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Open Source .NET Projects Getting Cold Shoulder?

Back in June of last year, we featured Jeff Atwood in the pages of Redmond Developer News, profiling him and his popular Coding Horror developer blog in the Cool Developer Tricks section of RDN.

At the time, Jeff had expressed a concern that some of the big-name dev bloggers he looked up to were busy running their own software companies and had a lot more going on than he did. Now it seems that Jeff is onto a few small things of his own. Since our interview, Jeff has moved on from his position as a senior technical evangelist at Vertigo Software to devote more of his time to blogging and pursuing an open source project of his own, called

And, as he recounts in an April 10 Coding Horror blog entry, Jeff has recently awarded a $5,000 grant to Dario Solera of the ScrewTurn Wiki project, which is developing an ASP.NET-based Wiki engine. The award is part of an announced program to recognize outstanding and important efforts in the field of .NET open source development.

Here's where it gets interesting. Jeff contends that "open source projects are treated as second-class citizens in the Microsoft ecosystem." He says Microsoft is not only wrong to withhold support from open source projects that contribute to the .NET universe; he believes Microsoft's fate as a dev tools provider hinges on the company changing its approach.

It's a point worth discussion. Dev shops worldwide rely on diverse open source tools like DotNetNuke, MbUnit, NAnt, NHibernate and ZedGraph, just to name a few. And yet, for all of Microsoft's efforts to embrace, welcome and work with the open source community (CodePlex, the IronPython and IronRuby projects, Mono development, etc.), it's clear that the .NET-aligned, open source developer community isn't feeling the love from Redmond.

Are you using or considering the use of open source tooling in your development projects? Tell us how you are using these .NET-savvy tools either alongside or in place of Microsoft's own products. Let me know at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 04/15/2008 at 1:15 PM

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