Built on Microsoft's .Net platform and incorporating its recently released Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, CodePlex is intended to house both Microsoft-initiated projects and those created by the site's users. One early project Microsoft has up on the site is its Atlas Control Toolkit, a collection of pre-coded components for developers to use with Microsoft's Atlas framework.
CodePlex marks another milestone in Microsoft's tentative embrace of community-driven software development practices. While Microsoft remains an ideological foe of free software, it has gradually thawed toward sharing source code and inviting broader involvement in more of its development work.
But the company still struggles to synch up its worldview with that of the community-minded developers it hopes to attract. One of the most active forums on CodePlex so far is a project node devoted to CodePlex itself. Participants immediately issued a call for Microsoft to open-source the code used to build CodePlex.
"So when is the CodePlex source going to be available? Seems like an obvious dog-fooding to let us help you grow the system," one CodePlex participant posted.
A Microsoft representative said the company has no plans to release the source code for the CodePlex portal.