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Open.NET — .NET Libraries Go "Open Source"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the close-but-no-cigar dept.

310

An anonymous reader writes "whurley just posted a blog about Microsoft's announcement To Make .NET Libraries available under a crippled 'Open Source' program using their new Microsoft Reference License. The post includes the official pr doc from Microsoft as well as several points about how this really isn't open source. One example: If a developer finds a bug in the code, rather than fixing it themselves and submitting a patch to the community they'll be encouraged to submit feedback via the product feedback center."

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310 comments

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840453)

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840567)

Goatse.ch? Wow. You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel for domain names now.

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841299)

Goatse.ch? Wow. You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel for domain names now.
Now you want people to submit something like this? [tinyurl.com]

Could be worse (4, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840467)

they'll be encouraged to submit feedback via the product feedback center

In some ways I'd rather see these things organized "under one roof". As long as the product feedback center is responsive I don't think this is going to be a big deal for most.

Could Be Better (-1, Flamebait)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840535)

Anyone and everyone who's worked with .Net knows that it has all kinds of issues and that Microsoft has never seriously considered fixing them. What makes you think they'll start now? They're just looking for another free hand out. It's the same they do when they make all Windows users be beta testers for their crappy operating systems.

2 cents,

QueenB.

Re:Could Be Better (1, Troll)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840687)

Bullshit. Complete and utter FUD sucking bullshit.

MS is very responsive wrt .NET issues. Obviously you aren't a .NET developer, or have dabbled a bit but are carrying around a very heavy bias for some reason.
All kinds of issues? Kinda over-loaded statement there as well don't you think?

I'm not even going to bother because, especially at the current dollar value, your 2 cents ain't worth jack.

You want to actually have a conversation other than digging for free mod points for just bashing MS aimlessly, they feel free to try again. Don't worry, I'll take the inevitable hit for speaking up ;)

Re:Could Be Better (1)

GoatEnigma (586728) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840711)

What issues are you talking about exactly? I've worked with .Net for six years and am unaware of "all kinds of issues". Got any references? I can't think of a single blocking issue I've ever come up against.

Please post your sources for why .Net has so many issues that make it look like MS is looking for handouts.

Re:Could Be Better (3, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841005)

The biggest issues I have seen with the transition to .net are in the richtextbox, the printing model and the IDE itself.

Try adding an RTF box onto a form and messing with a selection (for instance setting it to bold), the old method would allow the other font attributes to remain, now you change the font styling for the entire selection: bold italic font size etc.
Without calling back to the COM interop or recursing each character on a hidden control you are screwed.

Printing is geared towards the developer being given a piece of paper to print on and informing .net you need more, there is no flow control and you have to manage your code backwards (try a deeply nested set of for loops with conditions and pagination) which would be simple in procedural code is a nightmare here.

It is too easy for the IDE to trip itself up and get in your way, from freezing for minutes on end to just getting things wrong (errors when reopening a form you know the code is valid for).

The actual core language is wonderful, but there are lots still wrong with the interface and libraries.

Re:Could Be Better (1, Informative)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841545)

Your two specific issues are well known things that changed for traditional VB developers.

Good or bad, things are different for developers in .Net. Just because some think that making things work differently than previously doesn't mean they are broken.

VB.Net is not VB6, despite how much work MS put into making it look the same.

Re:Could Be Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841029)

Windows.Forms has a lot of issues which are mainly design flaws and limitations. Some of them can be worked around by creating your own controls or buying 3rd party controls (if you can find ones that don't completely suck), but they exist nonetheless. If you are not aware of this, then you either don't use .Net for GUI, or are doing very simple GUI's.

The C# language itself has a number of design flaws, but I guess those are mostly a matter of opinion. Some were fixed in 2.0, many weren't. Some are just too ingrained in the design of the language that it would be very difficult to fix without breaking everything.

Re:Could Be Better (1)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840717)

I'd have to agree. For example, one of the constant Charlie Foxtrots never really fixed has been the whole url encoding/decoding nightmare:

http://blogs.msdn.com/yangxind/archive/2006/11/09/don-t-use-net-system-uri-unescapedatastring-in-url-decoding.aspx [msdn.com]

Add to it the multiple different ways to encode/decode text using different classes and writers, and the brainscrew is complete. Things that could be made a whole lot better, but never were.

