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The Rails Question & the .NET Open Source Dilemma


Harry Pierson examines The Rails Question,  asked by Nick Malik, in his blog: “what is the Rails “answer” on the Microsoft platform?

At first Pierson readily refers to the Microsoft Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) team, which will provide a Ruby implementation on the .NET platform. In order to be accepted this implementation has to incorporate a Rails implementation. Then he muses about an alternative: “can ASP.NET evolve to be more Rails-esque?”.

The answer is … yes … perhaps. He even mentions the Castle Project, which has an ASP.NET implementation inspired by Action Pack:

The Castle Project has an ASP.NET implementation of MVC (aka MonoRail) and Active Record (also called Active Record). But I assume Nick’s more interested in what ships natively in the platform to compare to Rails.

I completely agree with him that MonoRail provides a very good way of programming ASP.NET applications the “Rails-esque” way. What strikes me (again and again) is the second part. It’s one of the many examples that the .NET community (for the most part) ignores Open Source Projects. The (only) reasons why: it doesn’t ship “natively in the platform”, i.e. it’s not “approved” by or coming from Microsoft. Stupid!

The Java community has benefited a lot from the many Open Source projects. In fact Java probably wouldn’t have succeeded without them. In the .NET world OS projects are mainly ignored, which in turn leads to abandoned projects, bad support and less initiatives. This is a dilemma only the community can solve …

Posted by Hartmut Wilms at 29.06.07 21:15

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