Microsoft - Open Source Community Is Watching

Microsoft's been getting some flack for posting a project called Sandcastle on their Codeplex open source site but not including the source code for the project. Ops, that is a rather "open" definition of open source software. Either it was just one of those goof ups that happen in big companies or someone on the Sandcastle team really don't know that open source licensed software is supposed to include source code. I'd guess it was a goof up. Whatever the reason, Microsoft's learned a hard lesson very quickly; the open source community does a good job of policing policy violations, and they are just waiting for Microsoft to make a mistake.

I've written before about whether Microsoft is credible about supporting open source, but they have received OSI approval for two of their licenses. Whether it's fair or not, Microsoft really has to be on its best behavior when it comes to open source licensing and software. Too many are just waiting for them to screw up and then speak up very loudly about it.

Microsoft does need to be more careful about such things, but in this case I say, no harm, no foul. I don't think the mistake was intentional.

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