Don't even get me started on the 256 character limit on the path info/arg part of urls in ASP.NET.

With that said, I don't hate .NET. But 'open' this is not. Open is about people finding problems like above and rolling in better solutions.

Re:Could be worse (3, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840543)

Maybe I'm biased - ok, definitely I'm biased - but this just doesnt feel like "open source" to me so much as "beta-testing with a peek at the code" or, to be blunt, "do our debugging for us."

Re:Could be worse (3, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840627)

So what? If they want you to do the debugging for them via this method then it is up to us, the users, to satisfy that. If you do not want a part of it then do not participate. It is as simple as that. If there are people out there that are willing to look and submit bugs then the program is a success to Microsoft and that is all that matters here, how it helps Microsoft. Remember though, that is not a bad thing, it is just business.

Re:Could be worse (1, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840767)

Fair enough, but Microsoft is trying to get street cred through a disingenuous use of the term "open source". I think that's what most people here would have a problem with. I've never coded using .NET and probably never will, so it's irrelevant to me, however, I do have a problem with Microsoft's cynical use of open source terminology in order to attempt to mitigate their image and soulless, greedy bastards.

For the record, this being a capitalist society, "greedy bastards" is fine by me, it's the "soulless" part I don't like.

Re:Could be worse (5, Interesting)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840947)

Fair enough, but Microsoft is trying to get street cred through a disingenuous use of the term "open source".

Except if you'd read TFA you'd see MS never even mentions the term "open source" or anything like it. They are very clear on what is and isn't offered and it being open source is certainly not one of thier cliams. That term come from a blog.

Re:Could be worse (2)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841091)

Since they have been spreading FUD about Open Source for years I highly doubt that they will use the term any time soon. Even if they warmed up to it them self.

Re:Could be worse (5, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840673)

Yes, you are right. This does not feel like "open source". You know why? Because it is not open source. Nowhere in their announcement do Microsoft claim it is open source. They even explicitly mention that it is not open source.

Re:Could be worse (2, Funny)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841885)

If you can see the code, its open source.

It's not FOSS. It's not OSI. Its not free as in beer or freedom. But it is open source.

Same old.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841133)

Maybe I'm biased - ok, definitely I'm biased - but this just doesnt feel like "open source" to me so much as "beta-testing with a peek at the code" or, to be blunt, "do our debugging for us."

Has it ever been any different with Microsoft?

The worst part is as soon as it gets near usable, like XP they announce it is going away.

-------

Posted anon to avoid MS downmods

Re:Could be worse (2, Insightful)

asd-Strom (792539) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841149)

Yeah real open source is like "beta-testing with full control of the code" or, to be blunt, "do our debugging for us and also fix the code".

Re:Could be worse (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841215)

Maybe I'm biased - ok, definitely I'm biased - but this just doesnt feel like "open source" to me so much as "beta-testing with a peek at the code" or, to be blunt, "do our debugging for us."

Yup, open source is "do our coding for us". I'm talking about when a corporation opens their source and wait for the community to do their work for them (Mozilla, Sun etc.).

Microsoft isn't worse, at least they explicitly state in their license what is this about.

Re:Could be worse (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841721)

Um, how is it "beta testing with a peak at the code" if they aren't going to release the source until AFTER the RTM?

Personally this is great; if you do happen to find a bug you can report it to MS exactly where the bug occurs, and they can take over from there ensuring that any fix doesn't blow up other code.

Re:Could be worse (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840579)

In some ways I'd rather see these things organized "under one roof". As long as the product feedback center is responsive I don't think this is going to be a big deal for most.
As long as when the product feedback center becomes unresponsive you can go take the code, give the software a new name and organize the software project under a new roof, then it is open source. If not then it is just "open source" marketing.

Re:Could be worse (0, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840599)

Oh come on. The whole thing is a PR stunt, just like having their little whores show up on /. every once in a while to explain to use how Redmond really does love us. Microsoft would just as soon destroy open source software as adopt it, and anyone who thinks any different is being played for a sucker. They are indeed the enemy of innovation and freedom in the computer world, and they and their little ploys to look "respectable" should be stacked up against their patent threat and the OOXML debacle where they went out of their way to try to undermine an international standards body.

