Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Dare Obasanjo on the Release of the Source Code of the .NET Framework Libraries

Link: Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - On the Release of the Source Code of the .NET Framework Libraries

As usual, someone else has already written it: Dare's piece on this announcement reflects my views exactly.  Since I've been playing with Java lately (see previous post) I've become used to the idea that I can jump straight into the source for almost anything, certainly for the JDK libs.

Still, most of us I'm sure would agree that this is a Good Thing, both in purely practical terms for working programmers, and on another level, more evidence that Microsoft is beginning to 'get' some of the things the other side of the industry managed to 'get' long ago.

There's another way the developer will surely benefit: being able to read through the real code is the best way to appreciate and absorb the good design principles enshrined in (most of) the .NET Framework libraries.  The principles which guided the team are described in the excellent Framework Design Guidelines book by Cwalina and Abrams, a book I'd recommend even to folk who don't use the Microsoft platform.  True, you can use Reflector to reverse the libraries, but the original source will presumably retain comments, which may reveal subtleties around intent, choices and so on.

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