Happy Tuesday! It's indeed a happy day as I am (literally this moment) at a conference in Las Vegas and have just pressed Publish on this blog post to announce that we are open sourcing ASP.NET MVC 4, ASP.NET Web API, ASP.NET Web Pages v2 (Razor) all with contributions under the Apache 2.0 license. You can find the source on CodePlex . Be sure to read all the details on ScottGu's blog.
Ya, I bolded, underlined and italicized that last part and yes, it was gratuitous. Fight me. ;)
This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of folks in our organization. It's the very reason that I came to work at Microsoft. So, what’s happening here?
While the source for ASP.NET MVC has had source available since its inception, and converted to the MS-PL license in April of 2009, the developers didn't take contributions from the community. While we were open source we were not “open source with takebacks.”
Today we continue to push forward and now ASP.NET MVC, Web API, Web Pages will take contributions from the community. NuGet from OuterCurve also is open source, and now huge parts of ASP.NET are as well. We shipped community code in NuGet with Visual Studio 2010 and NuGet has taken community contributions. Now we will ship community code inside ASP.NET in this upcoming version of Visual Studio.
We are opening sourcing these ASP.NET components on CodePlex using Git as our repository. CodePlex now supports TFS, Subversion (via a bridge), Mercurial and now Git.
Microsoft started using an open development style with the Windows Azure SDK last year. It’s worked and worked well, so now they’re expanding the style to include some of the popular frameworks like ASP.NET. This will let us get feedback and respond to it faster than ever.
Over the last four years at Microsoft I’ve worked closely with the community to get feedback and voices heard by the developers. However today, as we introduce more open source projects that take contributions, you can get more directly involved.
Like every large open source project, every check-in (open source or otherwise) will be evaluated against the existing standards used by the developers. Even better, you’ll get to see our developers' checkins to the product out in the open.
It’s really important to remember that ASP.NET MVC, Razor, and Web API are fully supported Microsoft products and will still be staffed by the same developers that are building them today. The products will be backed by the same Microsoft support policy and will continue to ship with Visual Studio. Also, to be clear, Microsoft is maintaining the same level of development resources as we always have. There’s still a roadmap and actually, there are more Microsoft developers working on ASP.NET today than ever before.
Why shouldn't we? We like open source and you do too. Many of us come from open source backgrounds and many of us work on open source in our spare time. We think our products are great and by moving to an open development model we think even more people will be energized, excited, and help make the products and the community even stronger.
Did I mention we love open source? We are going to continue to do open source in ASP.NET as we can when it makes sense.
The components that are being open sourced at this time are all components that are shipped independently of the core .NET framework, which means no OS components take dependencies on them. Web Forms is a part of System.Web.dll which parts of the Windows Server platform take a dependency on. Because of this dependency this code can’t easily be replaced with newer versions expect when updates to the .NET framework or the OS ships.
The Web Team digs Mono. We love that ASP.NET MVC can run on Mono and we look forward to getting contributions from the Mono community. In fact, I called my friend Miguel last week so he could be the first one to submit a pull request.
The Visual Studio Team has big plans for CodePlex, including adding Git support and modernizing the experience. Right now CodePlex supports TFS, Mercurial (Hg) and just added Git! As we're a partner with the Visual Studio Team we think the right thing for us to do is to support their plans to make CodePlex a thriving place for open source software again. We push them hard and they're releasing weekly now.
Here's how I look at it: Open Source == Increased Investment. ASP.NET is a part of .NET, it will still ship with Visual Studio. It's the same ASP.NET, managed by the same developers with the same support. It's ASP.NET except now you can get involved. You'll be able to see our developers' check-ins in public, offer feature ideas of your own, perhaps even become a key committer.
I'm pretty jazzed that we pulled this off at Microsoft. Still, it's just the beginning. I’m looking forward to working with you! ;)
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.
Git doesn't play nice on Windows
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.