Amazing isn’t it? According to Scott Guthrie, a General Manager for Microsoft’s Developer Division, Microsoft will be releasing the source code for the .NET framework libraries for .NET 3.5 and VS 2008 releases due later this year.
From Scott’s blog:
We’ll begin by offering the source code (with source file comments included) for the .NET Base Class Libraries (System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, System.Text, etc), ASP.NET (System.Web), Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms), ADO.NET (System.Data), XML (System.Xml), and WPF (System.Windows). We’ll then be adding more libraries in the months ahead (including WCF, Workflow, and LINQ). The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL).
This is a positive step forward for Microsoft and a great advantage for .NET developers. I look forward to hearing more open source initiatives by Microsoft in the future.
Update: Turns out I, as well as a few others, misunderstood the news yesterday about the .NET framework libraries being released as open source. In actuality, Microsoft is releasing the source code for .NET as shared source, meaning that developers will simply be able to BROWSE the source code, but will be unable to make changes to the code itself. Basically, you can look – but you can’t touch. So, this isn’t really an embrace of open source and I stand corrected.