by Justin Gehtland

Related link: http://www.springframework.net/

Continuing a theme from my many blog incarnations, I am continually dumbfounded by the general lack of rabid open-source support in the .NET community. I teach a lot of developers, on a lot of technologies, and my .NET developers are far and away more open-source-averse than any other group.

That's just a shame. There are a lot of great projects out there worthy of passionate community support. NUnit, NAnt, CruiseControl.NET are just a few of them. Granted, NUnit is really kicking butt, and NAnt is catching on, but still. How many .NET developers surf SourceForge every week looking for hot new stuff? Not nearly as many as any other community of developers.

One project that I hope has an impact is Spring.NET. Spring is a fantastic, lightweight application framework for Java that has some real benefits over more traditional, heavyweight frameworks. It may not be the be-all, end-all, but for a wide variety of projects, it is a better target platform then some of the big boys.

Spring.NET has the chance to revolutionize the way .NET applications are configured, deployed and hosted. Its "inversion of control" or, more recently described "dependency injection" model has a lot to offer if your team is struggling through issues of over-coupling and objects that are hard to unit test. Additionally, if you are looking for a host environment and COM+/EnterpriseServices seems like overkill, Spring.NET will have a lot to offer.

The project is only in development right now, no distributions available yet, but I'm hoping that as the project grows and matures, it will garner more attention. I'll certainly be talking about it.....


2004-05-27 02:38:41
Microsofties just don't get it
I worked in an MS oriented development house for over a year, in that time I was the only person to use any open source tools.

Unless something is in their MSDN newsletter, or much more likely, in the integrated help, or dodgy PC magazine, many microsoft developers will not know it exists.

Many take this further and refuse to touch anything that doesn't have the official redmond seal of approval. This was a problem with old-fashioned ASP development where you relied on 3rd party vendors for basic functionality like email and file uploads.

If you are really lucky your developers might have a couple of O Reilly books which break out of the usual MS mindset or read some of the better windows development sites or magazines, but those are few and far between.

2004-05-27 09:53:10
My story
I work doing .NET development for a mostly-Microsoft shop. We're a Fortune 500 company with 50,000 employees. Nobody here blinks at spending a few hundred or few thousand dollars on software.

That said, when it comes time to find a tool for the job (think ASP.NET control, utility, etc) I look at what's available. 90% of the time, the commercial tools have more functionality than open source equivalents. Since money is not a problem, we go with the commercial solution.

I suspect you'll find that when you have a company willing to plop down the big bucks for Microsoft .NET tools, they are similarly willing to plop down more big bucks for other commercial solutions.

2004-05-27 10:27:01
My story
And yours is a common story, I'll grant you. I've heard it several times.

However, there are huge companies out there working in Java that can afford to drop big bucks on software too, but they generally are more open-source-friendly (or open-source-interested) than their .NET/Microsoft counterparts. This extends, often, right down to the developer level.

I think there is plenty of space for open- and closed-source software, as well as open-source-commercial (meaning you pay for it but it is still open) software. I'm just encouraging my Microsoft-centric brethren to take a look at what's available.

2004-05-28 05:18:20
Microsofties just don't get it
yes, open source tools are so usefull..
2004-06-10 04:29:30
We opensource it anyway
We are working in a project from two years it's based on VB6, but the OCXs, the DBMS (Postgresql), the server(RH Linux), ... are totally opensource, the only thing property in the project is the client OS (Win2k) and the dev IDE (VB6) and this couple works great ! why does MS play it blind ??
2004-07-16 07:38:35
Microsoft Developers and OpenSource
I too find the same thing... few Microsoft developers knew about open source tools just a year or two ago. I try to inform such individuals at every opportunity I get.

Although I am not a Java developer, other than tinkering on my own, I keep up-to-date on what tools are out there and often visit sites like apache.org, theserverside.com, oreilly.com, etc. After getting into .NET it was refreshing to see tools like NAnt, NUnit, etc. becoming available. Still, I find myself asking why there aren't more OpenSource tools for .NET.

One that I hope takes off is NHibernate. Unfortunately, again, few .NET developers seem to know about this and so it never gets evaluated or there is resistence to even evaluate it. Instead they're waiting for ObjectSpaces which wont even be available for a year or two, at least.

But the mindset is 'slowly' changing. I'm glad authors like yourself mention .NET OpenSource tools so the rest of the community comes to know about it.