Has anyone noticed that the so-called movement for developers working with the
.NET Framework is based largely around the fact that many sites managers are
releasing the "open source documentation" for their sites? Egad! Shades of the
UNIX community come to mind…which feels oddly uncomfortable, in today’s
pro-Microsoft setting. Some devs reveal the raw source code they used to build
all the pages on their sites for free...others ask for a modest "sponsorship
fee" in exchange for the methods used to produce their works.
Further, has anyone noticed that the majority of these site's layouts all
resemble each other (including this one), a little more than slightly? They all
appear to share the same general layout, being by-products of Microsoft’s new
IBuySpy portal site
concept written in C#/VB.NET projects for Microsoft’s .NET framework:
…the layout on which use the same columnar layout which strikes an eerie
resemblance to that which has been in use by the open source
...which in itself borrows from the layout that Amazon.com has been using for
…which came into popularity as an evolution of
Yahoo!’s initial HTML 1.0 layout (gray background, blue hyperlinks, 2 or 3
graphics), prior to the company’s revolutionary portal design.
Hey, I'm not knocking MS or the devs that built these sites...they're great, and
fantastic pieces of work, both aesthetically and programmatically…and all
fantastic examples of just how far Web tech has come in a matter of mere years.
I’ve gone through them extensively and they are great examples of what the
technologies just on the horizon can do. It’s the bigger picture that makes me
shift in my seat.
I find it interesting to note how MS had re-tooled its strategy by is plotting
to beat out the competition by playing their game a little bit. In a sense, this
is kicking the DOJ’s ruling right back in its face…saying, “OK…we’ll stop
bundling our browser into Windows, but we’ll get directly involved in and
totally exploit the open source genre.” This is stark contrast to how in the
past MS would just completely overwhelm the companies---or acquire them
Heck, the company’s monolithic .NET Framework is based largely on the precept of
data universality and applications extensibility...which Sun Microsystems has
popularized for years with Java. The .NET common language runtime (CLR) and
Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) are schema for ensuring apps built using
.NET technologies can port to and work on any platform. This again was the
intent of Java, and further, with Jini. This draws light to the boom of the
whole Linux O/S craze in '99, and how it really shook things up for how
companies compete. Heck, Apple has included a command-line prompt in OS X that’s
got all the Linux enthusiasts drooling.
In a roundabout way, the more people advocate the free-flow of information, the
more material MS has to work with in developing business strategies. And at
least for the moment, it’s all legit. Call it progression, call it crass
capitalism...but it's working, with more than a million devs worldwide
(including yours truly) using the platform to build dynamic Web applications.
Imagine that…Microsoft encouraging fair competition. :)