Microsoft Releases Source Code for Windows Template Library

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-05-12 Print this article Print

The company frees the code under the open-source Common Public License and posts it on SourceForge, saying the move will make WTL no longer just something its users consume "but rather something they can pick up and modify."

Microsoft on Tuesday night released the source code for its Windows Template Library under the open-source Common Public License and posted it on SourceForge, the open-source code repository. The Windows Template Library (WTL) is a library for developing Windows applications and user interface components. It also extends the Active Template Library (ATL) and provides a set of classes for controls, dialogs, frame windows, GDI objects and more.
The ATL is a set of template classes developed by Microsoft Corp. to aid in the development of ActiveX controls and Component Object Model (COM) objects. Theyre template-based C++ classes that simplify the programming of COM objects.
The COM support in Visual C++ allows developers to easily create a variety of COM objects, Automation servers and ActiveX controls. This is the second time in as many months that Microsoft has released source code under the Common Public License, which was developed by IBM and is an evolution of the IBM Public License (IPL). The CPL was approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) in May 2001. The Eclipse open-source development-tool framework is licensed under CPL. Last month, Microsoft made available on SourceForge an internally developed product called the Windows Installer XML (WiX). Jason Matusow, manager of Microsofts shared-source initiative, told eWEEK in an interview Wednesday that the company expects advanced C++ programmers to be most interested in using the WTL code, which can be found here. The WTL is essentially a lightweight windowing C++ template library that allows developers to build simple Windows graphical user interfaces on applications. Visual C++ developers have used WTL to develop a wide variety of applications requiring a front-end Graphical User Interface (GUI). Applications using WTL have been developed for desktop Windows as well as for Windows CE and have ranged from basic utilities to commercial consumer applications, to vertical commercial applications. Next Page: The last release of WTL had more than 90,000 downloads.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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