Sandcastle 'open source'?

Jun 5, 2008 at 5:51 AM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 7:49 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm a long-time .NET developer (I've been developing primary in .NET since 1.0 days) and have over the years developed a very strong preference towards using OSS tools like NUnit, NUnitForms, NDoc, NBehave, NXmlSerializer etc.  In my experience, I have never been on a project that has not had the need to modify or extend a dev tool.  My last employer was happy to let employees release any non-core tool developed in-house as OSS, and to contribute freely to OSS tools we used.

As a result of this experience - and some singularly negative experiences with closed-source tools not doing what I wanted -  I'm biased very strongly towards OSS dev tools as a way of mitigating technical risk, even when developing on a closed-source framework like .NET.  I'd be much happier recommending Sandcastle for my current project if the source was available under a permissive license.

Furthermore, the CodePlex home page clearly states (my emphasis):

    "CodePlex is Microsoft's open source project hosting web site. Start a new project, join an existing one, or download software created by the community."

So ... how do interested members of 'the community' get our hands on the Sandcastle source?  If we can't, can you tell us why, & why it's on CodePlex in the first place if it's not open source?

Yours,
Duncan Bayne
http://www.fluidscape.co.nz/
Jun 5, 2008 at 10:44 AM
Hi Duncan/SandCastle project coordinators

This came to my attention yesterday, and we had a big discussion on CodeProject about it. I have notified the listed project contact without response.

I believe, Sandcastle has 2 options, either they relicense, or release the source.

Someone did bring up the fact that the MS PL does not explicitly state source code must be available [1], but as it is an OSI approved license, it has to conform strictly to the OSI definition [2].

Here are some quoted parts (emphasis for effect):

Open Source Licenses

Microsoft maintains two licenses that have been certified by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Certification by the OSI means that developers can be confident that the licenses meet the terms of the Open Source Definition.

Introduction

Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:

1. Free Redistribution

The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

2. Source Code

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.

Now the authors can claim this is just a mix up, but this project has been hosted here for at least 6 months.

What is further worse is that the 'author' of MS PL is clearly undermining the validity and conformance of the license as a true open source license.

What impact will this have on the legal ground I can stand on for my own projects licensed under the MS PL?

So please Microsoft, rectify this situation immediately.

Regards

Llewellyn Pritchard (aka leppie)

References:

[1] http://www.microsoft.com/opensource/licenses.mspx#Ms-PL
[2] http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd
Jun 5, 2008 at 12:07 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 12:07 PM
This situation is going to end up on Slashdot with a dramatic name like "Codeplex fails; Microsoft doesn't understand Open Source" unless it gets fixed. Worst part is that they would be right.

Just release it elsewhere if no source is going to be made available. This is really bad PR.
Jun 5, 2008 at 12:18 PM
Well said reinux :)
Jun 5, 2008 at 12:42 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 12:43 PM

I do not know what all this is about. Did any of you see Ms-PL when installing the Sandcastle?

Assuming you do not know, the CodePlex license allows you to host samples of commercial product here.
MS could simply release a style here and it is still complete, or just even the generic sample.
NDoc sources are still around, how many of us are contributing to it?

The home page of this site ends with "stay tuned..." which means they are in the process of getting this
acts together, so what is all these about? That we understand license more than MS or what?

Best regards,
Paul.

Jun 5, 2008 at 12:50 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 12:54 PM
Paul

That was in January (8th). If MS was a government owned operation, sure, I guess 6 months would be acceptable. This however is not. This is a misrepresentation. They should have chosen another license if they could not comply, as they have legally bound themselves now, by choosing the incorrect license.

They are hosting a closed sourced product here. I see not open samples either. Neither is there any license in the binary distribution (do not confuse an installer EULA with a license please). They have that Code dump/sample thing on MSDN, why not use that?

Regards

leppie
Jun 5, 2008 at 12:52 PM

SelormeyPaul wrote:

NDoc sources are still around, how many of us are contributing to it?

Not sure I follow what NDoc has to do with this.
Jun 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM

SelormeyPaul wrote:

Assuming you do not know, the CodePlex license allows you to host samples of commercial product here.

