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2011 in Review: Highlights of .NET OSS Projects

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Developer Phil Haack has put together an interesting list of events that affected .NET from an open source perspective. As a current GitHub employee who is also involved with NuGet & ASP.NET MVC, his outline provides a great overview of what has happened during the past year:

  • NuGet 1.0 was released in January 2011, providing developers with a way to simplify “the process of incorporating third party libraries into a .NET application during development.” Version 1.5 was released in August, “providing support for pre-installed packages to any project template that wants it”. This means packages tracked by NuGet, such as a project using the library for jQuery, will benefit from future upgrades to jQuery without requiring manual intervention.
  • The Orchard open source CMS receives notice from Haack for “the amount of community involvement they’ve fostered” and the growth in popularity. Per Orchard's website, the project has had over 1 million downloads when add-on modules are counted.
  • Another open source CMS, Umbraco, is highlighted as Microsoft's own ASP.NET started using Umbraco in 2011.
  • MicroORMs and Micro Web Frameworks: New data access libraries that simplify database access: Massive, Simple.Data, and Dapper.NET.
  • Haack recognizes that the Mono project had several notable acheivements in 2011, as covered by project leader Miguel de Icaza. Microsoft itself is using Mono tools to develop Kinectimals for iOS.
  • Microsoft released Azure SDKs for several platforms (Java, node.js, and .NET) under the Apache v2 open source license. (Azure's SDK for PHP is hosted on CodePlex.)

While observing he is a GitHub employee, Haack feels that GitHub provides an important role in open source projects:

GitHub hosts a huge number of open source projects, including a large number of the important ones you’ve heard of. Quantity alone isn’t a sign of quality, but it can create network effects. When a site has such a large community, hosting a project there makes it easier to attract contributors because there’s such a large pool to draw from.

I’ve seen this benefit .NET open source projects first hand. Since moving some of my projects there, I’ve received more pull requests.

As 2011 winds to a close, its a great time to review any projects that you may have missed.


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