Scott Guthrie recently posted an article about the ASP.Net MVC Source Code becoming available from the CodePlex website.
I think that this a huge step in the right direction. I would even go as far as saying that this "move" was intentional. If you take a minute and think about what this means... you will see what I am talking about.
With the source code to the MVC library being made available... it is almost like we as developers are being tested. Will we take the source code and make it our own? Will we report back defects and enhancements back to Microsoft to improve this feature? Will we open it up and try to break it and find flaws in the underlying code?
My point being that if we take the right approach as a community and as a team then not only will we (the end users of these features) become more familiar and confident with these bits but our input and feedback will find a larger and more important audience in the long run.
Is that to say that when I (a simple developer in the .Net world) find an issue with the way that they (the developers at Microsoft) implemented some piece of code expect it to be corrected? No. Is that to say that when I feel like there is a feature or method that can make my life easier it will be included in the final release? No.
What it does mean is that I am given a chance to make the community, feature, and the platform as a whole better. Sure... I am only one voice. If my voice is included along with others... it becomes easier to hear. If I am given the chance to work with and validate the feature as a "real world developer" then when the feature or functionality is incorporated... we are the ones to blame if something doesn't do what the rest of developers feel like it should.
All and all... I feel like this is a tremendous opportunity that is being given. While this would not be considered "open source" by any stretch of the imagination, I (little old me... a simple developer) am being given the chance... to change... Microsoft and the .Net language.
Take a minute and think about what that means to you...
Do you want to be a part of the community or simply consume it?