The state of open source on the Microsoft stack.

Scott StultsMarch 18, 2010

This is like the state of the union address, except in mid march, and the only thing I’m president of is my current residence. If you have ever studied Science, you know about potential energy vs kinetic, Or maybe a better metaphor for the reality TV generation, is the Swan.

Open source software on the Microsoft stack has tons of stored potential, even some movement, but it is still left wanting. The evil empire has embraced open source software, releasing jQuery with Visual Studio, starting codeplex.com and the Codeplex Foundation. The are tons of abandoned projects or ones that have gone stale (log4net anyone?).

Compared to java or even the new kid ruby, we’re lagging behind. We don’t even have a fully managed open source enterprise web server, compared to Java’s n-th variety of containers to pick and use.

Even rails has a built in server. Of course there is kayak http web server framework and webserver on codeplex, but they’re new, far from mature and their not an industry defacto standard like jboss or tomcat. Don’t get me wrong there are some amazing open source projects out there. Gallio, db4o, Subtext, blogengine.net, facebook developer toolkit to name a few.

However, there are gaps in having a full open source Microsoft stack. We have plenty of unit testing and mock testing libraries, but with NDoc gone, left to SandCastles release schedule, libraries left to rust like log4net wit not even .net 4.0 beta build or silverlight build. CruiseControl.Net is in dire need of revamp and version 2, at the very least it needs some decent competition that isn’t java.

With plenty of single person projects out there who just end up getting burnt out, seemingly stagnated public dialog from the likes of the 14, its hard to really get developers to rally and get some much needed things done. The community need some decent leaders, organizers, and some company backing.

Most software vendors and clients get a great productivity boost from these projects. It would only make sense to invest in their growth, even pool resources for joint projects. Organize some hack-a-thons days with some cool prizes for work top-notch work. Even put together a small guild of programmers, just have 20 or so companies pitch in, put their banners on a website and churn out some decent open source projects that everyone can use. .Net isn’t going away and its time the community and companies invest more into the open source community instead of letting all that potential go to waste.




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