Updated [14 Sep 2009, 15:50]: Added a pointer to Andy Updegrove's excellent analysis of his concerns with certain structural aspects of the Codeplex Foundation. It's analysis like this that will keep discussions in the first 100 days lively.
The Codeplex Foundation began on 10 September, 2009, with initial funding from Microsoft. It's mission simply stated "is to enable the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities."
Today that means:
The Codeplex Foundation provides a framework to facilitate the participation of commercial software developers in open source projects, either through intellectual property contributions to the foundation or through time volunteered under the auspices of the foundation to enable development work on open source projects. The Codeplex Foundation also provides a channel of communication from the open source community back to Foundation partners and other commercial software companies, advancing the dialog between commercial software companies and open source communities.
There's an excellent mini-presentation and voice-over interview with Sam Ramji, the foundation's interim president on SlideShare:
The foundation has an interim board of directors (that includes Miguel de Icaza) to take it through the next 100 days, and an advisory board that includes an experience group of people from both outside Microsoft (e.g. Larry Augustin, Aaron Fulkerson, Robert Gobeille, Monty Widenius) and Microsoft employees that continue to do good work in the open source community (Phil Haack, Scott Hanselman, John Lam, Jim Newkirk).
I've agreed to participate as an advisor as well. I believe this is an important step for Microsoft. While there is obvious benefit to Microsoft to continue to participate and develop the open source world with respect to its core revenue streams, there is a lot that can be learned from developing such a foundation in and of itself (as IBM discovered in its own time). There is a gap in the discussion between commercial developers wanting to do more in the open source community and this organization may be in the right position to help foster that discussion. Over time I hope to work with the board and the advisors and contribute as I best can to build that organization.
There's good coverage on a number of channels, some from advisors explaining what they see is the opportunity, some from the press and analysts asking good questions about the future of the foundation:
- Matt Aslett's 451Group commentary.
- Scott Hanselman's (Advisor) blog post.
- Miguel de Icaza's (Director) blog post.
- Bill Staples (Director) blog post.
- Peter Galli's Port25 blog post.
- OpenSource Magazine reportage.
- eWeek article from Daryl Taft.
- InfoWorld article by Paul Krill.
- PCWorld article from Elizabeth Montalbano.
- Andy Updegrove's analysis of the structural aspects of the new foundation.