The Fringe of .NET

personal dotnet oss 10 comments suggest edit

Unless you live in a cave, you are probably aware of the large leaps forward Microsoft and .NET has made in the open source community.

Although I do wonder about that phrase “unless you live in a cave.” By now, don’t cave dwellers have decent internet access?

As usual, I digress.

Over at GitHub, we’re pretty excited to see Microsoft put so much of .NET on GitHub under permissive licenses. Not only have they put a large amount of code on GitHub, they work hard to manage their open source projects well.

I am excited by all this. It’s been a long time coming. It’s a good thing.

That being said, Microsoft, being the giant company it is, casts a large shadow. It’s good to praise the vigor with which Microsoft adopts open source. At the same time, it’s important not to forget all the projects that have been here all along, nor the new ones that crop up all the time. The lesser-known projects and independent open source developers are an important part of the .NET open source ecosystem.

DotNetFringe (April 12-14 in Portland, Oregon) is a new conference that will help bring all these grass root independent efforts from out of the shadow. This conference is organized by a group of independent folks (myself included) who have a deep-seated passion for .NET open source.

And we collected a great line-up of speakers. Some of the names you’ll recognize as fixtures in the .NET open source community. Many are regular speakers. We also worked hard to create an environment that welcomes fresh new voices you may not have heard before.

We know your time and money is valuable. We’ve tried to keep the price low and the content quality high. So definitely buy a ticket and come say hello to me in Portland! I’ll bring some Octocat stickers to give out!

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10 responses

  1. Avatar for TroyGoode
    TroyGoode March 10th, 2015

    Hey Phil - I've been out of the .NET world for a few years now, but this sounds an awful lot like what was going on several years ago with "AltDotNet" (which I loved, and eventually helped lead me away from .NET). Is that "movement" (not sure what else to call it) dead? Is this kind of a recreation of that original premise under a new context given Microsoft's new status quo?

  2. Avatar for Rob H
    Rob H March 11th, 2015

    Yes, that was my first thought, too.

    Sounds like a great idea to me!

  3. Avatar for dotnetchris
    dotnetchris March 11th, 2015

    I wouldn't say it's dead, some of it has been tightly integrated into .NET proper like JSON.NET or as a near second party like OWIN. Other parts still exist as third party, things like Nancy, Massive, and NHibernate still all exist.

    You have the rise of tools like EntityFramework and it's line in the sand opposites like Dapper.NET, PetaPoco.

    You still the constant foray of Microsoft into things for short terms like WebApi that has been entirely supplanted by MVC proper.

    Nuget is king and one of the most important parts to .NET now. Visual Studio is getting first class support for things like bower and gulp. Roslyn is allowing tools like Sublime to intellisense-lite. I believe VS2015 will abandon mstest in favor of xUnit.

    ASP.NET 5 Core CLR once again throws all existing libraries to the wind with yet another distribution for Library owners to support.

    All in all it's the best time to ever be involved with .NET, as with everything there is always growing pain. For the people who come after .NET5 it will be one of the richest landscapes out there devoid of all the pain it took to build it.

    Mircosoft has literally bet the farm on Azure and every single thing they're doing is all about enabling developers to build applications that run on Azure. Whether you're using C# ASP.NET or PHP or Node. Whether you want Windows VMs or Linux VMs, whether you want to deploy to Windows PAAS or linux Docker.

  4. Avatar for haacked
    haacked March 11th, 2015

    I think the premise is related but subtly different. As dotnetchris points out, many of the ideas of ALT.NET made their way into .NET proper.

    I think DotNetFringe is more in-line with my thoughts I wrote a few years ago around MonkeySpace:

    > The .NET ecosystem is becoming less and less solely dependent on Microsoft and this is a good thing.

    Back in the ALT.NET days, I felt like there was a lot of focus on convincing Microsoft of good design choices/alternatives that many of us held dear. For example, trying to teach Microsoft what TDD really is. Or about the benefits of POCO ORMs. And the benefits of lightweight web frameworks that don't abstract the web.

    But now, I think we all take these practices for granted. We don't need to do any more convincing. Instead, with DotNetFringe, we can focus on exploring new ideas together and shedding light on lesser known .NET OSS people and projects.

    I personally want to look at what it takes to get to the next level of an OSS ecosystem that enthusiastically welcomes Microsoft, but doesn't absolutely need it to survive. We may not be there yet, but it'll be fun to work towards that! :)

    But as an important clarification, I don't want Microsoft to go away. I'm only saying, it should be one of many participants in a healthy ecosystem.

  5. Avatar for Glenn Block
    Glenn Block March 11th, 2015

    Phil is correct. .NET Fringe is an event, it is not a movement. ALT.NET was a movement focused on changing Microsoft. This event is focused on the community and seeing how it is running with the ball based on a lot of the changes that did happen. I expect you will see a lot of ideas that resonated with ALT.NET at the conference, but not because they are ALT.NET, it is because those ideas have become part of the communal mindset. This event is about progress in the commnity and looking to the future.

  6. Avatar for Glenn Block
    Glenn Block March 11th, 2015

    Great Post Phil. You really captured what Fringe is about and why. You also lessened the need for me to blog anything of substance :p

  7. Avatar for Christos Matskas
    Christos Matskas March 13th, 2015

    A question directed to the organizers, @glen & @phil et al. Will the talks/sessions be recorded for the less fortunate ones who can't attend? Thanks

  8. Avatar for Adron
    Adron March 15th, 2015

    Do it anyway! :P

  9. Avatar for Adron
    Adron March 15th, 2015

    There are plans in the works to do this, so it's a distinctive possibility it'll happen... but only for people with the super secret encrypted codewords!

  10. Avatar for Mahmoud Ali
    Mahmoud Ali March 17th, 2015

    Any chance this will be available online for people overseas?