Definitely not what the Hosting requirements states:
What are the requirements for hosting a project on CodePlex?
Your project must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must choose a license for your project (license resources: Open Source License page on Wikipedia)
  2. It must be an ongoing project (no "abandoned" projects)
  3. It must have source code (no non-software projects)


Jun 5, 2008 at 1:08 PM
Great question... where is the source MS?
Jun 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM
Finally I would like to add, upon attempting to download the mislabeled MSI installer, it prompts you to accept the license (MS PL).
Jun 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 2:23 PM
>>leppie: That was in January (17th). If MS was a government owned operation, sure, I guess 6 months would be acceptable.
Please you are not paying for those working on this, so you do not have a right here.
The second release was to be in February, but we got it in May. If you are here for long or care to read the other threads
you will know why.

>>leppie: They are hosting a closed sourced product here. I see not open samples either
We do not know what they are hosting here yet. They have placed a binary release, which is allowed.
Again, CodePlex allows even documentations or articles only. It has nothing to mean source codes.

>>leppie: Neither is there any license in the binary distribution (do not confuse an installer EULA with a license please).
EULA is End User License Agreement.. I do not know if you needed anything more. If you need more information,
please see the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_license_agreement

>>leppie: They have that Code dump/sample thing on MSDN, why not use that?
They own this place and can do whatever they like with it. They are paying others to develop this place, which
we are freely using. The Sandcastle is a tool they develop for their documentations and decided to share it with
us for free. Can't we be grateful for all these services and give them room to work?

>>leppie: They should have chosen another license if they could not comply..
Before coming here, in the MSDN forum, they were proposing to release the Prototype style. It is very clear the delay
in stating the direction of this project is due to licensing issues, and that is no secret.

And we know MS developer will not response to legal issues, without directing it to their legal department, so if
you have time to debate legal issues instead of grabbing the stuff and making a living, you will get a quicker
response if you contact the legal department.

We have had more than four threads on this already, please let's use this forum to help those having real problems.

Best regards,
Paul.
Jun 5, 2008 at 1:44 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 1:52 PM
>>leppie: Definitely not what the Hosting requirements states:
Months ago I also asked this, you find it here

http://www.codeplex.com/CodePlex/Thread/View.aspx?ThreadId=13396

and if you need to see a project without sources under Ms-PL, here is one of them

http://www.codeplex.com/BIArchAndDesignGuide

Best regards,
Paul.
Jun 5, 2008 at 1:49 PM
>>leppie: Definitely not what the Hosting requirements states:
Months ago I also asked this, you find it here

http://www.codeplex.com/CodePlex/Thread/View.aspx?ThreadId=13396

Best regards,
Paul.
Jun 5, 2008 at 2:17 PM


SelormeyPaul wrote:
a) Please you are not paying for those working on this, so you do not have a right here.

b) Again, CodePlex allows even documentations or articles only. It has nothing to mean source codes.

c) EULA is End User License Agreement.. I do not know if you needed anything more. If you need more information,
please see the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_license_agreement

d) They own this place and can do whatever they like with it. They are paying others to develop this place, which
we are freely using.

e) And we know MS developer will not response to legal issues, without directing it to their legal department, so if
you have time to debate legal issues instead of grabbing the stuff and making a living, you will get a quicker
response if you contact the legal department.

a) I did accept the license (MS PL) when I downloaded it, I expect to be granted those rights.
b) Look again. I replied with the hosting conditions.
c) I am not a end user. I am a developer, the EULA does not apply for derivative works.
d) So they have one set of rules and the rest have their limited set of rules. That's rich!
e) I realize they cannot reply, but given the seriousness of the situation, I really think they should get a legally authoritative person to clarify this.

To be honest I dont care what project it is, the point is I have a lot of source code under this license (MS PL), and it is hosted here on CodePlex. I would like this license to be fair and valid, and I need to be able to count on it in legal terms.

Jun 5, 2008 at 2:21 PM


SelormeyPaul wrote:

and if you need to see a project without sources under Ms-PL, here is one of them

http://www.codeplex.com/BIArchAndDesignGuide

Thanks for pointing out yet another MS license violation by MS!
Jun 5, 2008 at 2:58 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 3:00 PM
>>leppie: To be honest I dont care what project it is,
Many of us  here too, and will least want to deal with noise.

