Christmas For .NET Open Source Came Early This Year

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Last year when all the hubbub surrounding NDoc was happening, I tried to rally people around the idea of a Contribute to Open Source day on July 26^th^.

Why July 26?

Because I happened to write that post on that day.

coding-horror-official-logo-smallIn any case, it looks like Christmas will come early for some lucky open source projects. Jeff Atwood of CodingHorror fame is teaming up with Microsoft to donate $10,000 in support of open source .NET projects.

Go and nominate the open source project you find most useful in his comments.

What has spurred this recent largesse? Jeff is finally accepting a modest advertisement on his blog which will bring in enough revenue to help give back to the open source community. The hope is to help remedy the fact that…

open source projects are treated as second-class citizens in the Microsoft ecosystem

In the same manner that open source projects themselves are community led initiatives, it’s great to see other initiatives like this sprout from the community. While we may clamor for Microsoft to take a more active role in fostering OSS in the Microsoft ecosystem, we don’t have to wait around and do nothing in the meantime. We can take the lead like these other initiatives.

The good news is that Microsoft is showing itself to be supportive of such initiatives not only in spirit, but also financially.

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2 responses

  1. Avatar for Aaron
    Aaron June 26th, 2007

    At least the current trend at MS is warming to open source.

  2. Avatar for Joe Brinkman
    Joe Brinkman June 27th, 2007

    One thing that most people don't realize is that even Sun was not very supportive of Open Source for a long time. I also think that people mistakenly assume that Microsoft is some monolithic organization that hates Open Source.

    The reality as I have experienced it is that each business unit takes it's own stance relative to each Open Source project. DotNetNuke has always had the support and cooperation of the developer tools and platform division although our relationship with the Sharepoint has not been nearly as close. I would expect that Bill Simser's SharePoint forums project would have a different relationship with SharePoint.
    Quite honestly I think Open Source projects need to expand our horizons and look for support whereever we can find it. Sometimes it will be from Microsoft, but most of the time it will come from other organizations and companies.
    Open Source is about community. My feeling is that we have to get better at learning to leverage our communities to support our projects. Whether that involves getting direct financial support, getting donated products and services, or finding creative ways to provide services in return for support.
    Why is it that we think nothing of the fact that Hanselminutes or DotNetRocks finds sponsors to help fund their podcasts, yet other open source projects don't look for similar sponsorship opportunities? Why isn't Paint.Net talking to companies like IStockPhotos.com or why isn't SubText seeking support from a web hosting company? It seems to me that Paint.net customers would be really interested in stock photos and that SubText and DasBlog customers need a place to host their blogs. How many companies out there make there living promoting agile development? Wouldn't some of them be natural fits for NUnit MbUnit?
    While DotNetNuke has gotten some support from Microsoft early on, we have recieved as much if not more support from companies like MaximumASP, SourceGear, ExactTarget and many others.
    Opportunities exist all around us. What are the leaders in the Open Source community doing to go after these opportunities? Nobody has a greater interest in seeing your project succeed and thrive than the founders and leaders of the project.