Scott Guthrie, one of the interesting and bleeding edge Microsoft developer blogs announced today that the .NET Framework Library Source code was now available. This is a big deal, and something I really look forward to taking a look into.
While one of the main reasons for releasing this code was to help developers debug better, areas outside of this are already paying attention. Case in point, Mono. Mono is the software that allows developers to develop .NET apps for platforms like the Mac, Linux, Solaris, and other platforms. I have been toying around with Mono for a years now, just fooling around on the Mac and Linux to see what I could do. Over that time, the project has not only gained more and more popularity, it also has gained substantial backing, its currently sponsored by Novell.
Discussed around the internet a few months ago when Scott announced the plan to release this source code, people immediately talked the possibilities of this and Mono working together. But of course, this could never work. This new code is not actually open source, and neither is the license its released under! Right after Scott announced this, Mono posted on their site their stance on using any of this, which you can read here. Basically, none of this code could/will be used. What I am not sure about is using any Microsoft intellectual property/development methods/etc. to influence parts of the Mono Project. I would assume no, since in most cases, closed source (and even some open source) licenses protect this as well.
I personally would love to start working with this. They currently have released the code to some of the more common parts of the library, some stuff that I use every day. Its mostly for debuging code, but I also think it would be a GREAT learning tool. Pretty much all of my programing knowledge is self-taught, with some help from friends, teachers, and the internet along the way. But in all of those cases, other than from friends/other projects, you never really see ‘real code’. Everything you read in school is theory, and stuff you see online only explains a key point or two, not all 10 points you may be trying to cover together. Being able to see the actual code of the Libraries that we program against every day not only shows you methodology, but may even the way developers at Microsoft designed these tools.
Unfortunately, our team at work wont be going to VS2008 any time soon (though it would eliminate the need for me to use VS2003 and 2005 together). I have it installed on my home machine, but just have not had the chance to use it just yet! There’s a lot of things brewing around here, so time will tell!
Listening To: ‘The Sounds of Settling’ by Death Cab for Cutie