.

Hell, I went to a MSDN talk and watched some goober drag and drop form controls for two hours just so I could get a copy of Visual Studio 2005 Standard edition. Somehow I deserve it more than Joe Random, who has to limp along with the crippled Express edition. It doesn't make any sense.

Re:They're idiots... (5, Insightful)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406925)

Yes, Microsoft obviously doesn't get "community".

This is the same company who released the Zune, which doesn't play playsfornotsure. Media player 11 which doesn't support Zune. IE7 which fixed few real IE bugs but instead added chrome like tabs and phishing filters. Vista which is un-compelling enough to ensure most people will be on XP until developers stop writing software for it. Need I go on? Microsoft isn't evil like many think. They just suck. Totally clueless.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406873)

Maybe the most interesting part of this, is that he probably "agreed" to a click-through license. Or maybe even got the download through a direct link, without the need of clicking un such a license?

How will the click-through license hold up in court?


Wouter.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406995)

If Microsoft's EULAs don't apply, he's on the hook for copyright infringement for shipping a product linked against their libraries and based on their SDKs... so attacking their licensing would probably not be helpful in this case.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (0, Flamebait)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406897)

He assumed that Jamie was hacking the low-end free version of Microsoft's products, when in fact Jamie used APIs published by Microsoft
He was hacking. He uses the a property of user controls to allow him to inject his code into VS to replace the Addin Manager MS removed.

Weber was rude
This has been going on for two years now. He has been asked nicely and has reneged on previous agreements. Now surprise surprise they are pissed with him.

Weber wouldn't state what part of which license Jamie had violated.
He has been informed it was the section about complying with the technical limitations of the application, a clause Jamie rather ironically has in his own licence.

Frankly he deserves what he gets. He ripped off some OS Java test tools and now he's trying to sell it as his own commercial product.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (3, Informative)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407237)

He was hacking. He uses the a property of user controls to allow him to inject his code into VS to replace the Addin Manager MS removed.

Um, OK. I guess I defer to you, as I'm not an MS developer. But Jamie maintains that he only used methods documented by Microsoft itself. So if he was hacking, it was MS-approved and MS-documented hacks that were used. I would tend to think that means it's not hacking, but is instead programming as proscribed by the company.

This has been going on for two years now. He has been asked nicely and has reneged on previous agreements. Now surprise surprise they are pissed with him.
OK, again, I guess I have to defer to you. You're stating your opinion, and you're free to have it. However, I can't share your opinion. I've read it all, and I feel that Weber was rude almost from the start. In addition, if Microsoft is frustrated that they asked nicely and didn't get the results they wanted, I feel they need to blame themselves. The only reason that I can see that it didn't work out as Microsoft wanted is because they wouldn't answer Jamie's questions. He wasn't going to cripple his product without some justification for it, and yet over and over again Microsoft ignored that request or answered in generalities. You can blame Jamie, if you want. But I'm going to say that Microsoft was handling members of the developer community very poorly there.

Weber wouldn't state what part of which license Jamie had violated.
He has been informed it was the section about complying with the technical limitations of the application.

Uh, yeah, a year after he asked! What was it, 5 days ago that they finally told him? That seems a bit tardy, so I'd not give Microsoft a break on that count.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406907)

I don't think Microsoft/Weber was particularly evil, but they were slightly rude and rather stupid.

No, this is evil. You don't treat people this way who are helping your business. If they needed to maintain their stupid EULA, they should have sent him a letter specifically exempting him from it in this circumstance.

-jcr

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (3, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407169)

No, this is evil. You don't treat people this way who are helping your business.

How does it compare to, say, people hacking OSX around to make it work on regular PCs ?

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406965)

You spent the hour reading through the email. From the emails it is clear something happened over one of the conference calls that made Jamie back down. Maybe they explained to him what he did wrong, but then he did not want to admit it publicly for fear of the legal implications. He conviniently becomes unresponsive. See this excerpt from Jamie's mail dated Jan 23rd 2006:
> The code you believe violates the Visual Studio SDK licence agreement
> is present in all versions of TestDriven.NET ...
> I'm planning to discuss the issues raised and find out how other
> add-in developers interface with the Visual
> Studio SDK. I have seen many blog entries that seem to encourage
> add-in developers to circumvent the PLK mechanism
Here he clearly knows he has bombed technically yet he fishes for parts of the EULA he has violated. Jason is not a legal eagle to comment and so he doesnt respond. It's not his job to. If you are planning on releasing a product commercially this is your own problem.

