"WTL has also been popular over the years with Shareware developers," Matusow said. "WTL offers an elegant means for developers to use the power of C++ templates for expressing GUI elements, which generally results in small and efficient applications. "More popular approaches for doing the same things, but with more power, are the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and Windows Forms," he said."By putting it up under SourceForge, the WTL community can now directly contribute and fix and modify and improve the WTL code base itself, so it is no longer just something they consume but rather something they can pick up and modify," he said. In the first few weeks following the release of WiX, there were more than 80,000 downloads of that code, and a reasonably active community is providing quick bug fixes. "Several new projects have also been spun out around this WiX technology, and so we feel the CPL is the most appropriate license in terms of how the community wants to work and interact with the technology," Matusow said. "SourceForge is the appropriate location for these projects, given that 30 percent of SourceForge projects are Windows-based and there is a community doing application coding work who are turning to SourceForge as a location to identify these projects," he said. While all of the source code Microsoft has made available to dateexcepting WiX and the WTLhas been under a variety of licensing mechanisms and all under its "shared source" umbrella, Microsoft still plans to label its WTL CPL program as one of its "shared source" options, Matusow said. See Microsofts list of shared-source licensing options here. The WTL has also not been supported by Microsoft Product Support Services, which was one of the biggest reasons to open-source the product, Matusow said. "There are quite a few things that are not included within the supported arena but are helpful to people. The WTL is a widely used tool but was not supported, and one of the concerns in the community was seeing this technology improve and advance, and Microsoft was not doing that. "Fundamentally, the reality is that we are working very hard on the .Net Framework and the improvement of .Net programming, so giving the community access to the WTL source code allows them to get in there and do self-support and improve it," he said. But Microsoft would still commit some resources to the project to help the community, make sure it got what it needed from them and ensure that there was strong project leadership to help the project flourish, Matusow said. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our eWEEK.com Windows news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:
The WTL has been available on MSDN for five years, and the last release of WTL had more than 90,000 downloads, "so there are a significant number of developers who do like this lightweight windowing library," Matusow said.