>>leppie: the point is I have a lot of source code under this license (MS PL), and it is hosted here on CodePlex.
There is a forum for CodePlex, and I think that is best suited for these issues. You can use the Sandcastle
as an example to them.

>>leppie: I would like this license to be fair and valid, and I need to be able to count on it in legal terms.
You've already agreed this is not the place to resolve the license issues or get clarifications, so if you want
results look for the best place.

Best regards,
Paul.
Jun 5, 2008 at 3:12 PM
I'd like to see the source code for Sandcastle released, but if it's not I'd still like to see Sandcastle remain on CodePlex - with a different license.  We can't deny the features of CodePlex and the fact that a few popular tools and extensions to Sandcastle can be found here already; keeping Sandcastle within the user-established Sandcastle community on CodePlex is a plus.

Although I guess moving it to the Code Gallery wouldn't be so bad as an alternative; I think Microsoft is using their own internal TFS for project management so it's possible that the CodePlex project is not being used to its fullest extent anyway.

- Dave
Jun 5, 2008 at 3:41 PM
Wow... don't we have enough legal issues already without making a mountain out of a molehill?  I understand the complaints raised, but have to side with Paul's call to just be grateful and leave it alone.  If you're not satisfied with something a commercial company releases freely (even if it has to do with license terms and nothing else), don't use it.  Don't complain so much that you ruin it for the rest of us who are appreciative.  If you're not satisfied with a commercial company making a platform available for you to share source/binaries, there's always SourceForge.

Give it a rest.

Mark
Jun 5, 2008 at 7:32 PM
Mark, I'm not sure you understand the issue well enough to dismiss it.  Without source, binaries are just freeware.  They aren't Open Source.  So when Microsoft uses an Open Source Initiative approved license without providing source, they risk de-approval of their license.  Not a step we would take lightly, of course!  But possible.
Jun 5, 2008 at 8:26 PM
This discussion has been linked on reddit by Llewellyn.

Please do publicly release the source for this; otherwise there's no point in hosting it on CodePlex.

Russ, the Ms-PL isn't the problem; Llewellyn and you are misrepresenting the terms of the license by claiming it requires release of source. It doesn't. However, again, we all agree that there's no point in hosting it on CodePlex if they're not releasing the source. Might as well submit it to download.com with the rest of the world's closed-source freeware.

Mark, while I'm happy MS is releasing more software in whatever form, if they're going to host it on their SourceForge-equivalent site, by doing so they set expectations that those projects will be open source, or at the least source available. CodePlex needs to guarantee source availability in some way.


Peter
Jun 5, 2008 at 9:46 PM
Edited Jun 5, 2008 at 9:49 PM
It's probably worth noting that this is not an all or nothing situation.  Much of Sandcastle is already open source - it's just the binaries that aren't.  I guess you can say that Sandcastle is a partially-open source project as it stands now.  Moving it to download.com is therefore completely inappropriate, especially because we'll lose the familiar discussions and issue tracking features of CodePlex.

Check out the recently published Sandcastle Styles project to see how Sandcastle has been modified and extended in various ways.  If it wasn't at least partially open source this couldn't have been done and published under the Ms-PL license.

To be a bit more specific, there's not much reason to publish the source for BuildAssembler.exe since it's a very simple tool.  It's MRefBuilder.exe and the individual build components that are special; however, since build components are just plug-ins you can write your own as well.  You can even rewrite the existing components to add new functionality if they don't meet your needs.  That's not open source, but it's an open architecture at least.

What's apparently open source now are the many various XSL transformations, configuration files and resources such as icons and shared content, which all play big parts in making Sandcastle's architecture open and flexible.  I'm no lawyer, but it seems that we can do what we want with these files in our own projects (just don't quote me on that :) so this conversation is a bit futile.  (Don't get me wrong though, I'd like to see the binary source opened as well if possible.)