Microsoft is a bad bad bunch of bastards.

Re:Could be worse (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840629)

As long as the product feedback center is responsive I don't think this is going to be a big deal for most.
I take it you've never dealt with Microsoft's Product Feedback Center.

Here's the deal: most real free/open source developers give public access to their project's source code repositories. Microsoft will release source code for 'Open' .Net on a schedule that suits them for strategic or monetary purposes. Maybe you'll get monthly updates. Most likely, you'll get quarterly updates. Maybe not even that many updates.

Microsoft also times code releases to ensure that their developers get first access, and you, as an 'ISV' have to wait until their projects are much further along than yours. Especially if you are building competing technology.

Microsoft doesn't do anything that isn't purely for their own self interest.

Re:Could be worse (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840661)

Not to mention, it's impossible to put a codefix in a text based feedback. I mean, it's not like computer software is initially written in text...

is it? ./sarcasm --off

Obviously you are Mr. Experience! (1)

kjkeefe (581605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841077)

Obviously, you've never written a patch in your life... Submitting a bugfix via a text webform is akin to performing surgery by talking someone through it over a phone.

Re:Obviously you are Mr. Experience! (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841589)

obviously you are good at making incorrect assumptions.

Oh, and copy+paste works just as well on a web form as it works on a email client. Try it some time.

Re:Could be worse (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840913)

giving a "won't fix" answer to a bug is still considered 'responsive' in some circles.
Would this be an acceptable response if you have a problem?

Re:Could be worse (3, Insightful)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841853)

I couldn't agree more. I also agree with MS on this. You don't want people screwing around with custom builds of the framework. Then something stops working and you end up being a flamebait for the mass media. I suspect must have seen the 20 min, or 3 page articles in newspaper/TV. In this case it would be like:

Blah, blah, .Net causes crashes, crashes caused airline reservation system to fail, medical devices weren't working ... etc. Somewhere near the bottom, users were using Uberfast .Net 3.0 an opensource distrobution of the .Net Framework. MS refused to comment.
The end result would be that MS gets blamed for bugs that aren't theirs. Their is plenty of flamebait from MS already, it is good to see they are trying to be helpful without risking themselves to more. What is going to be hard, is being able to propose a fix, if you see a bug. If they won't let you compile it, how do you know your fix would work?

More Blog Advertisement. (0, Offtopic)

casings (257363) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840525)

Ahh yes, another blog advertisement from "whurley", the man who assumes everyone knows his name, when no one actually does.

Any bets on who the AC that posted the story was?

Wow, this is pretty good news. (0)

Gauthic (964948) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840527)

At least part of the company is *trying*. Good job, .NET Execs :)

Re:Wow, this is pretty good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840587)

This really isn't any different than submitting feedback from Windows. So what if you can view the source if you can't do anything with it?

Re:Wow, this is pretty good news. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841401)

Being able to see the source means that you can take the present tool kit and work around any bugs in a deliberate manner. Whereas without the ability to see the code you have to hope that the bug is what you think it is.

That definitely isn't as good as being able to just fix the bug, but it is a definite improvement over having to guess what the fix is going to be for a buggy library.

Additionally, it gives developers a good idea as to what the included libraries are actually doing so as to know how much faith to put in the library. Hypothetically, one should be able to trust a library to do what it says, but in practice, I'm not so that it is always the case.

Re:Wow, this is pretty good news. (3, Interesting)

blincoln (592401) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841857)

Being able to see the source means that you can take the present tool kit and work around any bugs in a deliberate manner. Whereas without the ability to see the code you have to hope that the bug is what you think it is.

I would go one step further and say that it also lets you understand the behaviour of the framework where the documentation is inadequate or missing. I can see this being very useful, especially for those of us who like to fool about with less-commonly-used parts of .NET.
I also think that in the larger view, this is a great indication of shifting mentalities at Microsoft. I was pretty surprised to read "The security of the .NET Framework does not depend on the obscurity of the .NET Framework source code" in one of their press releases.

More objective summaries (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840571)

Seriously, most of us capable of seeing the negatives don't need help from the poster to see them. All those who don't see these licenses as not completely open source aren't going to have their minds changed by mini rants.