Though the whole story is pretty sad. It's pretty clear who is at fault.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407059)

Hmm. I just re-read the same emails. I still couldn't find a clear answer as to how he violated their terms. In fact, it is apparent from the emails that MS was very careful not to say anything actionable.

As for "reinstating the feature months later", the emails speak for themselves:

May 6, 2006 "...I have removed the Express SKU integration..."
May 13, 2006 "You obviously want me to remove [a registry key that allows testing the system on two different for-pay SKUs] so I have done so."
May 13, 2006 (Jason Weber, MS) "Later"
Feb 22, 2007 "last year...I said that I would need a statement that I could give to my users about why the Express SKU was no longer supported. I continue to get emails asking why TestDriven.NET no longer works with Express. Please can you confirm that the points above are why you believe I was in violation."
Feb 26, 2007 "Your delayed response leads me question whether you ever had reason to believe I was in violation of Microsoft's license terms. If this is not the case I request that you let me know immediately. Any further delay will lead me to re-enable Express SKU support without notice."
Apr 7, 2007 (Jason Weber, MS) "We just noticed that you re-enabled..."

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407151)

I still couldn't find a clear answer as to how he violated their terms.

It's in the new scans from the MS lawyers [asp.net] . They cite the clause that Jamie violated.

In fact, it is apparent from the emails that MS was very careful not to say anything actionable.

I agree mostly, and that's part of my problem with Microsoft. They were pushy but unwilling to cite the clause Jamie violated. However, as provided in the link about the scans from the MS lawyers, Microsoft has in the last few days finally said something actionable.

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (0, Redundant)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407087)

Now that lawyers are involved, it's pretty clear how Jamie violated their terms.

Here's the term he violated:
"You may not work around any technical limitations in the software"

Clearly, by using Microsoft's OWN APIs and their OWN calls, he's working around technical limitations in THEIR OWN software. The obvious way Microsoft should have handled this is to have the Express software ignore the calls in question, or build the software so it expressly forbids addons.

Instead, they were hoping people would follow the spirit of the feature sheet that says "Express does not support addons" and not realize they were just lazy all around and failed both in creating the software and the EULA.

If you actually bothered to read the correspondence like you claimed, you'd realize just how absurd this is, and that goes to the people that modded you informative as well...

Take the karma...why have it if I can't burn it now and again?...

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407357)

If you actually bothered to read the correspondence like you claimed, you'd realize just how absurd this is, and that goes to the people that modded you informative as well...

Huh? I did read the correspondence, and I do think it is absurd. Why do you have to be a jerk to everybody about it? Especially when you're clearly having trouble with reading comprehension?

Re:Just read up on all of it a few hours ago... (1)

deranged unix nut (20524) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407111)

Too many Microsoft full time employees have a pretty bad case of arrogance. There are a lot of nice folks too, but quite a few are jerks.

Microsoft is also still trying to figure out how to manage the growth that it has experienced and not only does the right hand not know what the left hand is doing, the index finger and the ring finger are barely aware that the thumb exists let alone knowing what it is doing.

In Microsoft's defense (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406771)

It appears that they supported him up until they copied his work. After that, he was still free to distribute it as long as they got paid.

This is just MHO. Anyone who hasn't read the emails definitely should both to form their own opinion and to learn how MS operates. (Paraphrased): "What should I tell my customers?" "Just lie to them."

Senseless MS-Bashing (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19406807)

This doesn't even make sense. Is the submitter claiming that since Microsoft gave this person an award, they should just automatically allow him to illegally breach his contract with them? The two are entirely unrelated...awarding an employee does not give them a free pass to break their contracts without repercussion.

Re:Senseless MS-Bashing (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406869)

your a moron and missing the point - they rewarded him for the very work they are now accusing him of breaking his contract to create. this is dispite that fact he only used publiched api's in the first place, so the fact he has broken any agreement is dubious.

