Ruminations of J.net idle rants and ramblings of a code monkey

Favorite .NET OSS Projects?

Open Source

I’ve just gotten back from the 2009 MVP Summit (it was awesome!) and got into a lot of conversations around .NET Open Source, something that I’ve had a soft spot for ever since getting involved with the original Commerce Starter Kit with Rob Conery. And it’s occurred to me that there is no “list” of cool .NET Open Source projects out there. Yes, there is CodePlex, Google Code, SourceForge, etc. that are repositories of OSS projects … but it’s really somewhat impossible to compile a list from there. And Microsoft (DPE included) has done a less-then-stellar job evangelizing these projects. So … I’ve decided that I’m going to go about making such a list and I’m asking y’all to leave feedback/comments/messages for me about your favorite .NET based OSS projects. Yes, I have my own personal list, but I know it’s not complete … there’s just so much out there.

Now, to be sure, there will be some qualifications for the list. I’m still pondering what some of these will be but, I have to say, I’m not leaning towards things like “usefulness”, “quality” or any other equally subjective criteria. Number of downloads isn’t a qualifier either … some OSS projects have been around for a while and/or have a broad applicability (and a lot of downloads) but that doesn’t mean that other OSS projects that fill a more “niche” need (and have fewer downloads) aren’t equally as valuable. BUT … there are some things that I know that I’ll be looking for. So, here they are:

  • Community-driven: This means that those Microsoft-led projects don’t count. I want the projects that are started, developed and driven by the community. This isn’t to say that you can’t have Microsoft contributors on the project but Microsoft should NOT drive the project.
  • Actively under development: There are a lot of OSS projects out there that are simply dead on the vine. Maybe they have a release and nothing else, maybe they never got past “alpha” or “beta” stage. Not looking for these at all. I’m looking for living, breathing projects with an active community. And I’m looking for at least 1 non-alpha/beta release within the past 12-18 months.
  • Link to project site: Yes, I am perfectly capable of doing a search on Windows Live Search (you really didn’t think I’d use the G-word, did you?), but I don’t want to have to go digging around. If it’s one of your favorite kewl .NET OSS projects, you should already have a link, right? So send it to me. And no, it doesn’t have to be on CodePlex and not being on CodePlex won’t count against the project.
  • More details: Tell me why you think that this is a cool OSS project. What need does it fill? How is it unique? What makes it interesting? I’m not looking for a book here, just a couple of sentences will do. But don’t send me a title and/or a link only.

Comments (1) -

Asit Aithal 3/6/2009 10:41:12 PM #
Asit Aithal

I don't have any OSS projects in mind right now. All I know is that it's a very good idea.