Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

Fowler on Microsoft

In an eerily similar timing, Fowler manages to hit a lot of the stuff that I am feeling, and he is doing it much better than I could.

This paragraph has certainly hit a note:

The attitude to open-source is a large part of this problem. When Java appeared there were yawning gaps in its portfolio, and worse some dreadful standard tools in its API (visions of Entity Beans spring to mind). Those gaps and bad ideas were fixed by the open-source community. Ant gave us a build tool, EJB was displaced by Spring and Hibernate. .NET has also got its gaps, and again the open source community has stepped up to fill them. Yet Microsoft refuses to collaborate with these efforts, even seems to go out of its way to undermine them. I was particularly sickened by Microsoft's reaction to NUnit - an excellent XUnit testing tool, elements of whose design were lauded by Anders Hejlsberg at OOPSLA. Microsoft ended not just bringing out a competitive library, but deliberately making it incompatible. That's not the kind of reaction that encourages people to invest their time in the platform.

That is one of the more frustratinng points in working in the Microsoft space, Microsoft is actively competing against its own community, and that diminishes the entire community (and Microsoft as well).

Comments

Doug Rohm
05/31/2007 05:36 AM by
Doug Rohm

I couldn't agree more...

Steve
05/31/2007 12:16 PM by
Steve

Reading between the lines - is he saying we should all be learning Ruby on Rails now? :)

Steve
05/31/2007 12:16 PM by
Steve

Oh, and I wish he would have mentioned Monorail :)

Jason
05/31/2007 01:07 PM by
Jason

I understand what Fowler is getting at, but NUnit is an interesting choice, since Microsoft hired James Newkirk, the creator of NUnit.

There are still a lot of folks out there who prefer to use something from Microsoft, even if there is a better open source alternative.

Steven Harman
05/31/2007 01:07 PM by
Steven Harman

The whole "Working against the community" is even more evident when we look at the TestDriven.net fiasco that has recently gone public.

Jason
05/31/2007 01:11 PM by
Jason

@Steven Harman

I was just reading about that. I think that is a much better example of Microsoft not supporting the community.

For those who haven't heard: http://weblogs.asp.net/nunitaddin/archive/2007/05/30/microsoft-vs-testdriven-net-express.aspx

Jacob
05/31/2007 06:31 PM by
Jacob

Oh please. You want Microsoft to support Open Source, then stop being so antagonistic to Microsoft. That's the collective you, by the way, not directed at anyone in particular. Well, I ****will direct it to people like the FSF who created the GPL license. The same GPL license used by NUnit, by the way. Want to know why Microsoft will hire James Newkirk but not use NUnit? Read the GPL. I went into more detail on this on my blog today.

Oh, and Chris? Declaring war isn't exactly the best way to entice a company into loosening up its policies. By all means, launch your own crusade, but don't expect to garner much sympathy. At least not from me.

Patrik Löwendahl
05/31/2007 07:38 PM by
Patrik Löwendahl

Not only do they compete with the community, they definatly don't listen to what they have to say.

They more then willingly listen to a few big customers where waterfall and code generation is still the dominating mindset. But listen to the vast majority of community developers always come second.

Ayende Rahien
06/02/2007 01:38 PM by
Ayende Rahien

@Jacob,

There are actually very few projects in the .NET space that uses GPL code.

NAnt is the only big one that I can recall offhand, and that has a special exception clause.

NUnit is ZLib, MbUnit is BSD, my stuff is BSD, Castle is Apache, NHibernate is LGPL, etc.

goodwill
06/15/2007 04:46 PM by
goodwill

Yeah I found this :P So you read it quite a while ago.

I feel want to cry after reading Martin's words. I think I am being upset a lot regarding the NUnit incident- it really doesn't make any sense. MS's intervention to the issue is getting too far from saying its healthy. They are basically trying to crush the entire thing with their own standard. When I explain to my Morts fellows, they always said,'MS as a software development company, why cant they compete with OSS?' I am sick of explaining the difference between a 'platform owner' and an ISV. MS definitely not in the group of a software development company in ISV scale. A platform owner has much different definition on how they should position themselve to the community, as the community are the people who are trying to create the healthy ecosystem, if you spray your insect killer on it and get everything killed, you are dooming yourself.

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