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microsoft shared source initiative

kind of cool really, they are _slowly_ learning that opening up the source is useful to the customers and doesn't necessarily kill the business doing so stone dead.

more cute perhaps, like watching a baby learning to walk...

OK, so its a controversial subject, that does _not_ necessarily make this a troll...
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Not really.  Access to the source is so controlled that you cannot make any changes, recompile or do more than an inspection.  In that case, how do you know they gave you the actual code?

Saturday, January 10, 2004

I'm sure they don't give you the actual code.  I'm sure they hire some guys to just write code that kinda looks like the real code to trick you.

Mister Fancypants
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Why would you need to compile it, anyway?

The point is for you to inspect the code so you can understand the internal workings of the existing system, not to make a derivitive product from Microsoft's code.

Brad Wilson (
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Umm, Microsoft has never *claimed* that it's the actual Dotnet Framework code.  Quite the opposite  -- it describes the Rotor code as a different, experimental implementation that targets FreeBSD in addition to Windows.  ("There are significant differences in implementation between this code and the code for Microsoft's commercial CLR implementation....")  [1]  Microsoft has been very upfront about these differences and the (many) limitations of the Rotor code.  [2,3]

The only legal limitation is that this code can't be used for commercial purposes.  You can modify it, compile it and redistribute it to your heart's content -- just not for commercial purposes.  [4]

Sure, this code isn't terribly useful, but it can be fun to dive into it and see how it works.  I view it more like a kid's science fair project.  Take it for what it is... if you're expecting Microsoft to turn the Dotnet Framework into some open-source Sourceforge project, you'll be disappointed.  (But there's always the Mono project for that.)





Robert Jacobson
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Ah, sorry -- I see now that the OP wasn't referring just to the Rotor project, but entire "Shared Source" program.  However, the Shared Source license applies equally to the other projects, too -- you can compile, distribute and modify the code, just not for commercial purposes.

Robert Jacobson
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Actually, the Rotor code is *very* useful as a learning tool. It's a good example of a working CLR. The GC has been simplified, the JITter is simplified, but that just makes it a little easier to understand and experiment with it.

Considering one of the goals of Rotor was to get it used in college courses as part of studying virtual machines and operating systems, I think it succeeds pretty well on that score.

Chris Tavares
Sunday, January 11, 2004

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