It is not a competition: OSS & Microsoft

time to read 2 min | 386 words

This comment on Anders' blog has been brought to my attention:

I really enjoyed what Anders and Ayende did when they took the piss with Microsoft's "cool" new technologies when they wrote Mean Fiddler and Bumbler in record time. Its a pity that these master programmers don't want to continue developing these frameworks - it would be soooo cool to see open source alternatives to M$ stuff taking the lead before M$ are able to release anything themselves.

Anders' post is about new development with Fiddler, exposing NHibernate's entities over REST services (which deserves another post all together). I wanted to respond to this comment because of several things:

  • M$ - I would imagine that it is at least somewhat offensive to Microsoft when this is used.
  • "taking a piss" - No, I use a bathroom for that.

The general tone of the comment is basically amount us vs. them, which is completely opposite to the way I see things. I didn't wrote Bumbler to show off anything, I wrote it because I was annoyed that Jasper was presented as some great & heroic thing, when in practice it is very simple wrapper around existing functionality. I imagine that Anders has much the same reasoning when writing Fiddler, the counterpart to Astoria. The initial versions, at least, exists to make a point, not to show who is better. Writing software based on the old "I'll show them" is not a good idea, in my opinion.

I am working on OSS because:

  • It it interesting
  • It makes my job easier
  • Clear my head
  • I get plenty of benefits (from code reviews to patches, from bug reports to experience)

Taking both those platforms and extending them to be usable (which is what is happening to Mean Fiddler right now) is dependant on need, not development for the sake of competition.

As an aside, I would generally rather use something that already exists than write my own, on the condition that I get the same simplicity, flexibility and quality that I would get if I would write it on my own. A lot of the stuff from Microsoft fit that bill (most of the .Net framework), and a lot of the stuff doesn't (the entire Web Forms stack, to start with). That is the main motivation, to make my work easier.