Microsoft might consider offering the core of .NET to open source community

Microsoft made a huge move to embrace the open source software community by offering 24 of its .NET projects to developers this week at BUILD 2014. Internal discussions at Microsoft about offering .NET software as open source projects started three years ago, according to a new ZDNet article.

The story includes quotes from Soma Somasegar, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Developer Division, who stated that there was a lot of debate at the company about releasing the .NET code just for viewing or if it would allow contributions from the open source community. In the end, Microsoft established the .NET Foundation to offer the projects under the Apache 2.0 license.

Somasegar also said that mobile app tool maker Xamarin was a big influence and advisor to the company on their .NET open source efforts, However, he stopped short of confirming recent rumors that Microsoft could acquire Xamarin outright in the near future.

And what about offering the core of .NET, such as the  the Base Class Libraries (BCL) and Common Language Runtime (CLR), to the open source community? Somasegar said Microsoft would consider it but added that it would happen only "if it's truly beneficial for us and for the community." 

Some people might think that Microsoft's decision to release many of its .NET projects as open source means that the company might be abandoning development of the software. However, ZDNet's story quotes Microsoft's Anders Hejlsberg, the lead developer of the new Roslyn compiler, as saying just the opposite, stating, "We are actively investing in .NET going forward."

Source: ZDNet | Image via Microsoft

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I like .NET platform and languages. Very easy to use and extremely powerful.

I am not sure what Microsoft hopes to gain from this though. How is this move profitable?

_Alexander said,
I like .NET platform and languages. Very easy to use and extremely powerful.

I am not sure what Microsoft hopes to gain from this though. How is this move profitable?

Microsoft profit by making the tools available because developers will contribute using their quality tools Visual Studio Online and deploy their cloud backends in Azure.

It will boost Windows app development through cross-platform app support now that they collaborate with Xamarin in making their solution better and contributing back to Mono.

john.smith_2084 said,
they considered it many years ago when it mattered and nothing happened, and now no one simply cares.

Except all the developers doing C# apps who want to make them cross-OS without throwing away their existing investments.

SharpGreen said,

Except all the developers doing C# apps who want to make them cross-OS without throwing away their existing investments.

.NET Cross OS ? :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Yeh, Right

Chrome Apps are Cross OS (Windows, Mac, Linux, ChromeOs), Node JS is cross OS, .NET? no! yes there is some basic Linux open source implementation, it is not the ms .net

john.smith_2084 said,
.NET? no! yes there is some basic Linux open source implementation, it is not the ms .net

Microsoft makes the Windows version. Xamarin does the Mono version. Same code runs on all platforms, be it Windows, Linux, OSX, iOS, Android, Windows Phone and XBox, and there's nothing "basic" about it. How much more cross platform do you need it to be?

john.smith_2084 said,

.NET Cross OS ? :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Yeh, Right

Chrome Apps are Cross OS (Windows, Mac, Linux, ChromeOs), Node JS is cross OS, .NET? no! yes there is some basic Linux open source implementation, it is not the ms .net

Yes I am right. I have apps I've written in C# that run just fine on both .NET and Mono on Linux. Though I do want a port of the acutal .NET, I don't really think it's needed.

wernercd said,
Now... how about that Silverlight 6...

No chance! html5+css+javascript are the future for things that silverlight was used for.

Kalint said,
silverlight like WPF are dead projects.
After watching some Build 2014 videos, WPF is clearly not dead. Mature, but not dead.

torrentthief said,
No chance! html5+css+javascript are the future for things that silverlight was used for.

The problem is that, unless I missing something or missed some updates, HTML5 is still leagues behind where Silverlight/Flash was.

Until there is parity, it's unfortunate that we have to step backwards in time...

wernercd said,

The problem is that, unless I missing something or missed some updates, HTML5 is still leagues behind where Silverlight/Flash was.

Until there is parity, it's unfortunate that we have to step backwards in time...

they are wayyy behind C#, and WPF, and here is an example: http://threejs.org/
yeh right!

wernercd said,

The problem is that, unless I missing something or missed some updates, HTML5 is still leagues behind where Silverlight/Flash was.

Until there is parity, it's unfortunate that we have to step backwards in time...

HTML5 is by no means 'leagues' behind, but the number of users running browsers with good HTML5 support is all over the place, but that situation is improving all the time.

Well. as I understand it the actual source code wasn't but the API as in What you put in and what you expect to get out when you put it in was open. This allows other people to make their own version of the core system, without any of the actual code. they might have used (and probably did) a completely different approach to doing it than the MS core/library, but it does the same thing.

FloatingFatMan said,
But.. the core of .NET always was open... That's how Xamarin were able to develop it for Linux etc in the first place...

Open Specifcation is not the same as Open Source
Providing an implementation would go a long way.

Xamarin is successful because they collaborated with MS for their own implementation.
Now that the ground work is done, an Open implementation would be welcome by all.

deadonthefloor said,

Open Specifcation is not the same as Open Source
Providing an implementation would go a long way.

Xamarin is successful because they collaborated with MS for their own implementation.
Now that the ground work is done, an Open implementation would be welcome by all.


I've never heard of this Xamarin company, but MS has/had a deal with Novell to support parts of .NET and they contribute it to Mono.

FloatingFatMan said,
But.. the core of .NET always was open... That's how Xamarin were able to develop it for Linux etc in the first place...

wasn't Xamarin based on mono

trojan_market said,

wasn't Xamarin based on mono

Xamarin is the commercial arm of Mono. Most (if not all) of the core group of devs who built Mono originally are at Xamarin. In fact the creator of Mono is a co-founder/the CTO of Xamarin.

FloatingFatMan said,
But.. the core of .NET always was open... That's how Xamarin were able to develop it for Linux etc in the first place...

Mono was made possible by the standarazation of C# and the CLI. MS has not ever (to my knowledge) contributed directly to Mono itself.

SharpGreen said,
Mono was made possible by the standarazation of C# and the CLI. MS has not ever (to my knowledge) contributed directly to Mono itself.

Yes Mono was built entirely by the now Xamarin team (formerly Novell) based purely off the ECMA specification and conversations with core team.

Microsoft didn't contribute directly, but you can bet those conversations were invaluable.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa569283.aspx

Specification references if you want to try creating your own implementation.

I for one would hope .NET Foundation gets the original BCL and CLI from Microsoft, via MS Open Tech.

Doing work with Roslyn and opening it and other parts up show developers that they're not done with .NET and C#. If anything I see it as expanding even more now

I don't see why that was ever brought into question. The major reason they stopped for a while with major .NET publications / features was because (according to the devs) most people working on that were tired and burned out from implementing Async. Thus Andres focused more on Typescript in order to try new things.

elenarie said,
I don't see why that was ever brought into question. The major reason they stopped for a while with major .NET publications / features was because (according to the devs) most people working on that were tired and burned out from implementing Async. Thus Andres focused more on Typescript in order to try new things.

I don't know, seems like not seeing flashy new version every so often gets people worried. I hear good things about typescript though.