Microsoft is moving two of its development languages -- IronPython and IronRuby -- as well as the company's Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) to an Apache open-source license, company officials acknowledged on July 19.
(I discovered the news thanks to a tweet from Novell Developer Platform chief Miguel de Icaza.)
IronPython and IronRuby are implementations of the Python and Ruby programming language targeting the .NET Framework and Mono. They are built on top of the Microsoft DLR, a layer of services attuned to dynamic languages that supplements the Common Language Runtime (CLR).
Until now, these two Microsoft development languages were available under the Microsoft Public License (MS-PL), which is an OSI-sanctioned open-source license. What's behind the change? Via an e-mail from a company spokesperson:
"We received customer feedback directly that the Apache v2.0 License increasingly became the license of choice for those working on the IronPython and IronRuby projects. While the Microsoft Public License is a good license, we wanted to support this customer feedback so we decided to make the change to the Apache License v. 2.0 for these projects."
This isn't the first time Microsoft has licensed software under the Apache license. The Live Labs Web Sandbox runtime was released under an Apache license in January 2009. The .Net OData client is being released via an Apache license, company officials said in March of this year. Microsoft also released two interoperability tools, a .PST Data Structure View Tool and a .PST File Format Software Development Kit under the Apache license in May 2010.