Donating $5,000 to .NET Open Source

Way back in June of last year, I promised to donate a portion of my advertising revenue back to the community:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

“But show me only one DOS-program, which is in use as it was 1994. I don’t see any. Even on the big-iron the programs only survive, if they are constantly changed.
There simple is no software, that runs unchanged over 20 years. The law and needed functions change too fast for that.
It is an urban legend, the single software which was never changed, but is still in use.
No company has such, and i’ve seen many.”

Without pointing out the logical fallacies here: I’ve seen plenty of companies using software that hasn’t changed in 20 or so years. Many of them are companies that still use DOS based shipping or inventory software. Heck, I even saw one instance where a company was still using the same 9 pin dot matrix printer that they bought with the software sometime in the late 70’s - and this company still does good business (somewhere in the millions/year net earnings).

So just because “you” haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it’s an urban legend or that it doesn’t exist.

That being said; even if it is .NET software, it can still be usable in 20 years if you have a copy of windows and the .NET framework that the app was written for. Some people don’t realize that running software in 20 years does not mean running that software on whatever platforms are commonplace at that time.

Lots of companies are still running VAX mainframes and buying parts on ebay. Software (Especially in ERP) can live for 20-30 years.

Desktop software? Not so much.

Nice gesture, Microsoft and Open Source don’t usually go together and there’s no reason for that.

I’ve been talking about putting up a wiki at work for a few weeks now. Thanks for the post about screwturn wiki. I put it up today and it was really quite simple. Good group of folks to invest in I’d say.

Jeff you are a great ambassador for the .NET community.

Some people choose to help out financially and others if they cannot they can still contribte to open source projects by giving their time.

I’m just grateful that MS are being more transparent with source code and that’s a start to doing what they can with being more open.

I love Srewturn Wiki. I hope they can put the money to good use. Very generous of you.

Nicely done Jeff. I always knew you were good for your word, no matter what everyone else said. :wink:

Uhm… Jeff- if five thousand is only a portion of a money you make in blog advertising- no wonder you quit your job! Wow!

Jeff, you are an admirable saint. But we all know you chose ScrewTurn because it is called “ScrewTurn”. You ain’t gotta lie about all this voting and word counting crap to kick it!

That rocks! I look to this blog every day for insight on writing code, I bought Code Complete because of it, and now I’m reminded why I look up to you (and the other old timers here - no offense, geezers!). Thanks, Jeff!

I think this was generally a good idea. :slight_smile: I think the aspect of encouraging Microsoft to participate in a sensible way with the open source community is the best part of it. I could get extremely philosophical on this and type out about five paragraphs, but I’ll just leave it at that. :slight_smile:


Post dated the check. Money must be tight since you left Vertigo.

Now that we can all forge his signature, money’s going to get even tighter!

oops, damn. Typo. Ultimately irrelevant since the wire transfer is what matters, but you knew that :slight_smile:

great news! i applaud your contribution. and i wholeheartedly agree as a .NET developer – there needs to be more open source projects like that. Codeplex was a good starting point, i’ve found a few projects on there that i like, but .NET needs to be a first-class open source citizen, and i can see the development of Mono only helping that.

I replaced our use of SharePoint with ScrewTurn Wiki - which we now use for all our documentation, internal and external. I love that I just had to mark the folder as an application in IIS and it worked out of the box. A great project choice Jeff.


I agree with you wholeheartedly: the open source .NET community is not served very well by Microsoft. I’m glad you got them to match your contribution.

Thanks for putting your money where your mouth is!


Not a typo–that was a write-o. :slight_smile:

Great to see you make this contribution!

I know it won the poll, but did you officially decide on ? That as my vote!

I’m afraid .NET won’t ever be a first-class open-source citizen while it is controlled by Microsoft. Microsoft has repeatedly threatened open-source projects with potential patent lawsuits and if any open-source project is a patent nightmare waiting to happen then Mono is.

Open-source projects are treated as second class in the Microsoft ecosystem because some of Microsoft’s business methods are focused on vendor lock-in through closed protocols and lack of available interoperability documentation.

I’m not meaning to be a big naysayer, open-source is great and Microsoft make some good software too. However the advantages of one are pretty much the disadvantages the other so open-source on closed platforms just doesn’t have the appeal as you can only see/control/change a certain amount of the “stack”.

Microsoft could take a leaf from Apple’s book on how to use open-source effectively without needing to have a “OSS or nothing” attitude.