Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Open Source: The .NET Framework? Huh?

It is being reported today that Microsoft is open sourcing their .Net framework class libraries (See this link on InfoQ - Open Source: The .Net Framework). Wow, could this be the start of a sea change at Microsoft?

Well, it turns out that this is really no change at all. When you look closely, they are releasing the source code under the Microsoft Reference License.

This license only gives you permission to use the code in a read-only form! This hardly fits the definition of open source, and the term open source should never be used where this license is concerned.

While, a nice move by Microsoft for .Net developers, because they will be able to step through the actual .Net library code using a debugger, it has nothing to do with open source, and I can't believe anyone could use the term open source in conjunction with this move by Microsoft.

People need to get their facts straight before entitling an article in this way. This is very poor journalism, and allows Microsoft to get some good PR, that they clearly do not deserve in this case.

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