Frans Bouma posted his thoughts on the reasons for the relative absence of big open-source project in MS/.NET land when compared to Java, Linux, PHP, etc. world.
I had an somewhat related IM discussion with a colleague (who shall remain anonymous unless he permits me to out him or outs himself in the comments 😉 this morning. Over the weekend he sent me a piece of non-commercial software he had written to try out. To my amazement he sent me just the compiled version and had even gone through the trouble of running an obfuscator on it so I couldn't be decompiled to readable code.
For a question related to his application I referred him to the P/Invoke.net site to find P/Invoke signatures for Win32 API's. He did not find the DLL he was looking for, so I suggested that he go figure out the signatures himself and contribute them to the site since pinvoke.net is a wiki. He said that would be too much trouble and he said he wasn't that "socialistic".
Is this a typical mindset for a .NET developer?
BTW: To his defense, my colleague did suggest that I post the code of my WCF ServiceProxyHelper on my blog 😉
I appreciate the power of open source and made a small contribution of my own based on a piece of open source from Hisham Baz. Judging by the e-mails I get about the RollingFileTraceListener, people find it useful. It has been downloaded 1900+ times from gotdotnet and I get about one support request a week. I did not even give a thought to the possibility of releasing only a binary version and obfuscating that.
How do you feel about contributing to the greater .NET community? Either during your spare-time or during working hours.
Should commercial software companies make more open-source contributions for the .NET world?