Both Microsoft and SourceForge have been hinting for some time that they plan to release more code this way. Earlier this year, Microsoft made its Windows Installer XML and Windows Template Library technologies available under the Common Public License (CPL), a bona fide open-source license.
To date, Microsoft has made its source code available under a variety of licensing mechanisms, all under its "shared source" umbrella. The new project, like the previous two, also will be under the auspices of Redmonds shared-source initiative, said sources informed of the deal.
Executives with Microsoft and with SourceForge both declined to comment on the announcement. The pair agreed to an embargo deal with another news outlet and would not comment before midnight Pacific time, said an official familiar with the announcement terms.
While developers have called on Microsoft to open-source everything from Windows to Office, its likely that the company will choose again a smaller and lesser-known technology for its third SourceForge project.
One possibility: Microsofts Enterprise Library from its Patterns & Practices Group.
The Enterprise Library is a revised version of the existing Patterns & Practices Application Blocks. Application Blocks are collections of reusable software components. The 1.0 release of Enterprise Library — which Microsoft is developing in conjunction with systems integrator Avanade Inc., of Seattle— is designed to make the refreshed releases of the most widely used blocks available as a single, integrated download.
Microsoft plans to make the Enterprise Library available as shared source, Scott Densmore, software design engineer in the Patterns & Practices group, told Microsoft Watch in August. But Densmore also acknowledged that "theres talk of putting this code out on SourceForge as open source."