back to article Microsoft wants you, yes you, to write bits of Windows 10. For free

Microsoft has followed through on its December 2015 promise to open-source Chakra, the JavaScript engine in its Edge browser. Chakra's now yours for the footling, here on GitHub, under the MIT licence. That document permits anyone “to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, …

  1. Lysenko

    Given that this is a VM...

    ... and therefore likely subject to linking exceptions (where relevant) anyone voting "I won't let them..." is essentially undertaking never to use licenses like LGPL, BSD, Apache, Mozilla etc. and stick everything they do under full fat GPLv3. No thanks.

    1. sed gawk Bronze badge

      Re: Given that this is a VM...

      To be clear, I don't mind anyone using my FOSS code, be they Microsoft or whomever.

      I do mind doing work for Microsoft/$BigCorp for free. There is a moral distinction, I use FOSS so I contribute to it. $BigCorp can pay for my time, or do without.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Given that this is a VM...

        I don't mind anyone using my FOSS code, be they Microsoft or whomever.

        I do mind doing work for Microsoft/$BigCorp for free.

        Unmm, isn't that a little inconsistent? If you don't want them to use it for free, don't release it as FOSS, hang a license on it.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Given that this is a VM...

          "Unmm, isn't that a little inconsistent?"

          Not really. In most cases, FOSS contributions are about two things - solving some annoying immediate issue and generally contributing to a joint build effort of something bigger; for the purposes of the first part, MS has no relevance - but for the second, to me it would feel wrong for the project I help build to be Windows of all things...

        2. sed gawk Bronze badge

          Re: Given that this is a VM...

          There is a difference between FOSS and working for the mega rich for free.

          FOSS is sharing, working for $BigCorp for free is stupidity.

          $BigCorp using FOSS is absolutely fine, and I would encourage them to do so.

          I fail to see the inconsistency, perhaps you would care to elucidate.

          1. Lysenko

            There is a difference between FOSS and working for the mega rich for free.

            There really isn't. Apple leverages BSD, Red Hat - Linux, Oracle - OpenJDK etc. etc. ad infinitum. Or maybe those aren't $BigCorps because Bill Gates never ran them?

            The only ways to work on FOSS code and not automatically provide corvee labour to some evil capitalist corp. are GPLv3 (dubious) or work on something of such obscurity that there is no money to be made on the back of it.

            If you contribute to PostgreSQL your work is underpinning EnterpriseDB profits. Anyone contributing to Linux is already working "for" MSFT via Azure. I could go on (endlessly). The difference here is the $BigCorp is the one kicking off the sharing ...unlike any of the above bar Java.

            [*] No skin in this game. I write for embedded Linux and there is no way in hell I would embed a JavaScript interpreter in anything. That's what Lua is for.

            1. sed gawk Bronze badge

              Re: There is a difference between FOSS and working for the mega rich for free.

              On the remote chance you are confused rather than just trolling...

              If I fix a bug while say using SQLite, I'll write a patch and submit it. I don't care if it ends up in Microsoft's repo or any other company with or without BillG's ownership (least relevant definition of a $BigCorp ever).

              But that patch will help all users of SQLite on all platforms, and it fixes *my* problem and I'm happy to share the fix to *my* problem, I really don't care if someone supplies support for SQLite, includes my patch and makes money from the *composite* of selling support for SQLite with or without my trivial patch. I don't care if Microsoft charge for running a FOSS O/S on their IASS.

              This is not a standalone product which is usable as is, it's a component of a proprietary product (Edge) which is only usable on a proprietary system(Windows) using proprietary technology (COM), there is little chances of it being useful to the wider community. Therefore coding for this sort of thing falls under $DayJob, and Jobs come with pay.

              As jake might put it...

              EOM

            2. annodomini2

              Re: There is a difference between FOSS and working for the mega rich for free.

              @Lysenko,

              There are 3 variants:

              1. Megacorp's own code, supposedly FOSS, but not really.

              2. Megacorp using FOSS as a part of their software, but most actually contribute back into the system.

              3. Megacorp internal code. (with paid for Devs).

              What MS are trying to do is make 3. appear like 2, but really it's 1. To get free code developed for them.

  2. MyffyW Silver badge

    The Reg imagines a great many open source enthusiasts would balk at the idea of contributing code that might end up in Windows

    ...like the way MS "borrowed" from BSD back in the late 90s?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      It was never borrowed: it was used as intended.

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge

    No use, no write for...

    Microsoft seem desperate to garner OSS kudos on one hand 'Look, we open source some things now.'

    And on the other, the constant 'Windows 10' harassment and Telemetry shenanigans. 'You Will use Windows 10 (by hook or by crook), and we Will track everything you do.'

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: No use, no write for...

      Maybe I have rose-tinted glasses (and I'm no acolyte) but maybe Microsoft have realised that they have to live and work with open source, rather than trying to bury it. Especially now, due to Android, Apple, Chrome & Firefox, IE/Edge does not have the near monopoly (or large market share) that they once had.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: No use, no write for...

        FOSS and tracking are fairly unrelated. MS could if they so chose release as FOSS the code used to track you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No use, no write for...

        but maybe Microsoft have realised that they have to live and work with open source

        Leopards, spots. Or Popes, woods, bears and balconies, whatever takes your fancy.

  4. kryptylomese

    If you are inclined to contribute to the open source community then you might as well contribute to something much better than a component of Windows...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The other way round

    Would you want to use a codebase written by Microsoft, in your own programs? Especially when there are well-proven alternatives (e.g. V8).