- Dave
Jun 5, 2008 at 11:41 PM
Russ,

You are thinking of the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL).  Releasing under the Ms-PL does not oblige MS to release the source.  It merely says that (my emphasis):

"If you distribute any portion of the software in source code form, you may do so only under this license by including a complete copy of this license with your distribution."

Paul,

What they are doing is violating their own hosting terms & conditions.  Imagine how Microsoft would take it if I started breaking their terms & conditions (say, by distributing unauthorized copies of their software) & informed them that everything was okay, because I was planning to abide by their T&C at some unspecified date in the future.  You & I both know that approach wouldn't wash ... so why are they taking it?
Jun 6, 2008 at 12:24 AM
Duncan, if the MS-PL does not require someone to release the source code, then it cannot meet the requirements of an OSI license. If it does not meet those requirements, then it will be removed from OSI's list of approved licenses. Now, this issue is separate from the issue of Microsoft violating their own hosting requirements... it could be argued that they can violate their hosting requirements on their own site. But it undermines the purpose of the site, and reduces developer confidence in Microsoft if they can't even follow their own 3 simple rules.

So there are two separate things that Sandcastle is violating... the requirements of any OSI approved license, and Codeplex's hosting requirements.
This should be rectified, and sooner rather than later. The simplest thing to do would be to take it off of Codeplex; let the OSI fundies worry about whether MS-PL is a valid OSI license. But as a closed-source project, it has no purpose being on an open-source forum.  
Jun 6, 2008 at 2:41 AM

Russ,

I do understand the issue and will still dismiss it because even if the discrepancy were huge, it is still in our favor: Microsoft is releasing a tool that I can use, freely.  It's a tool that they consider solid enough to compile the documentation for VS.  The thing that bothers me (and probably many other business/corporate techies) the most, bar none, about open source is perfectly embodied in this thread: it seems as if it's permanently bogged down in legal quagmires.  The reason I said to give it a rest is because no one here is going to bully Microsoft into releasing source.   Either they will or they won't.  If they won't, the best case scenario for most people in this thread is that they'll pull down the binaries and/or change the license for Sandcastle.  Worst case scenario for Microsoft, you get the OSI to revoke their license.  But what exactly have you achieved at that point?  Have you stuck it to the man?  Will you go to bed at night thinking, "Yeah, I really showed them!"

Peter,

I totally understand that expectations have been set, and I agree in principle with the fact that software on an open source-branded site should be open source.  Where I diverge from the crowd here is in thinking that it's worth it to fight Microsoft on this.  I'd cite the same rationale from the prior paragraph.  It just seems like there are significantly more serious issues we could be going after.  I truly believe the only possible appeasement for some people on this thread would be for Microsoft to pull down the binaries.  (I'd restate that no one here can bully Microsoft into releasing source.)  But Microsoft pulling down the binaries is just a headache for people like me for two reasons: first, it means that people like me have to move bookmarks, second, it means that Microsoft (who obviously puts a lot of money into Sandcastle but thought it might be useful to some of us smaller-company types) will be even more reticent in the future to release anything to benefit the community.  If it costs them x in the first place to put this out (a cost they wouldn't have incurred if they hadn't released it at all), it will cost them x+1 or maybe even more to move it.  As those costs mount, the likelihood of future freebies from Microsoft diminishes.

Most of all, I just get so frustrated when I read Slashdot/Engadget/Gizmodo and the most vocal people always seem to be anti-Microsoft.  I have appreciated and continue to appreciate what I use from Microsoft and I don't want to see things like Sandcastle, or FxCop, or Source Analysis disappear.  That's my rationale.

Mark

Jun 6, 2008 at 3:07 AM

Russ,

I do understand the issue and will still dismiss it because even if the discrepancy were huge, it is still in our favor: Microsoft is releasing a tool that I can use, freely.  It's a tool that they consider solid enough to compile the documentation for VS.  The thing that bothers me (and probably many other business/corporate techies) the most, bar none, about open source is perfectly embodied in this thread: it seems as if it's permanently bogged down in legal quagmires.  The reason I said to give it a rest is because no one here is going to bully Microsoft into releasing source.   Either they will or they won't.  If they won't, the best case scenario for most people in this thread is that they'll pull down the binaries and/or change the license for Sandcastle.  Worst case scenario for Microsoft, you get the OSI to revoke their license.  But what exactly have you achieved at that point?  Have you stuck it to the man?  Will you go to bed at night thinking, "Yeah, I really showed them!"

