back to article .NET Foundation boss apologizes for pull request that sparked community row

.NET Foundation executive director Claire Novotny has apologized for her actions after its members objected to her intervention on one of its projects – and a board member resigned over the organization's direction. "I made a mistake this last week when I made a PR and merged it to a project without discussion," Novotny wrote …

  1. pavel.petrman

    What a shame

    One more ham fisted step to sour the pool for everyone. The open-source initiative by Microsoft looked like a step in a publicly acceptable direction, but long term benevolent money-making in IT seems an impossible feat for big companies.

    These actions tend to be remembered for a long time (mainy because more often then not their perpetrators act as if they apologised when they in fact had not and almost never rectify their actions or at least pretend to) but somehow can't seem to present a lesson to others. Monica Celio case at Stack Overflow, the slow but frustrating progress towards alienating the open source community by the Qt company, and so on and on.

    Generally there is always a choice, but quite often the choice is between the likes of Novotny and the likes of Stallman. On a morning like his I feel I need to refresh my gardening skills :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a shame

      Ouch. You mentioned SE and Monica Cellio. I reviewed all that and was struck by a comment about "the straw that broke the camel's back" I know I haven't been back there since then, getting on 2 years?

      There really is a one-way binary flip for reputation. You lose it, you lose it forever. Would you trust SourceForge?

      1. Tom Chiverton 1

        Re: What a shame

        Why would you trust Microsoft again even before this?

      2. Hogbert

        Re: What a shame

        Actually yes, I trust Sourceforge. The mistakes they made were made by previous owners, and only applied to a very small number of projects, then got overinflated and ranted about all over the internet.

        My project was there before those nasty events occurred, and it is still there, and was never troubled by that bad memory which so many people have not been able to let go of.

      3. Ilsa Loving

        Re: What a shame

        Isn't SourceForge that company that injects crapware into the installers of projects it hosts?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What a shame

      "act as if they apologised when they in fact had not"

      All too often the apology is for any "inconvenience" or, in particularly egregious instances, "distress" caused.

      No! That's really hidden victim blaming. It's just polite wrapping for "sorry you're such a wimp".

      What the apology should be for - and explicitly for - is getting it wrong.

      1. pavel.petrman

        Re: What a shame

        This is a really good point! I've always felt uneasy about these so called apologies, now I understand why. Just like "Your privacy is important to us" (so that we can sell it). Everyone wants your good and it's increasingly difficult to make sure it's not taken away from us.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: What a shame

          We understand that some minority of passengers were onboard during, although not with, our planes' decision to crash into the ground.

          We will be exploring new ways to communicate the value of our MCAS strategy in future.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I didn't have the energy to put into an organization that doesn't share my views and stance on what I think the community needs, Sustainable Open Source Software."

    Well it is sad but... if you play with sh*t, you kinda get sh*t on your hands no?

    Hopefully choose a better project to invest your precious time in next. Hint: Microsoft, Apple, Oracle are some examples to stay away from. Even the fat squirrel currently outside my window knows this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Microsoft, Apple, Oracle are some examples to stay away from

      Unless you're looking to be paid for your work, eh?

      No, you copy your fat little squirel friend, give your work to the "communtity" for free. Who needs food when they're full of self righteousness?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Novotny made a mistake


    Reading the linked discussion it appears that the developers wanted to remain outside the foundation's direct control, but due to a problem they were having they allowed the foundation admin access to the repository.

    That access was then (ab)used to grab control of the repository. It looks for all the world like they were suckered.

    "I see you're having a problem with rats. If you leave the door to the henhouse open, I'll pop in and sort them out", said the fox.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, the lesson is...

    Microsoft sucks as bad at running "Open Source" projects as they do at running their own closed-source projects? And people were surprised by this?

  5. Sil


    That's not the best way to manage an open source foundation, unless you don't want any contributor.

  6. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

    It doesn't compute

    From the article: `Her post also addresses the use of GitHub Enterprise mentioned in the tweet above, by explaining that service gives developers "more control over their projects". (later) "Project maintainers sign an agreement that either assigns or contributes their project to the .NET Foundation."`

    In what way does assigning a project to the foundation give developers more control? No amount listening tour / town hall / TMA / etc. will change the fact they are talking out of both sides of their mouth.

