.Net now "Shared Source" NOT Open Source

Scott Guthrie announced on his blog, a few hours ago, that .Net source code will be opened up to the public, under a ms-rl license (for reference, read-only).

Scott's announcement, already flooded with lots of comments & trackbacks, mostly positive, is here

Starting with Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas), currently set to be released later this year, we will be able to reference the internal state of .Net objects as if they were local. 

This means a few things:
F11 will step you into the actual .Net object being called, where you can reference in-state .Net classes.
2. You will see real objects, variables, line numbers in your call stack for the .Net classes being referenced. 
3. (I assume) you will be able to “Go to definition“ and view actual .Net class source code instead of an interface.  Of course, we've always had the ability to reflect on the libraries, and with a little work, figure out what was happening... but this will make things a lot more simple and accessible (have a look at Reflector to figure out the Asp.Net treeview control!)
4. WWBAD (What would Brad Abrams do?)  Now we can see for real instead of reverse engineer it and spend our time figuring out what the variable datetime17 is doing.  In other words, quality of code should improve.  As we constantly reference the .Net library, some of the msft QA, v3.5 juju should rub off on us and help us fall a little more in line with standards, best practice, etc.  

Anyway, it's read-only.  It's not Open source.  But it's another big step in what I think is the right direction for Microsoft...

Some good MS pages to check out on open/shared source initiatives:
- Open Source at Microsoft
- Microsoft Shared Source Initiative
- MS Developer Tools (A goldmine of open/shared source projects, most on CodePlex)

Print | posted on Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:49 AM


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