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The Register: Call my bluff - how smart is reverse engineering .NET?

Jul 04, 2001, 20:00 (30 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Orlowski)

If the Open Source community wants to reverse-engineer Microsoft's .NET framework, it may be harder than anticipated.

"Now several strong hints are emerging that the best and brightest of software libre programmers are picking up the gauntlet. Eric Raymond told LinuxToday that it would be smart to "embrace and extend" the language and run-time, and encouraged hackers to reverse engineer the project, citing the SAMBA Project's shadowing of Microsoft's SMB file and print protocol as an example...."

"Now if Microsoft wants to regain mindshare amongst young developers emerging from college with Linux and BSD experience, C# hasn't been quite the tool to do it. Although Giga Group rentaquote Rob Enderle told the Merc '[Microsoft] found a way to capture the next generation of programmers and get them excited with C#,' it certainly hasn't happened yet."

"In fact it's a risky strategy for the Open Sorcerers. If .NET isn't reverse engineered, it will surely remain a Microsoft-only platform, as even the best funded efforts to port Microsoft technology to non-Windows platforms in the past have remained at best, a niche option. But if a good implementation is produced, it has the effect of legitimizing the platform, and making much more attractive to conservative, non-committed corporate buyers. Which is certainly the last thing the Beast's foes want to see."

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