ALT.NET–>NOT.NET?

I came across this James Avery post via Mike Gunderloy’s blog.  Avery attempts to make a similar point to one Martin Fowler puts forward about the best developers moving away from the .NET platform.  Beyond the sort of anecdotal evidence I’ve read, I don’t see much abandonment of .NET as a platform.

When I read this post by Dave Laribee, I decided that Avery missed his point.  The point of ALT.NET isn’t as a bridge to a different set of tools, but to recognize two things:

  1. The best solutions on the .NET platform won’t always come from Microsoft.
  2. The best ideas from other software development communities can work very well on the .NET platform.

The existence of tools like NUnit and log4net, frameworks like Spring.NET and rules engines like Drools.net is more likely to keep developers using the .NET Framework than it is to encourage them to switch to Ruby on Rails.  Because a lot of ALT.NET is free and open source, there’s plenty of incentive to use it instead of the Microsoft alternative (which increasingly comes with hefty licensing fees).