Unemployable? (3, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840575)

Then there's the fascinating question of future employment prospects once you've seen the "crown jewels." A key part of copyright law is whether you've had the opportunity to copy the material rather than recreate it (clean room.) Keeping your developers "uncontaminated" can be a tricky business.

Being exposed raises some serious issues regarding the future employability of the "exposed" developers.

Viral license (1)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840811)

Open source opponents complain that the GPL is viral. I think Microsoft's "open source" license is also viral.

Download a copy. Look at the source code. Now your brain is infected with the Microsoft "Intellectual Property" virus. If you ever work on Mono, could the fact that you have looked at Microsoft's source become some basis for a lawsuit?

Re:Viral license (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841031)

That's right, it's a trap. Someone might think they're developing something anybody can use and modify, etc. Only to find out all that valuable work has been locked up in Microsoft's IP portfolio, and nobody will be able to use it, except of course Microsoft.

Re:Unemployable? (2, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841477)

There is nothing of the sort.

Your argument is like saying "If you've ever read a book you can never write another book on a related subject as your insights would be contaminated by the earlier reads or through outright copies."

"Nyeh, it.s not an original movie/song... they could have copied from this previous work that was similar. They shouldn't have made their own."

The issue of copying of code or misappropriating of IP is as old as both have been around... and is generally only relevant in very specific cases such as non-compete agreements and when a person has an extraordinary in-depth understanding of said IP, code or business practices.

Re:Unemployable? (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841493)

It wont affect your employability unless you actually mention the fact that you've seen MS code.

Re:Unemployable? (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841547)

So... former Microsoft coders are unemployable because they've not only read, but also written such code?

Re:Unemployable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841541)

Anybody who's ever worked on an open source project has had the opportunity to copy its material. Are they all unemployable?

Re:Unemployable? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841779)

You know it's funny how you Open Source people constantly wave this red flag about lawsuits and contamination when the reality is Microsoft has never sued any individual over these issue. The corporations they have sued have always been after long tedious attempts at out of the court resolutions.

.NET is already open (5, Informative)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840583)

You can already see all the source of the .NET framework using Lutz Roeder's Reflection tool. I use this all the time to see how the innards of functions work when something goes screwy with .NET.

If you're interested you can check out the free tool here: http://www.aisto.com/roeder/dotnet/ [aisto.com]

encouraged (4, Funny)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840591)

they'll be
encouraged to submit feedback via the product feedback center

I do not think that word means what you think it means

This indeed is great news! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840597)

No mater what you GPL nazis say, this IS open source and it also is great news.

Thanks, open source spin doctors (5, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840619)

Nowhere in Microsoft's announcement do they in any way claim that they are releasing anything as open source. But hey, don't let that stop you from attacking Microsoft for not doing something they never claimed to do nor have any obligation to do.

What's the difference again? (2, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840665)

...this really isn't open source. One example: If a developer finds a bug in the code, rather than fixing it themselves and submitting a patch to the community they'll be encouraged to submit feedback via the product feedback center."


This doesn't seem that odd to me. Anyone else know of a major open source project where your patch of the day is guaranteed to end up in main line code?

Umm, what? (1)

kjkeefe (581605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840891)

Is your patch "guaranteed to end up in main line code"? No, of course not. Is it likely to if your patch fixes a bug and works well with the rest of the system. Hell yes!

This "feedback" system is a joke and an insult to competent developers...

Re:What's the difference again? (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841615)

The difference is that, while a major open source project might not accept your "patch of the day", you could fork the project into one that *does* include your patch.

Of course, for major project, forking is usually "in theory" thing rather than a practical thing.

IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (3, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840675)

If you see the code and then create something remotely like it, MS will sue your ass off.
This way, the more people who see the code will become "Tainted" for clean-room rewrites of parts of .Net

Brilliant!

(This is the "Embrasse" portion of the plan to kill of Mono.)

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840853)

Also interesting is section 3(B):

(B) If you begin patent litigation against the Licensor over patents that you think may apply to the software (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit), your license to the software ends automatically.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840943)

Why would they even want to kill Mono? The deal with Novell, and the open support of Moonlight tells me they want the opposite.

