Why Does Releasing the Source Code for the .NET Framework Libraries Matter?

Someone please tell me why this news from Microsoft really matter?  I can get all I need by using Reflector to view the code today.  I can then use and modify what Reflector gives me.  Once Microsoft releases the source and I agree to use it like a good person I can not use it in my projects.

I have seen so many people standing on rooftops in blogs patting Microsoft on the back for this news. Why?  It’s not like they are releasing this as open source.   You can’t contribute to it.  So who cares!

Look at some of the reaction :

Fallen Rouge says “Wow. wow. Wow”.

Ayende Rahien says “…this is huge”

Sam Gentile says “This is great news!”

Ted Neward has a nice and inciteful reaction to the news which I think is more in line with reality and taking and putting the news in context with what it really means.

Would someone please explain why this is important and why I should care?  At this point it is news consisting of only fluff..no stuff.


4 responses to “Why Does Releasing the Source Code for the .NET Framework Libraries Matter?

  1. Coming from the Java world, where this was always available, I’d say it’s minimally useful. It’s nice, on rare occasions, to step into the core libraries. The code TENDS to be high-quality, which makes for good reading sometimes. Other than that…

  2. Exactly. You can read it but not use it or contribute to it. Pointless.

  3. Rob, (we seem to be talking across our blogs now!)

    My “wows” come from the fact that I can’t remember a time when MS took the lid off of it’s actively developed software. I believe that it must be a very large culture shift for MS to consider even this baby step. Is it useful? Not yet. Will it ever be? I don’t know.

    It seems like a big deal because it’s shocking, to me, considering the source (no pun intended) and not because its revolutionary. If this is step one to eventually being able to contribute then I’m glad the step has been taken. If it’s not, and you’ve got EVERY right to expect that to be the case, then you’re absolutely right: it’s a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    But to directly answer your question: today, no, it doesn’t matter. I’m excited at the thought that in the future we can look back and say that perhaps it did.

  4. Leon,

    LOL, yeah I posted this before I realized you posted a reply to my comment on you blog.

    I understand your “wows”. My surprise comes at all those out there really excited about this and to them I need to ask why? I think your surprise is everyone’s surprise but I think their happiness will be short lived when realizing it means nothing. Microsoft is not opening anything up and with our good friend Reflector we are not truly getting any more than we already have, maybe with a few more comments.

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