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Open Source .NET Column Debuts

Today at we're debuting a new, monthly column dedicated to open source tooling and development in .NET. The Open Source .NET column, written by Ian Davis, delves into the fast evolving arena of open source development tools. Ian is the Master Code Ninja for software architecture and development consulting firm IntelliTechture and an expert on the .NET Framework. He's also a frequent industry presenter and co-organizer of the Spokane .NET User Group.

The new column recognizes the important changes that have occurred at Microsoft, and in particular in the Developer Division, over the past few years. From Microsoft's early support for the DotNetNuke project in 2002 to its deepening commitment to jQuery in 2011, we've seen open source software assume an important role in .NET development.

It's a role Ian Davis has recognized. As part of his first column, on the open source NuGet package management system, I asked Ian to provide a bit of an introduction:

I have been working with open source projects for many years and I look forward to continuing that for many more. It has been an enriching experience both reading and writing code, collaborating via developer mailing lists, and participating in community discussions. I believe that the open source landscape is getting better and more important every year. Working with open source projects has greatly increased my exposure to new ways of thinking about software and improved my skills as a developer.

The goal of most open source projects is to design and implement powerful, reliable solutions to issues we face every day, and then share them with the world. There is a great deal of competitiveness and camaraderie among projects and their contributors that promote the betterment of the projects and the community. In our work as developers, we often encounter problems of significant size. Many times these problems have been solved a number of different ways in open source projects, thus giving one the ability to cherry pick the best solution from these candidate projects. This leverages the great deal of effort that went into writing these components and saves both time and money.

Many open source projects are sponsored by corporations, including Microsoft. Microsoft even actively works to promote a number of these open source initiatives. Their recent MIX11 conference included an open source track with a number of projects represented. They both sponsor a range of projects from project management and code hosting (, and also promote collaboration on and distribution of existing projects, such as jQuery, Orchard, WCF Web API and ASP.NET MVC.

One of Microsoft’s latest contributions to open source, NuGet, handles package management, which has long been missing from the .NET landscape. This project changes the way we work with components in our applications and reduces the friction we feel when installing and upgrading our component stack.

Read Ian's first Open Source .NET column here.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 04/20/2011 at 1:15 PM

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