CodePrairie .NET

South Dakota .NET User Group

I Hate Linux

Future of my Add-ins

Traditionally most companies are fine with their employees making a buck on the side or donating their time or services  just so long as doing so doesn't conflict of interest with the their day job either through causing ones work quality to go down or otherwise compete with the company.

Microsoft is little different. Should I decide today to write a useful add-in or two for... Windows Live Messenger or Internet Explorer... so long as I don't use any inside information, am doing it on my own time and not competing with Microsoft I can (within reason) do what I want which is relatively easy as when it comes to many products like Live Messenger and Internet Explorer... I have no inside knowledge.... with Windows Home Server it's a slightly different story.

Because of the nature Tab Scroller, Tab Reorder, Tab Manager and Media Connect Controller and their reliance on fully unsupported and undocumented capabilities of the Windows Home Server Console... it would be inappropriate for me to continue work on them given my role on the Windows Home Server team and as a result have decided that I must largely abandon them going forward as it would be virtually impossible for me to continue them without somehow using knowledgeable I have gained about the inner workings of the console since joining the team.

While users of them are more than free to continue to use them, they must be aware that there will be no future releases of them from me (nor will I be releasing the source code to them) and what little support I will be able to offer will mostly have to do with informing you when you should stop using them due to a change in the console that could cause them to stop working and/or cause other problems as I did with Tab Manager back in June.

DHCP4WHS and Web Folders however are a different story... neither of them rely on any undocumented/unsupported bits of the Home Server Console (except for their use of HomeServerControls which isn’t quite kosher) and provide valuable services that are accessible outside of the console and would be usable (with a few UI tweaks) on a platform other than Windows Home Server... I intend to keep pursuing their development on my own time until such a time when/if similar functionality is built into the product*, completely run out of time to keep maintaining them (which is well over due) or am otherwise distracted by something shiny.

Why did this take so long to say this? It has been 6 months and 2 days since I started the new job.

Unfortunately the new bosses like to keep me busy (something anyone who has written me about Windows Home Server has likely heard) and as a result I haven’t had large amounts of side time for maintenance (or even this post) as well as the fact that it took a little time to get a few things approved internally (which I got several months ago). Why was approval necessary? As I said above, because I now work from Microsoft and on the Windows Home Server Team, any bit of code I write and release automatically could be seen by some as a ‘Microsoft’ release even when it is clearly not. This issue/view is made even more difficult when I release code related to Windows Home Server so it is important to make clear any separations of responsibility.

So to recap... DHCP4WHS and Web Folders are not dead. They continue to be my add-ins and will be maintained so long as I do not use any inside knowledge of this or any other products I have learned of while on the job and have the time to continue to work on them. Responsibility for them both in terms of maintenance and support are mine and only mine. Neither are in anyway supported nor endorsed by Microsoft or the Windows Home Server team. Stay tuned for more details.

*This statement is not intended to convey a sense that Windows Home Server will include such functionality in future, I am simply saying when I'd likely stop work on them (short of both reaching the mythical 'done' point).

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