Thursday, August 23, 2007

Top 25 Microsoft Open Source Projects... Huh?

Here's a list of the top 25 Microsoft Open Source projects at CodePlex, thoughtfully provided by bayarsaikan.

This one just jumped right out at me: DinnerNow. This is the lame sample application that Microsoft used as a demo months ago at their rollout of Office 2007. Huh?? What are they thinking? It's not even a real application, and the very concept sucks, at that. (Sorry, MS, but it does.) The rest of the list is a little weird like that, too... you've got inconsequential stuff like a game of Go, and a battery saver for Vista (it just sits there and turns off all of the features that sold you on buying Vista in the first place. You could've saved more than the battery if you'd stuck with XP).

Then there's this other list at eWeek, which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the first list. Well, bayarsaikan's list says "Top 25" and the eWeek list says "25 Most Active," so maybe there's the reason. But five of the top 25 projects aren't projects, they're just collection of code snippets (all of the ones named "Patterns & Practices" and the one called "Public Domain"). Oops, five more aren't projects, either, just samples for SQL server (all of the ones called "Microsoft SQL Server Product Samples"). That leaves us 15 projects that must really be projects. Well, VFPx is kind of useful (to me anyway). It's not really a project, but it's a collection of projects, which are really not full-blown projects, but are components for Visual FoxPro.

It doesn't matter what the rest of them are; I don't use them and they don't look terribly useful. But this one caught my eye:
SharpZebra is a C# library that simplifies the process of printing to Zebra printers. We hope that this library abstracts enough of the EPL2 language needed to communicate with the Zebra branded printers.
OK, so it's a label maker for Zebra printers. No, it's not. It's a LIBRARY so that you could conceivably WRITE a label maker for Zebra printers. In the TOP 25?? REALLY? An WTF is a Zebra printer?

Let nobody tell you that Microsoft isn't fully committed to playing well with the Open Source community. Gee, proof of the depth of their sincerity is right here.

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