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.NET Fringe, defining the future

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There’s a long history in OSS communities of projects emerging from the community that start on the fringes. The people working on these projects are motivated by a desire for change, for doing things in a way that is not necessarily the norm. The fact that they exist is a sign of a healthy community.

As a very salient example, take jQuery. At one point it was a small JavaScript library that a few passionate developers worked on, it then grew to be the de facto library for developers everywhere. Thanks to a rich ecosystem around consumption and contribution to Open Source, what was once fringe become the mainstream.

Until recently, this ecosystem has not really existed in the .NET world. However, times they are a changin! In the past 5 to 10 years there have been major positive changes. One really important one was the ground work laid by ALT.NET. It made a very loud call for many of the changes we’re seeing. Another one is the bold steps Microsoft has taken to level the playing field for OSS libraries and tools. Regardless, the important point is this ecosystem I described is here in .NET and growing.

There’s too many examples to name all but I’ll list a few recent projects that illustrate this : jQuery, NuGetGithub, JSON.NET, AutomapperXamarinNancyFX, and .NET vNext. This is just a sampling that does not do justice as there are many many other examples.

This change is important. This is just the beginning, but it’s a great beginning. A group of us think this is so important, that we’re putting together an event focused on this topic, .NET Fringe.

We’re bringing together members of the .NET OSS community that have been working to define the future. They are going to share their works, share their learnings, and share their passion. And it’s happening in Portland, a place rich in OSS culture.

Be part of something amazing, come to .NET Fringe!

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  • angel love
  • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

    Of course nothing is a silver bullet. But controls have their very clearly defined purpose.

    But yes now i can recall that many document manipulation libraries are absurdly expensive. I’ve also seen them force you to buy kitchen-sink bundles instead of the single hammer you need in order to extract additional dollars out of people on products they never wanted and likely never use.

  • szahn

    I’m primarily thinking of Leadtools here. DevExpress is great but their web control suite doesn’t serve every purpose on the planet, for example there are lot of web-base document imaging features missing that you can use OS framework to build your own. Some companies just don’t want to pay the distribution license fees.

  • http://www.Marisic.Net/ dotnetchris

    If your mention of controls was a jab at Telerik, DevExpress, et al their prices are not even remotely outrageous, they’re cheap. Those controls you buy are the culmination of thousands upon thousands of hours of work with dedicated support from a company that specializes in controls.

    Can you roll your own? of course. Can you build your own car? of course. Would i ever build a car to “save money”? No way. A rough price estimate on these control suites usually falls into the range of 1 developer week ($50 * 40/hrs). So if you think you can build a better control in less than one week than they did in years, by all means roll your own.

    I can’t think of any for purchase libraries off hand.

  • szahn

    It’s funny how powerful open source has become. For example, there are many commercial .NET libraries/controls that charge outrageous prices, the consequence of this has been that a lot of the software I write at my company has been thrown together using free, open source software because the commercial version is just too expensive. The lesson here is, OS is great and their authors need to be given more appreciation for their hard effort and if you are going to commercialize a library/control, please make the licensing terms reasonable.

  • http://www.codebetter.com/glennblock Glenn Block

    You are talking to one of the organizers 😉

  • http://www.codebetter.com/glennblock Glenn Block

    I am an organizer :-)

  • Rob Eisenberg

    Don’t sweat it :) I’ll contact the organizers to get some info on the lightning talks and see if it makes sense for me.

  • http://www.codebetter.com/glennblock Glenn Block

    I should have reached out to you Rob, my bad on that one!

  • http://www.codebetter.com/glennblock Glenn Block

    We have room for about 16 lightning talks. Come on along!

  • Rob Eisenberg

    Well, that’s a bummer. I have never heard of this conference until now. I certainly would have submitted an Aurelia talk.