Microsoft Makes ASP.NET Open Source

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Microsoft is becoming increasingly more and more one of the good guys within the tech community. Their latest move is definitely going to make a lot of developers happy.

Scott Hanselman, a Microsoft employee, announced Tuesday that Microsoft is making ASP.NEt MVC 4, ASP.NET Web API and ASP.NET Web Pages v2 all open source under the Apache 2.0 license. These technologies have been open source for a while now, but they weren't "really" open source. What this means is that the team didn't take contributions from the development community, now they are.

The open source movement will allow developers to directly submit fixes and unit tests to Microsoft. They list the things that outside developers can now take part in:

Find a bug? Send a unit test or fix.
Think our coverage isn’t sufficient? Submit a unit test.
Got a feature idea? Get involved more deeply with the developers and help write it.

When you submit a fix, the developers will test it against their current standards. They're keeping this process transparent as developers will be able to see Microsoft's "developers' checkins to the product out in the open."

All this doesn't mean that Microsoft is going to reduce support for ASP.NET. In fact, they claim to have more developers working on these programs more than ever before. The open source movement just makes it easier for developers to collaborate on these programs.

ASP.NET Web Forms are not open source, however, and Microsoft has a valid reason for that. Web Forms is part of System.Web.dll which the Windows Server OS relies upon. It can't be replaced as easily with newer versions.

If you want to get to work right now, the source code is now available at codeplex. For more information on this open source initiative, check out Microsoft's page for it.

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