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From Berin Loritsch <blorit...@apache.org>
Subject Dot Net and Open Source projects
Date Mon, 29 Sep 2003 18:08:24 GMT
I just got done talking to some microsoft representatives today (a technology
evangelist and an enterprise architect).  They are by no means authorities on
all business matters of Microsoft, but I was able to get a few insights.  As
regarding our new efforts (in Avalon) into code that works with .NET we need to
look into some background and some precedures to satisfy our needs.

First, Microsoft is not necessarily anti-open source (in fact it is really
anti-GPL).  They either have released or will release a "CLI" version of .NET
which is all public domain.  The Microsoft view on licensing is essentially
have a license if it is protected, or leave it completely open.  The CLI version
of .NET is a very much scaled down version of .NET.  The thing is it will take
up to two years for Microsoft to finally split out what will be patented and
what isn't.  Some of the issues aren't necessarily Microsoft's IP issues.  They
are essentially third party patents that Microsoft is using and has to respect.
That is why it all takes so long.

That said, in order to avoid any legal issues, it would be best if we stayed
away from any official Web Services API.  Why?  By the time Microsoft comes up
with an official open interface along the lines of JAXP, two years will have
passed.  By that time, we could have a serviceable XML parser, along with an
interface to access it.  We would also be able to have a BCEL equivalent to
generate dynamic proxies, etc.

In the very short term, we should probably create an interface and a Null
implementation for certain services.  For example, for the XML backed
configuration files, we would use what we currently have until there is
an alternative.

It is unfortunate that we have to go this route if we are going to support
C#/.NET, but until we get some official standards on what is/will be available,
this is the safest position.  Of course one project would not be able to
shoulder the burden of all these replacement technologies.  If there are any
projects that are interested in solving some aspect of the .NET API
replacements, we should probably work together to at least identify API
interfaces.

Also, as an additional resource to find out what is going on in the .NET world,
I was told that http://www.gotdotnet.com/ and http://www.dotnet247.com/ were
two of the best resources available.

I copied board@ and members@ to inform them of the exchange, and possibly to
see who would be willing to work on some of these issues.  The Avalon community
cannot shoulder the entire responsibility themselves, and would be more than
willing to work with other communities if there is a common interest.  If not,
then just let this email sink into the ether.

-- 

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
  deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                 - Benjamin Franklin



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