Has Microsoft "Jumped the Shark"?

Created: March 12, 2015 Tagged As: .net, General, Language Share:

Has Microsoft "Jumped the Shark"? If you're not old enough to know what that means, let me explain. Microsoft's upcoming version of the .net framework (their 15 year-old programming foundation) is being developed as an open source project.

According Scott Guthrie "We are developing ASP.NET 5 as an open source project on GitHub. You can view the code, see when changes were made, download the code, and submit changes. We believe making ASP.NET 5 open source will we make it easier for you to understand the code, understand our intended direction, and contribute to the project."

While I agree that open source can and does lead to innovation, I firmly believe that a fully supported software system written by a team of dedicated developers leads to the best results. Since open source typically does not run mission-critical line-of-business applications and the .net framework typically do. What will happen when a savvy developer downloads the framework, modifies it to fit her needs and then has her application blow up causing a business to shut down for a day or two? Obviously she has to fix her problem, but at this point Microsoft can be of no assistance as they have in he past since they no longer have any control over any part of code. As a business owner and programmer this really scares me. And as someone who often inherits horrible code to "fix" (read: rewrite) that terrifies me.

To make matters even more complicated, the framework is slated to run on Linux and Mac OS X systems as well. Talk about loss of control. Microsoft, stick to your guns - continue to offer solid programming tools that you control and that run on your environments. That way you can also offer support when things go wrong.