Mono just increases .Net mindshare, and the worst that could happen is Microsoft gets itself a little deeper into the *nix world.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840973)

Because they can increase the mindshare, then kill it off if enough people start writing .NET apps on other platforms. Then those people are forced to go to Microsoft platforms.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840979)

Agree completely, it's a complete trap.
If .net is such a good idea, then the product they forked it from is a valid idea also, i.e. Java. .NET proves that Java is a success to MS and they wanted to copy that success. Their plan since then is to wreck Java and now wreck Mono because that leads to Linux even though they liked the fact it distracted attention away from Java.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841119)

.NET was never a fork of Java. Java itself has been largely irrelevant to the Windows world for about a decade: ever since Sun decided that MS's version was making the performance on other platforms look bad and decided to kill it by suing MS.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841511)

I though it was because MS did not implement features available in Sun's version

It's existence (MS-JAVA) was holding back the progress of the whole Java language Developers couldn't use updated functionality and PHBs had warm-n-fussy feeling about MS-JAVA and didn't want to upgrade to Sun's Java.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841571)

> ...ever since Sun decided that MS's version was making the performance on other platforms look bad and decided to kill it by suing MS...

What ground there was for suing if MS version were compliant to java specs and just faster? None, I guess.

Could it be Sun thwarted an attempt to embrace and extend, instead?

If MS just made a faster VM Sun might have even been happy. Let users on the measly PC have fun while they think about big biz on big boxii.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841693)

But C# is exactly the same as Java and ... wait for it ... runs in a VM. That validates the JVM idea and Java.
C# is just an MS copy so that they can control & extinguish the rivals.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840993)

The only way you can get into more trouble with reading MS's code than you would otherwise is if you duplicate actual lines of code thus violating their copyright. If you violate their patents, they could sue you anyway and reading their code wouldn't be relvant to the case.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841651)

This is simply wrong. Why? Because "duplication" isn't the legal test to see whether intellectual property has been misappropriated. When code is copied, it's often changed and tweaked substantially, so in court the original author will still claim misappropriation. A lot of code out there tends to look similar, so it will be difficult to show you DIDN'T use Microsoft code.

In short, Microsoft in one fell swoop has eliminated a huge chunk of .NET developers from ever contributing to Mono, pretty much.

Re:IT a Trap! (Step 1 to kill Mono) (1)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841849)

This is when Mono main developers should move to Europe, and stay protected from Microsoft.

Then just copy/paste/rewrite at free will, and be protected by the EU. They have already told Microsoft to open up their libraries, so I don't think they will let Mono be shut down.

I'm not following... (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840681)

The Microsoft announcement says specifically and repeatedly that this is not "open source" and explains why they chose not to use such a license. They seem to understand the term a lot better than "whurley" does.

Re:I'm not following... (1)

CoffeeIsMyGod (1136809) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840751)

I noticed that as well. They hem and haw but never say it is open source. When they put the kid in the straight jacket they forgot the gag!

Re:I'm not following... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840895)

They hem and haw but never say it is open source.

They don't hem and haw at all. The announcement explains very clearly, although apparently not clearly enough for "whurley", the submitter and the editor, that this is not open source and why they chose not to make it open source.

Re:I'm not following... (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840893)

I'm glad that MS is not allowing anybody to add libraries and functionality (including bug fixes) to .NET. I don't want .NET to become a bloated pile of libraries like other open source languages have become. When I hire a programmer he doesn't have to figure out all of the cute little ways my company happens to prefer code be written. There are only a limited-but-powerful number of ways of getting the same job done. And that makes code much more readable and maintainable in the near term and long term.

All Java joking aside, MS has done a great job with the architecture of .NET so far. I think they should maintain control for at least a while longer.

It's a start. (1)

Laoping (398603) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840697)

Hopefully this is just the first step. C# .Net is a good programming language, if it had been developed by anyone but Microsoft slashdotters would love it. And Microsoft did not even have to open it up this much. I know the license sucks now, but give it time. As Confucius says "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Let's hope this is just the first step to a full open source .Net.

Re:It's a start. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840831)

People don't like it because it is Java, kidnapped and re-clothed with a different suit. They don't like it for the same reasons they don't like Java, that MS did is only secondary aspect.

Re:It's a start. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841095)

C# may be a kidnapped and re-clothed version of Java, but it's a kidnapped and re-clothed in very nice clothes version of Java.

