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The Risk of Using OSS

Jeremy Miller has posted that he is taking a break from supporting StoryTeller and StructureMap for a bit.  His description of why he is doing so is reasonable and understandable (in my eyes at least).

He differentiates between StoryTeller and StructureMap, and in a way that (by total chance) happens to be beneficial to me.  As I’d mentioned in a previous post, I was comparing StoryTeller with SpecFlow, and though I have started with SpecFlow, I was planning on doing a phase with StoryTeller as a comparison, but given what he’s said about it, it’s probably okay to lay off of that for a while.

What I’m interested in seeing is how, if at all, it affects the usage of StructureMap.  I’m ‘whole hog’ into using it.  There’s nothing that I am aware of that can do what it does, the way that I know how to use it.  I know that there are other tools that are in the same space, and I respect the people who believe in them, but there’s too much cost for me right now to even consider switching.

The ‘risk’ that I mention in the post title is whether the fact that Jeremy is taking a deserved break (and quite frankly, the question is valid even if it wasn’t deserved) is a legit reason to avoid using it. 

If you look at the truly successful OSS offerings like Linux, you have corporate sponsorship and support through companies like IBM and RedHat, such support which has eliminated any question of viability.

When it comes to non-sponsored projects (from what I’m aware of) like Jeremy’s StructureMap or Ayende’s NHProf and RavenDB, is there in fact a community that can carry on the work of those projects if the originators of those projects are not active from moment to moment?

People like to complain when, for instance, Microsoft stops active support for something like Linq to SQL, and (usually) rightfully so, especially since they don’t then open source it to allow others to continue on with it (which I don’t personally believe would actually happen if they did open source it, but I digress).

Jeremy isn’t renouncing StoryTeller and StructureMap, he’s taking a f*&king break.  How will the .NET OSS community respond and step up to the plate?  Or will people wait for him to come back?

posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:30 PM Print
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