Re:Senseless MS-Bashing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407009)

"your a moron and missing the point - they rewarded him for the very work they are now accusing him of breaking his contract to create. this is dispite that fact he only used publiched api's in the first place, so the fact he has broken any agreement is dubious."

that is a blatant misrepresentation, they awarded him for making the product for the licensed visual studio product, all good and proper. He then made the plug in work for the express free edition which is blatantly against MS's product licensing for Visual studio. These are 2 seperate issues. They are not saying his product is wrong or bad or illegal if used within the bounds of the licensing of those products, he is refusing to stay in those bounds.

Ironic, but MS is right (0, Troll)

murrdpirate (944127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406821)

It seems to me that the lawyer made it clear enough why it is illegal. He made it so you can access features that the terms of service clearly say cost money and is not allowed. Just because he used public code to do this doesn't make it OK. MS is asking this guy to stop costing them money by stealing their code and making it available to everyone in addition to making them waste money on lawyers. And they won't even sue if he just takes it down. Blind MS haters, as usual.

Re:Ironic, but MS is right (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406875)

"Blind MS haters, as usual."

Ok, troll, I'll bite. The whole copyright bit here is secondary. The totally outlandish thing here is they lauded the guy's efforts. Then they turn around and sue him.

Re:Ironic, but MS is right (2, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406963)

Could you quote the portions of the terms of service that the programmer violated? The only restriction I was aware of on express was that you weren't allowed to use it for commercial development. TestDriven.NET is free, not a commercially driven product.

Re:Ironic, but MS is right (2, Informative)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407221)

TestDriven.NET is free, not a commercially driven product.
You must have missed the purchase section on the site with prices up to $10,000 for 100 licence packs.

Re:Ironic, but MS is right (1)

bencvt (686040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406983)

He made it so you can access features that the terms of service clearly say cost money and is not allowed.

Wrong -- the TOS say nothing of the sort. That's really the source of this whole fiasco -- the TOS is not consistent with MS's business plan for Express. Instead of being able to point to a specific clause violation, MS has been forced to Be Evil.

Re:Ironic, but MS is right (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407011)

He used the free Express version to develop a plug-in for the free Express version. He didn't have access to "steal" anything beyond what Microsoft made freely available on their site and other public forums. Unfortunately for Microsoft the program he developed with the free version is a feature of only the highest version of the very expensive studio package... released by a kid for free!! OUCH!

One of my co workers was trying to get Microsoft licensing to explain how those wonderful bundled packages (those OEM with 5 cals everybody sells) that come with machine tools/hardware would work with our existing Microsoft license (it was standard versus enterprise and unlocked versus cals... and how does a machine with a server and SQL get licensed.. to the OEM or to the company? and who's rules control CALs) and the Microsoft guy would not actually point to a license line and say how it should work. He finally got the guy to email "something" solid as to the minimum licenses we needed to buy to use the software one of Microsoft's resellers sold us and stay legal. They're trained to point to the website.. but the EULA states the website can always change...so they won't actually quote it. great answer!!!

Microsoft is trying to rewrite the license to what they WANT it to say without actually posting that it needed to be changed. If you were to check the version right now, you'd surely find the hole closed. But Microsoft keeps no version control of back versions so you can state on date x I was allowed to do this... they only deal with one right now, in the vein of Orwell and rewriting "history" as needed for the lawyers. Microsoft doesn't like the program, but knows they don't have an actual case. They're arguing the rules, without actually showing the rules.. then arguing the only way he could write the software is to break the rules they won't tell him. They're trying to force him to prove a double negative and he didn't take the bait.

Re:Ironic, but MS is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407173)

Last time it was posted on Slashdot there was a blog where program manager for Visual Studio Express clearly explained that the problem is with the development license for Express. Developers are not allowed to extend the VS 2005 Express edition regardless of what software was used to develop the plug-in . People can only use VS 2005 Express as is and only Microsoft has a right to extend it. It is their product and they have rights to put that limitation. As a person who used VS 2005 Express I can understand why they put that limit. With few plug-ins you could turn Express into equivalent of VS 2005 Pro or maybe even Team Suite. After that MS can say bye bye to all the profits from the Development Tools division.