If it weren't for the semi-platform dependence of it, I would use it more often. It has a lot of nice syntactic sugar over Java, like delegates and so on, that make a lot of things much nicer, cleaner, and easier to program. For small, very short term and personal use programs, I've used it a couple times. But I think I'll stick with C++ for now.

Need new terminology (5, Funny)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840713)

We need to come up with a term for Open Source stuff that isn't quite open, just so we can avoid the confusion and dillution of the original term.

A few suggestions:
  • Slightly Ajar Source
  • Semi-Closed Source
  • Partially Unshut Source
  • Marginally Unobstructed Source
  • Mostly Dehiscent Source


Okay, yes, I was just pulling words out of the thesaurus at the end there....

Re:Need new terminology (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20840883)

How about "Stripper Source"

You can look, but you can't touch!

Re:Need new terminology (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841137)

How 'bout... "shared source"?

Oh hey, that's what they're actually calling it. What a coincidence.

Wise move by MS (2, Insightful)

MtlDty (711230) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840743)

When .NET was announced as a platform independent language, I always struggled to imagine Microsoft developing the framework on anything other than Windows. Can you imagine Microsoft developing class libraries for Linux, or Apple Macs? Surely the world would end.

So this move is a fairly wise one by MS. There's now a chance that the .NET framework will be developed for other platforms. And once that happens MS can help nuture a happy little band of developers, all sucking up MSDN licenced tools.

Re:Wise move by MS (2, Informative)

thedarkstorm (468783) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840961)

There is already 2 variations of the .net sdk & libraries on multiple platforms.
1. There is the Mono framework which can host .net apps on things from Windows to the OS/390
2. There is the Silverlight framework which can host Silverlight apps on MacOS and soon to be Linux.

Re:Wise move by MS (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841757)

There's now a chance that the .NET framework will be developed for other platforms.

There's already Mono [mono-project.com], of course, but from the article:

The Microsoft Reference License allows viewing of source code for reference purposes, but does not allow editing, copying, or rebuilding.

The practical utility of this code for F/OSS efforts is, at best, zero.

So fucking what? (5, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840753)

So they encourage you to report things to them rather than distributing a patch yourself. So what? Trolltech does this, MySQL does this, Sun does this, Mozilla does this; in fact virtually every significantly-sized open source project encourages you to fix problems through their own channels rather than throwing a patch around yourself. It's just good sense.

Re:So fucking what? (1)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840971)

The catch is, with fully open-sourced projects, you can distribute the patch freely and anyone who wants to use your version is free to do so. The only reason you submit your patch is to get it into the main line code.

The Microsoft license does not permit you to distribute your patch.

Re:So fucking what? (1)

BokLM (550487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841099)

The question is not what they encourage you to do. The question is what they ALLOW you to do. Even if some open source projects encourage you to report things to them (and it's usually better if you have a patch), they do allow you to distribute the patch or a fixed version yourself. I'm not sure it is the same here.

Re:So fucking what? (2, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841387)

Reading it, I'm pretty sure developers are not permitted to distribute the patch. This is really not "open source": this is "viewing source." Microsoft is providing view only, and only downloading the source as you step through it.

Now, like I said, this isn't really open source in any true sense of the word. But being able to step into your framework's code to see what's really going wrong isn't anything to sneeze at, either. Being able to read the code to determine exactly what triggers a bug is quite useful, since sometimes it can lead you to a workaround.

Delphi (up to version 5 at least, I haven't used it seriously since) provided this with most of their editions, and it was very useful. Especially for some of the buggier releases.

Just like Borland RTL/VCL (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840789)

Borland do this and it's a real boon when working with a framework/library to be able to see the source and debug it. It's an obvious move that will make .NET and VS more attractive.

Remember IBM? (4, Insightful)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840949)

Rememeber IBM? They used to be the gigantic Evil Empire everyone thought would either become the overlords of humanity, or implode gloriously in a blazing fireball of liberation.

Instead they became just another business, later honorably defending (their contributions to) the Linux source code against the wretched SCO. Their interests have become more aligned with that of their customers.

I think Microsoft has less wiggle-room to remain viable than IBM did when they lost total domination over their market (because MS's business is mainly about using restrictive copyright licensing to make sure they're the only ones controlling the software on PCs, which quite different from what IBM's business is) but something similar is happening, however slowly and painfully.

