Ayende @ Rahien

My name is Oren Eini
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Microsoft vs. TestDriven.Net Express

time to read 1 min | 92 words

Jamie Cansdale has just published the email corrspondance between him and Microsoft about TestDriven.Net on the Express SKU. Among other things, this has led to him losing him MVP status, pulling the TD.Net express, and more than a bit of angst. The clause that they are using is: "You may not work around any technical limitations in the software."

I strongly suggest reading the entire set of emails, and considerring that the clause they choose to use, that includes everything that they don't like, from key shortcuts to VS Macros.


Alex James


This is unrelated but I thought you might be interested...



MY open email to Jason Weber, feel free to do similar (Jason@JasonWeber.com):


Just so you can start to understand the bad feeling you have created, I would like to add my voice to those others you will no doubt receive about your ridiculous campaign against TestDriven.NET, one of the most essential Visual Studio add-ins there is.

Normally, I am a very vocal defender of Microsoft, and especially of copyright and IP laws, but on this one you just have the situation completely wrong.

You are attempting to limit functionality within Visual Studio add-ins, a problem (if it is a problem) of your own making.

Regardless of whether you think you can win this fight on a technicality or terminology, I assure you that you won’t win anything in the long run, and you will seriously alienate a SIGNIFICANT number of .NET developers.

Good luck in the petty battle you have chosen.


Ayende Rahien


I don't like their behavior, I think that it is artificially segregate the community to those with Express vs. those with Pro or more.

I can certainly understand the wish to use the most light-weight IDE possible, and Express is much lighter than VS Pro.

And I certainly think that having TD.Net in the hobbyist SKU is imprtant, but... and this is important, allow plugins on Express is contrary to MS financial interest.

I would drop VS pro in a sec if I could get R# + TD.Net on Express.


Yeah , but you don’t like VS anyway:)

Personally I love it ... I have the top MSDN licensing package, am just buying another 6+ licences for my current company, and every one will have TestDriven.NET insatlled - as one of MS commercial targets (i.e. I buy their software) I can assure you and them that TestDriven.NET in Express could never make me or any of my clients switch to it – even assuming we didn't need the rest of the MSDN stuff.

Oh well... shame really ...

Nic Wise

OK, so MS could handle this better, but isn't one of the specific exclusions with the express products that you can't install plugins (or create a product which targets express products)??

TD.NET is really good, but everyone else (ReSharper, Refactor et al) play by the rules....


Aaron Harting

Microsoft and Weber were professional in their emails so I don't understand why everyone is pointing fingers at them. Microsoft is a big company and they're just defending the business. C# Express is free so I can understand why they block plugins from running and I don't see anyone else trying to break these rules and turn on stuff that Microsoft wants turned off. Stop complaining or they'll take away C# Express in Orcas.

Ayende Rahien

No, it isn't excluded.

VSIP packages are not supported, but TD.Net is not a VSIP package.

Chris Ortman

I equate them putting "you can not extend this product" into the express license to me putting a bunch of TV's on my lawn and sticking a sign in the yard

You may take any of these TV's that you want, but if you do, even though there are places you could connect a DVR, satelite or cable box you may not plug any of these devices in. In addition to that the volume control only increases the volumne it is not capable of decreasing it and you are forbidden from replacing the knob or purchasing a different remote control that would allow you to decrease the volume setting. 

I find all of these posts ammusing. You can't run addins in C# Express. It's technically impossible without hacking something. I tried to get my personal addins running but failed after a day becuase everything is turned off. Grow up and admit that you were caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Mike D

When I read the blog post I was stunned ast MS, when I read the emails he posted, I was wonering what Jason was thinking. He pulls the express version, then puts it back up. Then wants dll's that are not redistributable. Then wants his MVP back. He is lucky the letter gave him an easy out, most companies would not be so nice. Am I missing something about VS Express? Why do I have VS Professional?

No offense, just my opinion, read the emails.

Rob Cecil

Here's a response from the PM for the Express product:



I've been trying to post to Jamie's blog for 48 hours. Jamie has chosen not to let my posts get through so I'm going to speak my mind on as many blogs as I can. The fact that Jamie let's responses through which support his position all the while deleting posts that question his opinion is the the hypocrisy of "open source communities".

I maintain the internal build tools for our company. We have over 1Mil lines of .Net code in C# localized in 5 languages so you can imagine the challenges in build and deployment. We have custom Add-Ins, MSBuild stuff, old VSIP stuff, Macros and other stuff like autocomplete files. Having debugged why our custom tools don't work on C# Express I can say with 100% certainty that the API's aren't exposed for Express to use Add-Ins without some sort of hacking.

Dan Fernandez just explained how TestDriven works


I knew this thing was a hack to use Add-In from the second I read the post. Now I know why Jamie wouldn't post my blog post because it would have exposed him earlier. Thanks to Microsoft for being honest.

Blogs are not a democracy so I'm post this on several hoping that someone open to reality other than Jamie's will let me share my thoughts. It makes me want to start blogging and pis*ses me off. My first post is going to be about Jamie. Time for me to visit userland.


lol Eric, get off of your high horse... Jamie was away for the weekend, but nooo of course it's a conspiracy theory and he's deleting all your posts. Go ahead and "speak your mind on as many blogs as you can" because how would anyone ever get by without your opinion...

PS: Dan's posts were pathetic and riddled with logical fallacies... one just has to read the comments to realize it.

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