Microsoft Builds CodePlex Developer Site

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Open source and Microsoft would have been an oxymoron a decade ago, but Microsoft has begun embracing the sharing ethos that has given the world software like Linux and the Apache web server.

CodePlex even has a wiki established for listing details about its technology. Viewing source code for projects doesn’t require agreeing to a lengthy end-user license agreement or non-disclosure terms.

“CodePlex is an online software development environment for open and shared source developers to create, host and manage projects throughout the project lifecycle,” Microsoft noted on the site.

“It has been written from the ground up in C# using .NET 2.0 technology with Team Foundation Server on the back end. CodePlex is open to the public free of charge.”

It’s Microsoft all right, as vnunet reported the opening of CodePlex after several weeks in private beta mode.

Vnunet cited Microsoft community source programs director Jon Rosenberg on Microsoft’s motivation to make this foray into open source:

“We really see this as a way for the developer community to get more transparency into Microsoft technology,” he said.

“They can see the source code, they can understand much better how it works, and they can get ideas for how they will use it in their own products and services.”

CodePlex will also be a place for aspiring developers to register and contribute to projects. That work can help build a rsum as the developer completes his or her coding efforts over time.

It also helps build some familiarity and brand loyalty to Microsoft and its products. An effectively implemented CodePlex could be a gateway to assisting developers in becoming loyal to C# and .NET technologies, and take that loyalty into the workplace.

Several projects on CodePlex have seen active development already. The Community Advanced Starter Kit takes a modular approach in enabling the rapid creation of community sites like ones for user groups or news sites.

Developers working on Vertigo aim at bringing a Rational-like version tree source code browser to Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server. Another project, SharePoint Forums Web Part, offers a feature-rich discussion board that works with SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services

The CodePlex team plans an update in mid-July, which will include improvements in the RSS feeds and a number of bug fixes. Microsoft’s James Newkirk also noted the unveiling of a CodePlex blog the team will use to post about the community site.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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