Open Source from Microsoft
?"> Microsoft officials themselves also have been dropping hints about doing more open-source projects. In fact, Jason Matusow, the director of Microsofts Shared Source program, has been using his Weblog recently to start trying to catalog the myriad Microsoft shared- and open-sourced projects that are below the radar. Hundreds of such Microsoft projects could be scattered across the Web, by company officials estimates. Some live on GotDotNet Workspaces, Microsofts alternative to the SourceForge code repository. Others are private projects developed by Microsoft employees in their off hours. And still others are projects that Microsoft acquired when hiring new employeessuch as IronPython, a .Net implementation of the Python language developed by Jim Hugunin, who is now a Microsoft employee.He said such licenses would enable employees to more quickly and easily seek and obtain shared- and/or open-source software licenses for new projects. Microsoft would like to make these available as templates, Matusow said. While Matusow wouldnt specify a timetable for release of these kinds of templates, but he said to expect this space to get very interesting in "the coming ten months." In Microsoft parlance, "shared source" covers a lot of ground17 different code-sharing programs, to be exact. Microsofts shared-source umbrella covers everything from the source code for three products (WiX, FlexWiki and Active Template Library) that it offers under bona fide open-source licenses to the companys Government Source Licensing Program. This past spring, Microsoft broadened its shared-source initiative to include seven more Central and Eastern European countries. In reality, additional Microsoft shared-source projects exist beyond those highlighted on the companys shared-source page. Josh Ledgard, a program manager on Microsofts Visual Studio community team, blogged earlier this year about a few of the less-celebrated Microsoft source-sharing projects. Among the under-the-radar shared- or open-source projects that Ledgard highlighted are:
The VBCommenter PowerToy;
Visual Studio.Net Academic Tools (including Assignment Manager Server, Assignment Manager Faculty Client and Assignment Manager Student Client); and
Various Windows forms controls (such as ColorPicker.NET)
Ledgard said he thinks "there are a TON more projects scattered across the Internet beyond samples that Microsoft employees have made available, but its difficult to find them."
He called for his compatriots to make their shared- and open-source projects more easily discoverable, as Microsoft archrival Google did earlier this year by consolidating its projects in a single repository of open-source developer tools.
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Matusow recently said to expect to see Microsoft highlight more of these hidden shared- and open-source projects. At the same time, there could be a flood of additional, new Microsoft shared-source and open-source projects, Matusow said, if Microsoft is successful in its quest to create simplified licenses.