ScottGu on releasing the source code for .NET 3.5

Scott has announced that the source code for the .NET Framework 3.5 will be released around the same time as VS 2008 / .NET 3.5 RTM. They will also be releasing debugging symbols so you can step through the code all the way down to the framework classes. Full announcement here:

Releasing the Source Code for the .NET Framework Libraries - ScottGu’s Blog

This is so unbelievable awesome! Hopefully it will mean a lot more bugs get picked up, and I can imagine it really helping the Mono team. It also sends a strong message about releasing or opening up source code in general – you don’t really have to worry about all your intellectual property walking out the door. The bad guys will always disassemble/reverse engineer your product anyway. By keeping it all closed you are only locking out the good guys from a better understanding and appreciation for your product, and locking yourself out from some potentially great feedback and bug reports.

I think Scott Guthrie and his team have done a fantastic job with ASP.NET et al. over the last couple of years, and have been a huge boon to Microsoft. They really seem to reflect a new side of Microsoft, with an attitude of openness and general respect for the community which uses their products. Scott is probably the main reason why I no longer spend all my time pining to go back to Java :-)

Update: Shawn Burke has a good post on this, as does Miguel de Icaza from the Mono project. also has the obligatory conspiracy theory. Frans has a fairly well-reasoned criticism of the licence being used for the release.