It's like Robert Mugabe... (0, Troll)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406855)

Knighted in 1994 for his outstanding services to the British empire, the president of Zimbabwe is now a villain... for failing to continue to act like a puppet; and acting against the 'ethos' of those who gave him the title.

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406893)

Sorry, wrong. Mugabe turned into a tinpot dictator, rigging elections, having his opponents beaten up, etc. He tries to look like an advocate of the common people, but in place of a realistic land redistribution program he has encouraged thugs to take over and destroy productive farms. Zimbabwe now has food shortages due entirely to Mugabe and his buddies. He really did go bad.

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406951)

Rather like Castro, although it's pretty clear that Castro was never any good in the first place.

-jcr

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407067)

Having been to both places, it seems obvious that you've been to neither.

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406989)

Sorry, wrong. Mugabe turned into a tinpot dictator, rigging elections, having his opponents beaten up, etc. He tries to look like an advocate of the common people, but in place of a realistic land redistribution program he has encouraged thugs to take over and destroy productive farms. Zimbabwe now has food shortages due entirely to Mugabe and his buddies. He really did go bad.

Most of these accusations can be made against several presidents / prime ministers of leading Western nations as well.

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407033)

Which current leaders of Western democracies have rigged elections, had their opponents beaten up, and caused massive starvation? Even the Bush/Gore fiasco wasn't election rigging in the usual sense. In any case, so what if they did? That doesn't make Mugabe any better.

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407045)

A key accusation which cannot be made against any Western leader that I know of is food shortages.

Say what you will, but in my opinion starving your own people just to further your political goals is a vast evil, much worse than anything these people you allude to have done.

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406899)

No, NOTHING like robert mugabe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mugabe [wikipedia.org] - do you consider homosexual hating, election rigging and bashing/murder of polical opponents as a good ethos do you?

Re:It's like Robert Mugabe... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406929)


is now a villain... for failing to continue to act like a puppet

Oh, is that what drove him to become a thug? Funny, I had assumed that he turned to violence because his kleptocracy was threatened.

-jcr

Mod me troll all you like (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407019)

But facts will be facts. Corruption and rigging is everywhere.... from Wolfowitz to where-you-know. Hardly any point picking on a particular leader.

It's the M$ way, or the highway (4, Interesting)

abes (82351) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406865)

As was pointed out, this is a dupe, though the original posting was a bit more balanced on its accounts. It included a link (http://blogs.msdn.com/danielfe/archive/2007/05/31 /visual-studio-express-and-testdriven-net.aspx) to the other side of the account. I really have no clue who is in the right here -- the M$ side claims that they asked him very nicely several times to not release his product for Visual Studios Express. I haven't read the policies regarding developing for Express, but I can understand that M$ wishes to keep a product differentiation. It seems to be a big problem internally at M$, as the sales people don't like giving the product away free, while the developers would like a free version to exist. So as a compromise, they release the Express version which has limitations. One of those limitations is that plug-ins can't run for it.

So even if he isn't breaking any policies, maybe he should play nice?

Personally I have a strong feeling that compilers in general should be free. I don't mean to get all Mac-Fanboi here (I come from a Linux background), but that's one thing Apple does very nicely. XCode is a very nice development suite that is entirely free (beer, of course).

The reasons for my belief? Well, when I was growing up I didn't have money to buy expensive (or any, for that matter) compilers. I had no choice but to steal a copy of BC++ 3.1 (and TP 6.0). It's true that the DJGPP compiler did exist, but using it and getting a decent editor at that age was difficult (and I had no interweb connection then). I'd probably still not know how to program if I hadn't stolen the compilers.

Which is to say, I think it's important for the ecosystem to have free compilers. It's good that M$ finally agrees with this. It's stupid that they want to put stupid restrictions on it. But given that, I guess it's their product, and they get to decide. And nowadays it's not like there aren't other systems/compilers out there. If M$ wants to ruin their ecosystem, then let them.

Re:It's the M$ way, or the highway (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406957)

The C#.NET compiler was free when VS2003 was released.

It's the IDE that is not free.

internets (4, Insightful)

wasabii (693236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406871)

Welp, somebody go grab a copy of his code and mirror it forever on the internets. That'll put an end to that.

