Sandcastle Redux

by Sam Ramji on July 02, 2008 10:00am

I am very pleased to announce that the Microsoft SandCastle project team has reconfirmed its strong support for the Ms-PL  and is preparing to release all source code for the Sandcastle project immediately.  This was a non-trivial effort and I applaud them for it.  I think these actions demonstrate Microsoft’s desire to abide by the OSI’s Open Source Definition with regard to source code when releasing open source projects on CodePlex.  The project itself is a valuable one, and I received many comments and emails about this.

Some people felt it was draconian to pull the project from CodePlex, others thought that didn’t go far enough; some were upset because they loved the project and couldn’t find it; some thought we were holding ourselves to a higher standard than necessary.  I believe that as we continue to build our practices across the company to participate in open source development, we must strive to achieve the highest possible standards.

This has also called our attention to our governance and processes on Open Source.  Scott Stein (Director of Open Source Programs) led an exhaustive effort across our code hosting properties, with great support from Jim Newkirk, Jonathan Wanagel, and Sara Ford of the Codeplex team as well as Steven Wilssens of Code Gallery, and found other cases where Microsoft-led projects had been licensed under the Ms-PL but hadn’t shared the source.  These have also been unpublished and will go through the same review process.  What we’re finding is that the positive intent and excitement underneath sharing source code is something that exists in teams across Microsoft, and that we have a great opportunity to help more teams build their skills in following Open Source best practices.

So congratulations to Anand Raman and the SandCastle team for responding gracefully to the situation and coming through with flying colors!


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