I couldn’t make it to OSCON last week in Portland, OR, but I have read the announcements that Sam Ramji, the director of Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab, made at this open-source software show. They were the friendliest things I’ve ever seen come out of Microsoft towards open source.
The first announcement, that Microsoft was contributing a patch to ADOdb, a PHP database access interface, wasn’t that big a deal. It is, after all, self-serving. Microsoft’s contribution will enable people to use its own SQL Server instead of MySQL or PostgreSQL with PHP programs. Yawn. Nothing new here.
The second announcement, that Microsoft was placing its Communications Protocol Program under its Open Specification Promise, and clarified that developer could use the communication protocols to build open-source software for commercial use, sounded much more important than it really is. You see the European Union courts ordered Microsoft to open those protocols up. Samba and the SFLC (Software Freedom Law Center) hammered out an agreement late last year that spelled out how the protocols could be used while avoiding Microsoft patents.