MVP in a spot of bother

El Reg has an interesting piece here:

Its about a .net MVP who has created an Visual Studio add-in. (Unfortunately?) this works with all versions including the free Express editions. The Express editions aren’t meant to support add-ins, thats a key driver to encourage people to buy a higher spec version.

I havent read all the linked stuff, but I can sort of see both sides. What do you think?

I’m not a big fan of the legal stuff, it seems a bit like telling tales to teacher to me. I am slightly surprised they could not sort it out amicably – you would think Microsoft and its MVPs would be on the same side after all.

Well I have read the emails now and if it were me, from what I read, I think I would have removed the support early on. Not because of any threat, but because I can see where MS are coming from. All the MS folks I have met (from the engineering side mainly) have always been easy to get along with.

Let me know what you think, but be sure to read the emails rather than just relying on the Registers take on it.



6 Responses to “MVP in a spot of bother”

  1. sam Says:

    Hmm….I can now see trouble for all the Ribbon Customisers/Class UI people (Pschmid, ToggleToolbar, Classic Menus) from MS…..

    How dare you try and customise something that we made so hard not to customise…..:-)….How dare you try and bring the good old toolbar back !!….dont you know we spent millions of dollars trying to remove it !!



  2. Harlan Grove Says:

    I especially liked this line from Weber to Cansdale “help you understand what API’s are licensed under which licenses.” Makes one wonder what headaches are in store when one publishes VBA code that includes Windows API or other Microsoft API function calls based only on publicly available interface specs. Also makes one wonder how free people with MSDN subscriptions can be when, say, answering newsgroup questions.

    I’ve read the e-mails. Rather pointless two programmers discussing license terms, especially when the Microsoft one is unwilling to provide specific references (though those may have been discussed in the teleconferences mentioned in the e-mails).

    You’re also suffering from the fallacy of composition. Even if all Microsoft employees were saints, the corporation itself in terms of its policies and activities could be satanic.

    To me the e-mails make it look like Microsoft in the person of Jason Weber, *IF* he were acting on his own, and I doubt very much that no Microsoft lawyers were at the very least coaching him, screwed up royally by not providing requested relatively neutral wording. It looks like Microsoft was as much interested in making Cansdale admit fault, thus inhibiting other VS Express programmers, as getting TestDriven.Net withdrawn from use by VS Express users as quickly as possible.

    Maybe the US approach isn’t so dumb after all: first & only response, ‘talk to my lawyer.’

  3. Simon Says:

    The point I was making was if any of the nice people I know at MS asked me (nicely) to remove/change something (even if they called it a ‘hack’) reasonable I would probably do it.
    Personally I ‘m more interested in the ‘spirit’ of an agreement than the nitty gritty, and to me the spirit of the use of Express is not to extend.
    Good point about the ribbon

  4. Dennis Wallentin Says:

    All I can say is:

    Kind regards,

  5. Harlan Grove Says:

    Interesting link from Dennis. IANAL, but I thought copyright and licensing were, legally speaking, entirely separate, but the two seem to be churned together on the url cited. Further, are APIs as interface specifications copyrightable?

    Anyway, more evidence why open source as a development framework (though not necessarily the finished product) is superior.

  6. Ross Says:

    I want to hate MS, but like Simon I cant really side with the bloke, the whole point of the express is that it’s light weight and not extendable.


    Why could MS not just have said yeah it’s us, not him we don’t like it, he’s not done anything wrong (then changed there EULA)

    Why was the EULA not clearer?

    Why did they not give in the MVP? – stitch up or what!!!!!!!!

    I though MS would give VS away free if they could? (Yeah right) – so why wont they let people extend it?

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