visual studio and git

Tod Hansmann plug.org at todandlorna.com
Tue Nov 5 18:51:50 MST 2013


On 11/5/2013 9:14 AM, Daniel Fussell wrote:
> In case anyone here wants to know, if for no other reason than a heads 
> up.  One of my coworkers on the windows side of the force just 
> installed the latest version of visual studio and found that it had 
> git support in addition to it's own code repository.  He thought it 
> was rather funny and a win for free software.
>
> Myself, this looks like an attempt by Microsoft to keep from being 
> marginalized by new kids using a full opensource stack.  But I could 
> also see it as an attempt at embrace, extend, extinquish. Thoughts?
>

Full disclosure: I don't work for Microsoft, but I have several friends 
that do, and I wouldn't mind doing dev for them at all.

Microsoft has actually an entire Open Source group, and they do in fact 
contribute to several open source projects.  In Visual Studio, that team 
is obviously interested in supporting Windows dev, and trends in Windows 
dev haven't been to use git until more recent years.  That's not to say 
it wasn't done, it just hasn't been THE trend.  Supporting other 
commercial products like Borland's offering for source control hasn't 
been their motif.  Supporting a large portion of Windows developers is 
their motif.  Thus, git is now a thing.  You can try it in their Express 
editions too.

I have never bought that MS is anti-linux or anti-open-source. (CodePlex 
anyone?)  I've always seen it as not seeing a lot of open source or even 
linux itself as very relevant.  I think that's actually correct (MS 
isn't really after the niche markets Linux fills).  I don't think MS 
hasn't made mistakes along the way of meeting trends (git support is a 
bit late, and SATA drivers werent in the install of XP until SP3, as 
examples), but their actions have always seemed to be "get business away 
from competitors, support Windows dev as a platform, ignore things that 
are irrelevant."  This hasn't always served them well (consumer phone 
markets, eh?) but it supports their core business.

tl;dr This is really just MS doing what it does.

As a related notion: full open-source stack dev on Windows sucks. 
Hardcore.  As in, I would rather be drawn and quartered than try to use 
mingw or attempt to do anything complex even in something like Python 
without support tools.  Of course, I think the GNU toolchain in general 
is terrible (autotools is a face only a mother could love).

-Tod Hansmann


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