At the end of December I had promised myself that I would not write another blog entry until I posted the "toolset" I mentioned in my last blog entry to a Workspace on GotDotNet. The goal was to refocus any time I might spend on blogging into getting the code base scrubbed, packaged, and pushed through legal. My hope was that I could get all that done in the month of January. Unfortunately (as you might have guessed from the title of this blog entry), I did not get everything complete.
However, as of February 1st, the code is basically at a "Beta" quality (i.e. functional but not always pretty and documentation is severely lacking) and the packaging issues are basically worked out (i.e. compiled binaries plus a Visual Studio solution to build the binaries if you want are zipped up). So I figured I could justify writing a short blog entry since all that remains is dotting the i's and crossing the t's on legal stuff. Besides, this coming Wednesday afternoon I have a meeting with my contacts in legal where we will hopefully hammer out the last few issues in the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA). This EULA process has taken a bit longer than we first expected because I'm pushing to release the new "toolset" with as few legal restrictions as possible. This openness in the agreement forces the lawyers to consider more angles than if I was willing to release the toolset under an EULA that said, "You can't use this tool... for anything!" Of course, with that type of EULA the toolset would be useless so this is a silly example but hopefully it demonstrates one extreme of the balance I'm trying to strike for the toolset's EULA.
Finally, I hope to follow up with a post that looks into this legal process I walked through trying to get the "toolset" released external. I've learned a number of fascinating things about the legal system I never knew about before. Of course, any posts about the legal process are dependent on Bill and Matt (the Microsoft attorneys I've been in contact with) being comfortable with me blogging about the stuff we covered in our meetings and email.