The OuterCurve Foundation, continuing its slow orbit around the former Microsoft mother ship, has launched a vertical gallery called the Research Accelerators Gallery.
Outercurve was formerly known as the CodePlex Foundation. Outercurve is organizing projects around galleries, each under its own director, in order to create more coherence and structure in its work.
Guess who the sponsor of the new gallery happens to be? That's right kids, it's Microsoft Research.
Microsoft has long had philosophical trouble with some scientists who find the sharing of open source compatible with the values they are supposed to maintain in their academic lives. Offering open source as bait to keep campuses on the Microsoft train makes good business sense.
Having that project organized under someone whose name does not begin with the letter "M" is a better thing.
The lead project here will be The Scientific Workflow Workbench (code named Project Trident), built on the Windows Workflow Foundation.Version 1.2 was recently released under an Apache 2.0 license.
Microsoft is working closely on the project with researchers from the University of Washington and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
In addition to Microsoft employees, committers to the project include Beth Plale of Indiana University and Susan Cuddy of Australia's CSIRO Land and Water research division.
The hope is that more researchers in more disciplines will start contributing code to the project, increasing its general utility. And if that ties universities closer to their Microsoft contracts, that's OK too.