Who's the pot? Microsoft. Enough with the craziness over Jamie Cansdale's excellent (read:must install now) addon for Visual Studio TestDriven.NET. I'm a huge fan of the tool (bought a copy to support Jamie and his excellent efforts, I recommend any good developer to do the same) and have supported Jamie in his efforts, especially after they booted him from the MVP program over some questionable tactics and reasoning. I followed him via emails and his blog posts discussing the matter and the sillyness of it all. Now it's come to a head.
The last few days it's been legal mayhem on his blog, posting the various letters and emails he's been getting and sending to MS lawyer-types. What really peeves me the most is the clause in the EULA that they are griping over:
"...you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it certain ways... You may not work around any technical limitations in the software."
What a load of crap. I'm sorry but let me rattle off two very big tools from Microsoft that voilate this EULA: Popfly Explorer and XNA Game Studio. Both are "add-ons" that only work with the Visual Studio Express SKU.
Since when does building a tool that simply automates running a unit test runner constitute working around a technical limitation? Is the technical limitation that VSExpress doesn't have support for unit test frameworks. If that's true, then any macro that shells out and runs nunit-console.exe could be considered in volation. If they're willing to stretch TestDriven.NET to fall into this category, then I call foul on Popfly Explorer and XNA Game Studio. They are "manipulating" how Visual Studio Express works and there's obviously a technical limitation in that Visual Studio Express, OOTB, does not support the XNA content pipeline or understand Popfly so again, someone is in voilation here.
Unfortunately for Jamie, he's between a rock and a hard place. EULA are just that. Agreements. IANAL but from what I know of past issues concerning EULAs, they're not legally binding. However with the Microsoft Man behind this nobody is going to be able to stand up (legally) against them.
So is Microsoft going to sue themselves? Might as well, since the lawyers are already doing a damn fine job at making an ass out of themselves.
My advice for Jamie, 1) pull the support for the Express SKU (again) if that will appease the Blue Monster and 2) contact the EFF. They have a good track record in these type of things and might be able to support you. I know I will so just yell if you need me.