Peter,

I totally understand that expectations have been set, and I agree in principle with the fact that software on an open source-branded site should be open source.  Where I diverge from the crowd here is in thinking that it's worth it to fight Microsoft on this.  I'd cite the same rationale from the prior paragraph.  It just seems like there are significantly more serious issues we could be going after.  I truly believe the only possible appeasement for some people on this thread would be for Microsoft to pull down the binaries.  (I'd restate that no one here can bully Microsoft into releasing source.)  But Microsoft pulling down the binaries is just a headache for people like me for two reasons: first, it means that people like me have to move bookmarks, second, it means that Microsoft (who obviously puts a lot of money into Sandcastle but thought it might be useful to some of us smaller-company types) will be even more reticent in the future to release anything to benefit the community.  If it costs them x in the first place to put this out (a cost they wouldn't have incurred if they hadn't released it at all), it will cost them x+1 or maybe even more to move it.  As those costs mount, the likelihood of future freebies from Microsoft diminishes.

Most of all, I just get so frustrated when I read Slashdot/Engadget/Gizmodo and the most vocal people always seem to be anti-Microsoft.  I have appreciated and continue to appreciate what I use from Microsoft and I don't want to see things like Sandcastle, or FxCop, or Source Analysis disappear.  That's my rationale.

Mark

Jun 6, 2008 at 3:35 AM

Russ,

I do understand the issue and will still dismiss it because even if the discrepancy were huge, it is still in our favor: Microsoft is releasing a tool that I can use, freely.  It's a tool that they consider solid enough to compile the documentation for VS.  The thing that bothers me (and probably many other business/corporate techies) the most, bar none, about open source is perfectly embodied in this thread: it seems as if it's permanently bogged down in legal quagmires.  The reason I said to give it a rest is because no one here is going to bully Microsoft into releasing source.   Either they will or they won't.  If they won't, the best case scenario for most people in this thread is that they'll pull down the binaries and/or change the license for Sandcastle.  Worst case scenario for Microsoft, you get the OSI to revoke their license.  But what exactly have you achieved at that point?  Have you stuck it to the man?  Will you go to bed at night thinking, "Yeah, I really showed them!"

Peter,

I totally understand that expectations have been set, and I agree in principle with the fact that software on an open source-branded site should be open source.  Where I diverge from the crowd here is in thinking that it's worth it to fight Microsoft on this.  I'd cite the same rationale from the prior paragraph.  It just seems like there are significantly more serious issues we could be going after.  I truly believe the only possible appeasement for some people on this thread would be for Microsoft to pull down the binaries.  (I'd restate that no one here can bully Microsoft into releasing source.)  But Microsoft pulling down the binaries is just a headache for people like me for two reasons: first, it means that people like me have to move bookmarks, second, it means that Microsoft (who obviously puts a lot of money into Sandcastle but thought it might be useful to some of us smaller-company types) will be even more reticent in the future to release anything to benefit the community.  If it costs them x in the first place to put this out (a cost they wouldn't have incurred if they hadn't released it at all), it will cost them x+1 or maybe even more to move it.  As those costs mount, the likelihood of future freebies from Microsoft diminishes.

Most of all, I just get so frustrated when I read Slashdot/Engadget/Gizmodo and the most vocal people always seem to be anti-Microsoft.  I have appreciated and continue to appreciate what I use from Microsoft and I don't want to see things like Sandcastle, or FxCop, or Source Analysis disappear.  That's my rationale.

Mark

Jun 6, 2008 at 4:34 AM
Russ,

You're right, & I stand corrected - the Ms-PL as it stands is not compatible with the Open Source Definition, because it does not mandate the release of source code.  You can't get any clearer than this (my emphasis):

    The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge.

