Microsoft on Sourceforge

By Blane Warrene

In early April Microsoft quietly released its first open source project, WIX, on Sourceforge. WIX, according to the project page, “The Windows Installer XML (WiX) is a toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. The toolset supports a command line environment that developers may integrate into their build processes to build MSI and MSM setup packages.”

While this is not a huge release of source code, it is an interesting step as Microsoft perhaps begins to explore the open source community. There are some interesting blog entries on the project leader’s weblog, found here. The project was released under a non-modified Common Public License.

There is applicability to web developers using the .Net platform, as Microsoft’s own internal groups, including the division, are using the toolset to build installation packages for web applications.

More interesting is this foray into open source and especially the use of Sourceforge, considered the predominant open source development portal. Perhaps the new experience of working with a community of seasoned open source developers, especially those interested in seeing more open source solution built for or ported to Windows (and the opposite as well! Think .net on Linux – see the Mono Project).

The controls the group has placed on contributed code has drawn some criticism, however, I have worked on open source projects intended for commercial consumption with very strict conditions on source control, so the care and concern given to implementing modified code to the project should not seem shocking.

  • Well, I’m not surprised. There’ve been a lot of hints lately on Microsoft going Open Source on certain things.
    Still, its a start. Are we knocking on the doors of a better future? Will Microsoft be able to keep it up? Its yet to be seen.

  • there have a lot of raised eyebrows on this step by microsoft coming from boths sides of the fence. I believe that this is a very good move by redmond and will greatly help developers especially those doing .net

  • ill fates

    Trust MS?! HA! Bill Gates ripped off people to get where he is… Shun MS! This is just another attempt at getting development work done for free, in my opinion… When MS rips off the open source community…don’t come cryin’…becuase you already knew it would happen…so here’s a tissue in advance. MS sees that open source is big…and ever-growing…why help them pig out on another slice of pie when their gut is already overflowing.

  • I like the name “Wix.” It gives obvious deference to Unix.

  • Anonymous

    It is called business.

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