Writing Open Source for Windows

By Deane Barker on November 2, 2005

No Respect for Windows Open Source: An interesting perspective about how much respect you can get making open source stuff for Windows. DotNetNuke is a portal/CMS system that runs on .Net. The guy who wrote it is apparently sick of sitting at the kids’ table just because his app is for Windows only.

It’s hard being an open source project on the Microsoft platform. Because no matter how hard you try to exemplify true open source ideals, you will not get any respect from the non-Microsoft community. […]

The consequence is that Open Source software for the Windows platform will never be able to participate in this arena until there are some major changes in perception. This could happen in a couple of ways.

Either the Open Source community could admit the fact that some Windows Open Source projects conform to the OSD ideals and should be accepted as legitimate and valued citizens. Or the Windows Open Source movement could continue cultivating and strengthening its own independent ecosystem which further fragments the general Open Source community.

Of the two options, the former certainly seems like a much better alternative. Unfortunately, instigating change at this level requires commitment from many diverse stakeholder groups.

Via Slashdot.



  1. Two quotes from the comments on that page that put things into perspective:

    I think debates concerning “what is open source” are usually more about religion/emotions than about facts.

    Of course in this case, I think the religion/emotions of the Microsoft vs. Anything But Microsoft debate spills over and automatically pollutes any conversation.

    The reason there is no respect for Windows Open Source is because the LAMP folks can not consider your product for use. If it takes a very expensive server operating system (and Windows _server_ is extraordinarily expensive) to run it, the fact that it’s Free and Open Source doesn’t really matter to them.

    That particular argument makes a lot of sense to me from an acceptance point of view.

    And my particular comment to stir up debate is that I’ve seen a number of Windows apps that just do open source “wrong” from an traditionalist point of view (traditionalist being those that have the biggest voice in what is open source or not). What do I mean by “wrong”? Well if you had an application and you wanted to get respect from the open source community wouldn’t you do what everyone else is doing and drop it into SourceForge and maintain the code in Subversion? (When in Rome…)

    Take for example the .Net AJAX component developed by Michael Schwarz. It gained a huge following earlier this year and everyone was wanting the source and because it was so popular the pressure was on to release as open source. After a period of significant waiting and promises of going open source (and actually going open source without releasing the source), it finally happened but he chose to not go with SourceForge and put together some other framework for managing it. And then it seems that once he released it, he branched off into a professional version. Probably wasn’t quite the way most people expected things to go.

    And of course, there’s DNN itself. They didn’t go the SourceForge route either and you have to register to download the code. Not saying that these things don’t make it open source by definition, but it certainly doesn’t build bridges with the traditionalists.

    And of course, there’s always the ignorance factor between the two sides:

    On the other hand, while the many PHP tools may serve well to get a job done, working with PHP, in my opinion, is not a very satisfying thing deep down. We know that enterprise level APIs or libraries will not be created in typeless languages. We know that these systems have a limited potential for growth and sophistication on their own.

    I thought that one was especially relevant given your other post about .Net and PHP.

  2. We know that these systems have a limited potential for growth and sophistication on their own.

    Um…we do? Okay, then those millions and millions of PHP-powered sites are just examples limited growth?

    There’s one little, bitty thing that destroys this guy’s entire argument here. It’s called “reality.”

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