Sent this off a few days ago... (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19406877)

To one of the MSFT managers who's threatening this developer:


Subject: TestDriven.net

Jason,

Regarding your issues with the developer of the unit-testing framework which your product sorely lacks, I would suggest that you run this up the chain to the monkey-boy himself, *immediately*, and see to it that your lawyers send him an apology by the end of business on Monday.

Charging for development tools is a bloody stupid idea in the first place. That's a lesson that Apple learned from you, ironically. When did MSFT forget it? Hassling someone whose product fills a gaping hole in your own offering is not merely stupid, it's arguably a breach of your fiduciary duty to your shareholders.

But hey, you don't have to take my advice. I'm just someone who spent three and a half years working in Apple Worldwide Developer Relations, and is currently the head of engineering for exactly the kind of start-up that's been leaving Microsoft and going to Apple in droves over the last five years.

Oh, and let me add that as an AAPL shareholder, I really hope you *don't* take my advice. Every developer you piss off helps to push up the value of my portfolio.


There has of course, been no reply.

-jcr

Re:Sent this off a few days ago... (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407073)

I think he's just sticking to his most-deeply-held beliefs...

Before joining Visual Studio I spent 5 years as a lead in Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit. In the MacBU I worked on almost every Macintosh application that comes from Microsoft and helped drive the migration to Mac OS X and the Aqua User Interface. The Macintosh will always be close to my heart [snip]


Clearly (despite his later profession of undying love for .net), he's a Mac-fan at heart. This is just his way of getting more MS developers over to the Mac [grin]. After all, Steve said "Developers, Developers, [you know the rest]"

Any Mac fan ought to be happy that someone is so dedicated to Apple's success, he'll happily screw up his own employer's relations with the 'Developer, Developer, Developer'. Now *that* is brand-loyalty!

Simon.

Re:Sent this off a few days ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407079)

Interestingly, Jason Weber is an Apple developer, too. His website:
http://www.jasonweber.com/JasonWeber/Software/Main /Default.aspx [jasonweber.com]

Microsoft's own Pandora's Box... (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407007)

MVS Express. Once the code is out, do what any monopolist does.

Bully your way to where you want to be. Screw the developers, hobbyists and users.

The mountain of money must be manipulated, massaged and manicured into a megalith worthy of B.G.

Exactly why I love linux (5, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407021)

No one tells me what I can and cannot code on my Linux machine and or software. I have always said
programming on a windows box is like programming with one hand tied behind your back. Nothing but artificial barriers to getting things done. I sure don't miss the days when I had to program on windows.

Re:Exactly why I love linux (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407137)

I think there's a good point to this. While I'll admit MS's IDEs have always been pretty damn good, by using open source products, I may have a bit of a learning curve, but at least I'm not bound by the lunatic EULAs that companies like Microsoft love to shove on the developers.

No (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407175)

We don't need Linux. We need OLPC (One Lawyer Per Coder). :)

the APIs (2, Informative)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407055)

If these ( publically documented ) APIs exist in the express products, then isnt tacit permission being given for other developers to use them in products that implement the API? Its like having a door on a building, then saying "you cant go through this" in a eula. If you dont want people to use it, dont implement it in the first place.

Re:the APIs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407235)

I lost in court when I sued someone for trespassing upon my land. They argued that the 12pt text saying "Trespassers will be prosecuted." wasn't adequate warning. They said that the open gate and 10ft tall signs reading "Free Beer", "Free Land", "Free Porn", "Free Bed", "Free Breakfast", "Come on in", "Make yourself at home" and "What's mine is yours" were confusing and contrary to my case.

If only I was worth $10bn, maybe I would have had a chance.

Link to hot fix... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19407097)

simple solution (2, Interesting)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407125)

Simple solution: abandon the product. Drop support not just for the Expression Edition, but for all editions of Visual Studio. Develop something equivalently cool and useful for Eclipse, where there are no worries of this happening.

Alternately, remove all the features that Microsoft has requested to be removed. Then add as many features as you can legally add. Then change the license so that your plugin can be used with Express Edition but so that it is a violation of your product's license to use the code with the non-free versions of VS.