Mark,

Personally, I think it's great that Microsoft has released Sandcastle.  I'll probably use it for my project anyway given there is no OSS alternative, and do so gratefully.  You are conflating three entirely separate issues:

  1. Microsoft has done the development community a great favor by releasing a nifty tool for generating documentation.
  2. Microsoft has done the development community a great disservice by diluting the value of OSI approval, and open source licensing in general.
  3. Microsoft isn't playing by their own rules w.r.t. CodePlex.
We should all be praising Microsoft over point 1; since the well-publicized and frankly shameful death of NDoc there was no good solution for this problem and Microsoft has stepped up to the plate with a solution that's working for a lot of people.  It's very clever from a business perspective too as it's closed a major gap between their platforms and others.

Personally, I don't care terribly much about point 3.  Microsoft built CodePlex, they paid for it, and it's theirs to do with what they will if they're prepared to wear the potential PR costs of not playing by their own rules.  It irks me, but not more than I'd be irked by not having access to Sandcastle. 

However none of the above has any bearing on point 2.  That is, Microsoft is attempting to muddy the waters with respect to what constitutes an open source license.  I'm simply not inclined to believe that this is accidental; they perceive open source to be a threat to their business model, and have for a decade been developing & implementing strategies to combat it.  Having a clearly non-OSS license approved by the OSI, and then releasing software under it to a nominally OSS site like CodePlex is an attempt to dilute the principles of OSS in a manner akin to trademark dilution.  That may not bother you but it bothers the hell out of me - much more than the idea of not having Sandcastle bothers me.

That said, this isn't a terribly difficult issue to fix.  All Microsoft needs to do is renounce their own OSI approval, or revise the Ms-PL license to require source release and re-license Sandcastle under some other license so that they can keep the source to themselves.
Jun 6, 2008 at 4:58 AM
The "molehill" is the Sandcastle issue. The "mountain" is Codeplex's perceived integrity. I don't think Microsoft is doing anything too "bad" here either legally or morally; that's not the problem. The problem is that Microsoft doesn't give a damn about its own reputation. And you know what? Sociologically speaking, it's becoming a big problem. Don't believe me? Check out the newest way to protect yourself from SQL injection attacks: just blame Microsoft! Can you imagine how many underqualified developers are evading responsibility with this trick?

Neither the people for or against leaving Sandcastle on Codeplex without source can deny that at the very least it's a decision that's raising eyebrows.

It's been made absolutely clear perhaps hundreds of times by now that one of Microsoft's biggest problems is its tendency to make itself misunderstood.

And it's absolutely appalling that Microsoft makes no effort to fix that.
Coordinator
Jun 6, 2008 at 5:52 AM
Thank you Duncan for starting this thread, Leppie for personally writing to me and the rest of the community for providing valuable feedback. I am greatful for all the great community efforts, support around Sandcastle and the adoption rate. As I have mentioned in the past I will be happy to release the source of various presentation transforms, MAML schema, reflecton schema. They are already available to customers downloading Sandcastle. I am evaluating the options presented here carefully about the source code of the Production tools.

I ask your patience while I make every effort to address the options presented in this thread. I will get back to this thread with answers. Cheers.

Anand..
http://blogs.msdn.com/sandcastle
Jun 6, 2008 at 6:18 AM
Thanks for replying Anand.

a) The issue is not with SandCastle. It can relicensed.
b) The issue is not with CodePlex. The terms can be adjusted.
c) The issue is with MS-PL possibly not being a valid OSI license.

I have no concerns with a & b. Howver point c does affect me directly, and this needs to be sorted out.

An OSI license requires everything to be open source (else it cannot be licensed as OSS).

