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Open.NET: Is it really open source? October 4, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.

Microsoft announced today that it was open sourcing the .NET Framework.  Is it really open source?  No and the funny thing is it was never intended to be considered open source. 

Everyone has their opinions.  Even Robert Scoble, the ex-microsoft guy who was never a developer seems to think this was an open source move.

Microsoft released this under the Reference license.  This is the key word here, Reference.  It wasnt released under any of the truly open Shared Source licenses.

This helps developers in several ways the most important being that they can write better applications.  This move is a win win for Microsoft.  They maintain control, there is no chance of an official fork unlike the case with Java and its a win win for developers so that their applications are better and they have a way to access the source code for more complex projects.

 Of course its from Microsoft, so expect some whining from just about the entire Open Source community.



1. Josh - October 4, 2007

Open Souce has several different types:
-Shared source
-Reference source

All Open source is not necessarily shared souce.

Shared source is not necessarily the best idea. If you listen to Burke talk the guy behind the project. The revision story is confusing enough without everyone having their own spin off just because.

What is stoping you from writing your own version of class X even under a reference liscense? Today you can do that and just use reflector.

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