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Anders Hejlsberg
Anders Hejlsberg

SAN FRANCISCO – Open source fans, rejoice: Microsoft has released its new “Roslyn” .NET compiler platform preview as an open source project. That means developers can clone the company’s compiler for C# projects and add their own features, as well as suggest new features for Microsoft to implement in the compiler itself.

Microsoft Technical Fellow Anders Hejlsberg took the stage today at the Build conference to show off what’s possible with the new open-source capability by changing the compiler to handle strings wrapped in French quotes in the same way it handles standard quotes, after cloning the Roslyn repository. After the brief demo, he opened the repository up to the public amid thunderous applause from the assembled developers.

This doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a free-for-all to see who can build parts of Microsoft’s compiler — the company has set out very specific guidelines for how users can best go about contributing code to the project, and Microsoft will continue to manage its development, as well as actively contribute to the project.

Roslyn joins the ranks of a number of other open source .NET projects, which are now being collected under the umbrella of the .Net Foundation, also announced today. The Foundation will be charged with leading Microsoft’s continuing contributions to the open-source community by making more and more of .NET open source, as well as managing the company’s existing projects.

People interested in getting their hands on Roslyn’s code can do so here.

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