Microsoft Reversed .NET Change after Open Source Community Feedback



Microsoft reversed a decision to remove a key feature from its upcoming .NET 6 release, after public outcry from the open source community, The Verge reported. According to The Verge, Microsoft angered the .NET open source community earlier this week by removing a key part of the Hot Reload in the upcoming release of .NET, a feature that allows developers to modify source code while an app is running and immediately see the results.

The Verge reported that the .NET 6 feature was one many had been looking forward to in Visual Studio Code and across multiple platforms. Microsoft made what The Verge described a “a controversial last-minute decision to lock it to Visual Studio 2022, a mostly paid product that’s limited to Windows”.

Microsoft responded to the controversy on its Microsoft .NET blog. From the blog post, which was written by Director Program Management, .NET, Scott Hunter:

…First and foremost, we want to apologize. We made a mistake in executing on our decision and took longer than expected to respond back to the community. We have approved the pull request to re-enable this code path and it will be in the GA build of the .NET 6 SDK…

Scott Hunter also wrote: With the runway getting short for the .NET 6 release and Visual Studio 2022, we chose to focus on bringing Hot Reload VS2022 first. We made a mistake in executing this plan in the way it was carried out. In our effort to scope, we inadvertently ended up deleting the source code instead of just not invoking that code path. We underestimated the number of developers that are dependent upon this capability in their environments across scenarios, and how the CLI was being used alongside Visual Studio to drive inner loop productivity by many…

The Verge provided more details. They asked Microsoft to comment on the fact that an executive ordered the change, but the company didn’t want to discuss the controversial decision. “We have taken steps to address the issue that some of our OSS community members have experienced,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “Hot Reload capability will be in the general availability of the .NET 6 SDK available on November 8th.

So, which is it? Did an executive at Microsoft order the change to .NET 6? Or was the removal of .NET 6 a mistake that Microsoft did not intend to make? There is no clear answer.

It appears that one of the controversies here is that the .NET Foundation is an “organization established to support an innovative, commercially friendly, open-source ecosystem around the .NET platform.” The .NET Foundation was incorporated by Microsoft on March 31, 2014 to improve open-source software development and collaboration with the .NET Framework.

It seems to me that a Foundation that is focused on improving open-source software development with the .NET Framework would disagree with Microsoft’s “mistake” that put the .NET 6 feature behind a paywall.