  7. Sloppy Crapmonster

    Stop writing software for Microsoft for free


    1. picturethis

      Re: Stop writing software for Microsoft for free


      Stop testing software (Windows 10, 11) for Microsoft for free

  8. JDX Gold badge

    "she added support for reproducible builds to the open-source project ReactiveUI"

    What a ****. I demand my builds are anything but reproducible.

    1. Simian Surprise

      What's wrong with reproducibility?

      That's a pretty strong statement!

      Is this a joke I don't get, or a criticism I haven't heard yet?

      1. Sloppy Crapmonster

        Re: What's wrong with reproducibility?

        "Is this a joke I don't get"


  9. aerogems Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Can someone explain the point of .NET to me?

    This is somewhat off-topic, but for the life of me I have never been able to figure out where/how .NET fits in with Microsoft's overall strategy. It made a degree of sense as an alternative to Java and the JRE back in the day, and in the early days of Vista's development it looked like it might be promoted to a full replacement of Win32 and be the new official API for Windows development, but then that effort got chucked out the window (no pun intended) and now there's UWP which appears to be a direct replacement. Yet they just released a .NET 5.0 not too long ago, so presumably they still have some kind of goal in mind for it. If it was just because C# became reasonably popular, surely they could have just decoupled it from the .NET CLI and runtime and just made it like an alternative syntax for Visual C++ and wouldn't need to keep developing the whole runtime.

    Is there anyone who'd be willing to take a crack at explaining where it is .NET fits in? Serious question.

    Paris because I feel as confused on this topic as she probably does on most things.

    1. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: Can someone explain the point of .NET to me?

      UWP is a UI framework on top of .Net is it not?

    2. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Can someone explain the point of .NET to me?

      Since the beginning it was always Microsoft's response to Java.

      .NET Core (of which the latest iteration is .NET 5) brings the ability to deploy to Linux without Mono. There's no GUI, though, so it's mainly for server-side programming. Which, Android aside, is where most Java code is deployed. It plays nice with Docker, too.


      1. minnsey231

        Re: Can someone explain the point of .NET to me?

        There are cross Platform GUI frameworks, e.g. Avalonia, the soon to be MAUI.

        I say as someone who helps develop sone cross platform GUIs in dotnet.

        I personally find dotnet much more modern than Java. The constantly evolving runtimes mean you get 'real' lowe level support for things like generics and lambdas rather than simple syntax sugar that gets lost after compilation.

        Also new stuff like compilation to a single native executable file is nice.

  10. teknopaul Silver badge

    Microsoft buys github

    So at the press of a button they can steal your open source community.

    They ought to get dragged before the courts for this, it's pretty close to theft.

    Taking possession with no intent to return.

    I don't see why something that was collectively owed can't be stolen.

    1. Hogbert

      Re: Microsoft buys github

      It sounds more like a contract which project administrators accepted, possibly without contemplating the consequences. As usual with contracts, it's never easy to just say 'I changed my mind'.

  11. martyn.hare

    Microsoft doesn't get it

    They keep telling projects they need to commit to an SLA of sorts and pushing tools on contributors to encourage it, yet Microsoft themselves pretty much abandoned anything resembling decent SLAs when moving from .NET Framework 4.x to the shitshow that is Core and .NET 5. People do not buy Microsoft products because they're developed with rapid innovation in mind, quite the opposite. We want APIs which keep working essentially forever, even if better alternatives exist and we want them to have 10+ year guarantees that changes will not break them at the API and ABI level.

    The open source community can and should be embracing the idea of no SLA (no guarantees) with rapid innovation while leaving the likes of Microsoft, Red Hat and Apple to branch off and stabilise products for corporate/commercial use. This means highly skilled developers get to work on the next best thing and be paid for it, while armies of maintainers at large commercial entities can keep the wheels of business well greased.

    It's not rocket science.

    1. Tomato42

      Re: Microsoft doesn't get it

      while it's not complex and there are multiple examples of it working in practice, it's a completely alien concept to the corporate development model, so no wonder she, and to a larger extent, MS itself, is so tone-deaf about it

  12. Mark 65


    Project maintainers sign an agreement that either assigns or contributes their project to the .NET Foundation. That's the point at which project ownership changes. We'll post another document on that this week as well.

    Fork off.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did she lose her job ?

    The answer is no

    Did she suffer any backlash of importantance, no.

    Did she bring a product under MS control, yes.

    Success move on to next promotion.

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