Yes, you read that correctly. Microsoft is releasing the source code to a bunch of .NET Framework Libraries under the "Microsoft Reference License." This means you can view the source for reference, but not for recompilation, etc.
This is a lot like Symbol Servers, which I've talked about on the blog before, but this'll be a "Public Source Server" (Source Servers are an old concept, but rare to see in the wild) so that you be a able to debug seamlessly between your code and the Framework's code.
In my first "scoop" in my new job at Microsoft, I've already got a show ready for you, recorded last week! See, I told you I'd take care of you.
This show is actually an interview with Shawn Burke the mastermind behind this move who posted his intent to make this happen on his personal blog in 2005! His current job is being in charge of the Ajax Toolkit, but he's been working on this source code release idea for years - plural.
Support for this new public Microsoft .NET Source Server feature will be in Visual Studio 2008 when it comes out later this year. It'll be a simple setup process and you'll be on your way to "Stepping Into" the code.
We talk on the podcast about the differences between using Reflector to look at source and looking at the source itself. We ask Shawn about Source Servers vs. Symbol Servers, and how Microsoft is going to size their network to support the demand.
As soon as I have details on how this configuration process will work, I'll let you know. I suspect it'll be very similar to the way Symbol and Source Servers work today in Visual Studio.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Support for this new public Microsoft .NET Source Server feature will be in Visual Studio 2008 when it comes out later this year
One point of clarrification - we announced the launch date not the release date.We typically release products several weeks/months before we "launch" them. You'll be able to buy the final release of VS 2008 and start using it before we hold the launch event.Thanks, Scott
Hey Scott,Now that you have access to the big brains at Microsoft, could you ask Scott Burke or Scott Guthrie how this will affect Mono development, if at all? I know that it's released under the MS-RL, but with recent deals with Novell you never know.At the minimum i'm sure that Mono development will go a more quickly.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.