Cheers

leppie
Jun 6, 2008 at 6:27 AM
leppie,

+1 to that.  Maybe we should consider moving this - more important - aspect of the thread to a more appropriate forum?  Otherwise the big picture (Ms-PL & OSI) is going to be obscured by the Sandcastle-on-CodePlex issue.
Jun 6, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Russ,

I do understand the issue and will still dismiss it because even if the discrepancy were huge, it is still in our favor: Microsoft is releasing a tool that I can use, freely.  It's a tool that they consider solid enough to compile the documentation for VS.  The thing that bothers me (and probably many other business/corporate techies) the most, bar none, about open source is perfectly embodied in this thread: it seems as if it's permanently bogged down in legal quagmires.  The reason I said to give it a rest is because no one here is going to bully Microsoft into releasing source.   Either they will or they won't.  If they won't, the best case scenario for most people in this thread is that they'll pull down the binaries and/or change the license for Sandcastle.  Worst case scenario for Microsoft, you get the OSI to revoke their license.  But what exactly have you achieved at that point?  Have you stuck it to the man?  Will you go to bed at night thinking, "Yeah, I really showed them!"

Peter,

I totally understand that expectations have been set, and I agree in principle with the fact that software on an open source-branded site should be open source.  Where I diverge from the crowd here is in thinking that it's worth it to fight Microsoft on this.  I'd cite the same rationale from the prior paragraph.  It just seems like there are significantly more serious issues we could be going after.  I truly believe the only possible appeasement for some people on this thread would be for Microsoft to pull down the binaries.  (I'd restate that no one here can bully Microsoft into releasing source.)  But Microsoft pulling down the binaries is just a headache for people like me for two reasons: first, it means that people like me have to move bookmarks, second, it means that Microsoft (who obviously puts a lot of money into Sandcastle but thought it might be useful to some of us smaller-company types) will be even more reticent in the future to release anything to benefit the community.  If it costs them x in the first place to put this out (a cost they wouldn't have incurred if they hadn't released it at all), it will cost them x+1 or maybe even more to move it.  As those costs mount, the likelihood of future freebies from Microsoft diminishes.

Most of all, I just get so frustrated when I read Slashdot/Engadget/Gizmodo and the most vocal people always seem to be anti-Microsoft.  I have appreciated and continue to appreciate what I use from Microsoft and I don't want to see things like Sandcastle, or FxCop, or Source Analysis disappear.  That's my rationale.

Mark

Jun 6, 2008 at 12:04 PM
[Apparently, refreshing the page reposts whatever I posted last.  My apologies for the repeats.]
Jun 6, 2008 at 1:28 PM
Leppie, you're misinterpreting OSI requirements. Or if you're not, then they're going to have to remove a great deal more licenses than just the Ms-PL.

Anyway, since you've said that you don't have an issue with Sandcastle or CodePlex, we can all now drop this discussion, excellent.

Final note: Reddit discussion is here: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/info/6m64u/comments/ -Peter
Jun 6, 2008 at 2:12 PM


pseale wrote:
Leppie, you're misinterpreting OSI requirements. Or if you're not, then they're going to have to remove a great deal more licenses than just the Ms-PL.

Anyway, since you've said that you don't have an issue with Sandcastle or CodePlex, we can all now drop this discussion, excellent.

Final note: Reddit discussion is here: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/info/6m64u/comments/ -Peter


I dont think so. The MsPL and MsRL (or MsLPL) are listed as open source licenses and certified by OSI (iow it adheres to the terms of the OSI definition). What is there not to understand about it? If they didnt want MsPL to be for OSS use alone, they should have never gotten it certified in the first place.

If you are referring to BSD-style licenses that does not explicitly specifiy source needs to be made available, show me a BSD licensed closed source project. In fact it seems you are confusing it with derivative works, which does vary greatly (the requirements) between licenses, but all are still open source.

Regards

leppie







Jun 6, 2008 at 2:26 PM
The Sandcastle project is "open" to the Sandcastle team, not to the public. They could be doing the exact same thing they're doing now with a BSD or MIT license, both of which are approved OSI licenses.

So it does come back to CodePlex project source availability, even if you claim it's some sort of OSI thing. No project would be able to get away with this sort of thing on SourceForge, which has more stringent requirements.

Anyway, sorry for bloating up the discussion guys, I promise I'll stop; this discussion is clearly beyond the scope of a single CodePlex project. -Peter
Feb 15, 2010 at 8:13 AM

>>kevinhill: I completely agree with leppie here.

kevinhill! Can you stop the spam? 

Anyone knows the CodePlex facilities to handle these spammers? It seems there is no moderation features provided.

Best regards,
Paul.