Microsoft knows, to some degree, that in order to remain relevant it must give people access to the guts of its software. The software market has become far too complex for the ancient ways of floppies-in-a-box style business to work. However, as their Open.NET idea shows, they're still trying to keep as much control as possible, for as long as possible...

Just like MFC (5, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840963)

The original 1991 team that developed the Microsoft Foundation Classes 1.0 (to go with the first Microsoft C++ compiler, and even before the first C++ Visual Studio) was planning to go completely "closed source." It makes sense from a library point of view to close access to the implementation, and only offer the interfaces in header files. However, I was one of the folks on that team that felt that since this was the first "thin" wrapper on the C Win32 API, it was more important to show just how thin that wrapper was, and to offer visibility into the MFC implementation. It wasn't "open source" but it was "source provided as documentation." You could still build MFC on Borland's Win32-ready compiler, in fact. Since I myself was fairly experienced with Win32 but not with C++ (as was the target market), I felt this was a reasonable compromise.

Before you throw eggs at me, let me point out that I then left that group before they invented CDocument and all the ugly MFC hell that has become associated with bloat. Before CDocument, it was essentially a reasonable alternative to STL with some HWND wrappers. Afterwards, the command-routing and OLE-managing framework turned almost any MFC app into a real rats' nest of unmaintainable spaghetti. I still wrote apps in MFC, but I have less and less stomach for it, in the rare instances I must develop Win32 at all.

Is there not some truth in advertising law (0, Redundant)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841061)

that can be applied when MS claims 'open source' on products that do NOT have open source? IANAL but it seems a fair assessment of the facts to counter that this is NOT open source, and therefore the advertising and promotional material is misleading, and in fact, in violation of such laws?

Re:Is there not some truth in advertising law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841217)

Can you point to where MS claims 'open source' on their products?

Re:Is there not some truth in advertising law (2, Insightful)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841227)

Applying this 'truth in advertising law' to misleading Slashdot headlines would be the first step....

Microsoft never claimed 'open source' (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841359)

Microsoft never claimed 'open source'. Slashdot spun it that way in order to bash Microsoft yet again.

Slashdot spin at its finest (5, Informative)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841481)

I was wondering how slashdot would report this story. I knew that they would give it negative spin because it's not open source, but I didn't think they would actually try to suggest that Microsoft claimed that this was open source and then bash them for not meeting that claim.

Microsoft fully acknowledges that this code is to be released under MSRL, "Microsoft Reference Licenese", which Microsoft does not claim to be an open source license (it is not one of the Ms licenses that were submitted to OSI).

But the code is still valuable as it eases debugging. This similar to Microsoft's providing the source code to ATL, MFC, and their CRT. Much of this code was already available under Rotor2, but now we get lots more code, including WinForms and WPF, and more will be rleased in the future.

And it's not just code, but Microsoft including integrated debugging of .NET libs into VS 2008, including downloading the appropriate source from Microsoft's site on demand. There are other goodies as well.

See here for detaitls:
http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/10/03/releasing-the-source-code-for-the-net-framework-libraries.aspx [asp.net]

MPL = Sue Bait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841553)

Does anyone else have the impression that the Microsoft Permissive License is nothing more than a means of showing source, hoping that others will copy it into some product and thereby be liable of some infringement and be sued?

Its obvious, as others have posted, that this is not real Open Source. And its not clear that this will accelerate the finding, or more importantly fixing, of Microsoft bugs, since people cannot legally patch issues themselves.

The ignorance on here surprises even me! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841595)

Ignoring the flame-bait and complete ignorance... The *reference* implementation for .Net which is remarkably similar to the production version is here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=8C09FD61-3F26-4555-AE17-3121B4F51D4D&displaylang=en [microsoft.com]

It contains the C/C++ source for the CLR, CSC and C# source for the Framework that compiles on FreeBSD, Windows and OS X. There are PPC/ARM/x86/x86-64 ports in the code.

It can and will be run anywhere. .Net is pretty damn open. Remove your heads from your asses.

Visible Source (1)

cramhead (241442) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841715)

Seems like it should be called visible source instead of open source

Even the linux kernel has someone guarding the gate, unless, of course, you are willing to maintain your own branch/fork

Microsoft: You are doing it wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20841743)

All in the title ;-)
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