M$ full of $h!t (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407223)

This is like Microsoft huffing and puffing about its 240 Linux patents. They're full of shit here too, not being able to point out where the guy violated the license agreement, or how he used secret, non-publicly available information. They're like the RIAA. They don't have a case, and don't know when to shut up!

Developers developers developers developers dev... (5, Insightful)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407241)

One of Microsoft's greatest strengths, competitively, has been strong support for third party developers. They would do well to remember that that is a strategic advantage, and should not be squandered lightly.

It's pretty silly to have a free, "watered down" IDE/compiler for their product, and a paid-for Pro version in the first place. They only benefit by making world class development free for everyone. The money that they make on IDE licenses must be pretty marginal to the amount of Windows licenses they sell through strong third-party dev support.

It's even worse to have a pissing match with someone that made one of their products better, and was recognized by Microsoft for doing so.

I hope student developers everywhere take note.

The guy is violating the license (4, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407243)

I just read through all those emails, I have a real hard time feeling sorry for this guy. MS went way out of their way to try to work things out with him. Multiple conference calls, a jillion pages of emails, etc. In the end its pretty simple, he was enabling access to a feature that isnt available in the free version. Hes trying to confuse the issue by claiming that the API is public, which it is for the pay version. Its pretty obvious that he is violating the license. You can harp about how all software should be free and the pay features should be available in the free version I guess. If you want that you should not use MS's products. You should respect the license you agree to, whether it be the GPL or one of MS's EULAs.

I kind of feel bad for this MS manager, he really went out of his way to be nice to this guy who was clearly violating the license. Now people on slashdot are going to say all kinds of nasty stuff about him without actually looking closely at the issue and seeing that he was pretty clearly in the right.

Source (1)

franksands (938435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407269)

IANAL, but I just read the whole EULA that comes with VS Express and it said nothing like "you are not allowed to develop add-ins or extensions to this software". The closest part is something about "not taking advantadge of the software technical limitations". Does anyone has a reference of where it is written that you cannot develop add-ins for the Express?

Chilling effect (4, Insightful)

Louis Guerin (728805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407279)

In essence, MS is taking the position that developers can use their APIs however they like - unless MS objects, at which point they get to withdraw the offending code without compensation, unless you count not being sued as compensartion.

Given that this could in principle happen to anyone extending MS software, this ought to be a chilling effect on use of MS APIs without a $10,000 annual partnership license. That sets a pretty high bar to participation. Let's say MS developers fall into four categories:

a. Smart and a partner. These will continue to contribute. They always did. (If you accept that they're not an oxymoron.)

b. Smart and not a partner. These will stop contributing because of the legal risk.

c. Dumb and a partner. These will continue contributing, but their contributions will be worthless.

d. Dumb and not a partner. These poor saps will continue contributing, because they're too stupid to realise they're in the gun.

All I can say is that if you screw with the bull, you get the horns. This developer would have had no problems if he'd been working in free software. That's the real lesson.

L

Notes from an MS apologist (5, Insightful)

hkb (777908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407291)

1. Weber just seriously damaged Microsoft's relationship with the community.
2. Weber was way, way out of line.
3. Weber should be dismissed.
4. This incident has made me doublethink our decision of going to ASP.NET for in-house app development.
5. Yet another reason not to get locked into proprietary software.

Sheesh.. that dev pushes the friggin' envelope..! (4, Interesting)

sudog (101964) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407299)

He waffles back and forth, first cooperating, then not, then cooperating, then not. The Microsoft guy has the patience of the Buddha..! By the end of it, the dev is actually threatening to re-enable the Express support if Microsoft doesn't keep corresponding with him.

Whew.

Yes, I've read the entire exchange. And honestly it looks a lot like the dev is being a dick about it.

Valid Licence (4, Interesting)

HRogge (973545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407369)

Would be interesting if this restriction of the licence is valid in Europe (or in England especially).
In Germany we have something called "Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen" which limit the stuff a company can write into it's licences, maybe England has something similar.

Microsoft ad (3, Funny)

architimmy (727047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407379)

What's better is that when I viewed this story the ad was for Microsoft Visual Studio. Irony makes itself.

Here is how you really poke them with a stick (4, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19407387)

Wait a few more weeks till the GPL3 is released then open source it and relicense under it. If MS was not mad before that ought to do it.
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