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Microsoft Open Sources ASP.NET Web API and Web Pages


Microsoft has continued to make modest but largely well-appreciated inroads into open source by releasing the source code for the ASP.NET web API and also ASP.NET Web Pages (aka Razor). The company's corporate VP for server and tools, Scott Guthrie has extended an invite to third-party developers to now contribute code to both development streams.

Under the Apache 2.0 license, Guthrie wants to increase the "development transparency" of these projects with code being hosted on the CodePlex repository. This move solicits community feedback on code checkins, bug-fixes, and new feature development as new builds are completed.

"This is the first time [we have allowed] developers outside of Microsoft to submit patches and code contributions that the Microsoft development team will review for potential inclusion in the products. We announced a similar open development approach with the Windows Azure SDK last December, and have found it to be a great way to build an even tighter feedback loop with developers — and ultimately deliver even better products as a result," said Guthrie.

ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Razor will continue to be fully supported by Microsoft. The products will continue to ship both as standalone as well as part of Visual Studio. Microsoft's developer team for this technology stream will remain unchanged.

Speaking directly to Dr. Dobb's, Miguel de Icaza, chief technology officer of Xamarin, commented, "From our perspective, the most important aspect of this announcement is the fact that Microsoft will be taking code contributions for the first time. Large chunks of code that the Mono project previously announced it could never complete (due to size) are now available. Xamarin also plans to incorporate the newly released Microsoft source code into our products and integrate the Razor Engine into our mobile offerings, MonoTouch, and Mono for Android."


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