Microsoft opening up .Net Framework libraries

By releasing the libraries under its Reference License and Shared Source Initiative, Microsoft has made the .Net source code viewable but unmodifiable

Opening up to developers, Microsoft is releasing its .Net Framework libraries under the Microsoft Reference License, which allows viewing of source code but not modification or redistribution, the company said on Wednesday.

The release gives developers the opportunity to better understand the inner workings of the framework's source code, Microsoft said. Microsoft's efforts fall under the company's Shared Source initiative, which allows for sharing of source code; Shared Source has been viewed as Microsoft's answer to open source, in which users can view selected source code.

Also, Microsoft will introduce a capability in the upcoming Visual Studio 2008 developer tools package to allow .Net Framework developers to debug into .Net Framework source code.

"One of the things my team has been working to enable has been the ability for .Net developers to download and browse the source code of the .Net Framework libraries and to easily enable debugging support in them," said Microsoft's Scott Guthrie, general manager in the Microsoft Developer Division, in his blog.

"Today I'm excited to announce that we'll be providing this with the .Net 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 release later this year," he said.

The initiative begins with offering source code with source file components for the following technologies:

  • Net Base Class Libraries (including System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, and System.Text).
  • ASP.Net (System.Web).
  • Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms).
  • ADO.NET (System.Data).
  • XML (System.Xml).
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (System.Windows).
"We'll then be adding more libraries in the months ahead, including Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow, and LINQ (Language Integrated Query)," Guthrie said.

"Having source code access and debugger integration of the .Net Framework libraries is going to be really valuable for .Net developers," Guthrie said. "Being able to step through and review the source should provide much better insight into how the .Net Framework libraries are implemented and in turn enable developers to build better applications and make even better use of them."

"You'll be able to download the .Net Framework source libraries via a standalone install (allowing you to use any text editor to browse it locally). We will also provide integrated debugging support of it within Visual Studio 2008," said Guthrie.

Microsoft's efforts were mostly applauded on Guthrie's blog.

"This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen Microsoft do," one commenter said. "Very, very awesome."

"I think this is a really positive step forward," said another commenter.

"I hope to see a fully open-source .Net Framework in [the] future. Today we have moved closer to that," one respondent said.

But an industry analyst said the move was a bit late.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?