    I wish I could remember where I once saw an old cartoon. It had a group of programmers crowded around a monitor, pointing and sniggering. The caption said something like: "Why Microsoft doesn't participate in open source"

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: The other way round

      I look forward to reading your thoughtful critique of their architecture and coding standards...

    2. sed gawk Bronze badge

      Re: The other way round

      TBF to Microsoft, they do have some decent code, I challenge you to produce an O/S and application suite without having some seriously shonky code somewhere in the corpus.

      I'm a total *nix head but please, a little perspective, all codebases have warts, the only ones that are totally clean and perfect are designed for Pedagogy rather than execution.

  6. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    Given Edge was developed in cooperation with Adobe, I must say that they have balls, in Redmond!

    Lets see, after the Windows 10 catastrophe who will participate.

    1. Ian 7

      Just so we're all clear, which particular "catastrophe" are you referring to? And is it a real one or a media hype one?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MIT Licence ?

    Microsoft, GPLv3 I dare you.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: MIT Licence ?

      Why?

      What it says there in print is the very definition of a free license: "Here, do what you want". That's the way more ought to do it.

      GPLv3 is actually quite restrictive in a seriously stick-up-bum way. I dislike it for it's childish and selfish approach to cooperation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MIT Licence ?

        GPL3-M

        May I propose the following

        Anyone in the world can use this code for FREE apart from Microsoft, its Subsidiaries and companies supplied this in products or services that will be used by Microsoft in any shape or form.

        I don't want my code used in software they are emposing on windows Users. i.e. how Windows 10 is being foisted on us. I don't want to be party to that.

        I already contribute to FOSS in that I write some documentation.

  8. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The Reg imagines a great many open source enthusiasts would balk at the idea of contributing code that might end up in Windows, no matter Microsoft's radical attitude adjustment in recent years.

    Which just goes to show how little you know.

    Open source is about peer-review and thus, at least ideally, a two-way street. MS is making the source available – you can use it in your own projects if you so wish – very much in this spirit. I suspect that this will be welcomed by many in the .NET arena. But less so outside of it.

    As soon as open source (any encumbrance on the licence) becomes about politics then it's no longer about the code.

  9. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    way out of abusive relationship?

    Well OK, this is admittedly long way off. However, provided new applications are written for "Universal Windows Platform" and thus dependant on Chakra, and also that a new OS project, or a version of Wine, emerges re-implementing necessary infrastructure with help of open-sourced Chakra but on different platform (BSD, Linux), would that possibly help current Windows users to migrate to a new platform, while keeping their Universal Apps running?

    It is one thing to buy into platform with no way out, but if you can run the applications you need on a multitude of platforms, some of them open source, that IMO is brilliant. Could be a boost to Universal Apps on Windows, too. Or, most likely, I'm way too optimistic about possible outcome of this move.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: way out of abusive relationship?

      Universal Apps are not dependant on Chakra. You may develop them in JS, but also in .NET and C++.

      UWP is built upon WinRT and offers a C++ API - which is then wrapped to be avaialble from .NET and JS.

      Anyway how many large, complex, professional applications will be built upon UWP in the future is not known - WinRT has still several restrictions that makes porting large, complex applications not so easy.

      About portability, I guess Universal Apps GUIs will (maybe) work well inside the Windows ecosytem. Start to try to make them work on different GUI frameworks, and IMHO a lot of things risk to go the wrong way.

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wonder if it would be possible to put something in there which would upgrade the OS to W7.

  11. Teiwaz Silver badge

    In summary...

    Insert quote

    [people wandering off the street into Hitchhikers Guide offices during lunchtime and doing any work that looks like it needs doing]

    Here.

    (sorry for the inconvenience, I couldn't find it).

  12. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Sorry

    but I cant help the feeling this is another thing like embrace extend extingish

    The FOSS guys use the m$ code on everything, and after a couple of years when everyone is using bits of m$ code in everything... then comes the shakedown for money with "Its patented by us.. pay us money or else"

    Wheres the Dr Evil icon?

    1. Vic

      Re: Sorry

      The FOSS guys use the m$ code on everything, and after a couple of years when everyone is using bits of m$ code in everything... then comes the shakedown for money with "Its patented by us.. pay us money or else"

      No. That can't happen.

      From the MIT Licence :-

      Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so

      Note that it says "rights", not "copyrights". The former encompasses the latter, but also includes any other rights you might need. Thus there is an implicit patent grant there, since that is one of the necessary rights.

      Vic.

  13. jake Silver badge

    Bleah.

    Corporate marketards aren't trustable. Ever.

    EOF

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An opportunity

    For all those who ever in a comments section wrote "I could write better code than Microsoft turn out", to show their mettle.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: An opportunity

      you mean- ook ook ook ook ook ?

  15. nilfs2
    Windows

    Windows will have to be free some day or disapear

    How long can Microsoft justify people paying for their desktop OS? Most applications are web now, and people are using more their mobile devices, as long as the user has a browser the OS is irrelevant.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me, write code for Microsoft?

    I won't be any worse at it than their in-house programmers....

  17. walter.bishop Silver badge
    Linux

    Once pull request have been vetted ..

    "Patent License. You grant Microsoft, and those who receive the Submission directly or indirectly from Microsoft, a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable license under Your patent claims that are necessarily infringed by the Submission or the combination of the Submission with the Project to which it was Submitted to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell and import or otherwise dispose of the Submission alone or with the Project."

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

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