What worries me is the simple lack of communication between the VS2005 SDK team and the rest of reality. The Visual Studio Extensibility Forum, for instance, is a very good indication of their lack of participation: the documentation is pretty poor, so the forum is the first place people go to ask questions, which are completely ignored by the VS2005 SDK team. They're not easy 'oh, don't be a newb' questions, either; they're the kind of tough stuff you either slough through the heaviest of documentation to scrabble for tiny tidbits of information for, or you need an SDK developer to give you a quick leg-up.
The Microsoft MVPs are doing their best, though, but they can't do it all themselves, and the many forum posts that have no reply is testament to that. Hell, most of my forum threads have replies only because I replied to myself for the sheer benefit of other people. You know, keeping them up to date on the information I've found about the particular subject.
However, the issue about the old EULA being applied to the new Visual Studio SDKs is something that cannot be ignored simply because I can't work around it. This issue has to have definite action taken to it or I simply cannot work on the project any longer. Naturally I don't want to work on the project until the issue is cleared up, as it might be much wasted time and energy if I'm met with silence all the way up until the release of the SDK in conjunction with VS2005 gold releases, at which point I realize they're going to stick with the old EULA and I've got a large but relatively worthless code-base.
Its not even entirely the issue of open source here, either: the license is fucking crazy. It looks like a strange composite of marketing - MARKETING - and a bunch of random demands that go with it.
- You shall ensure the quality of reproduced Licensed Software is equivalent to the quality of the Licensed Software as provided by Us. We shall be entitled to periodically, upon reasonable notice, inspect the quality of Your reproduction. Should we be dissatisfied with the quality, We shall notify You in writing and You shall promptly correct such deficiencies;
But back on topic:
I am honestly sort of suprised: creating an SDK is not instant magic, and you would think that someone working at Microsoft would know that best. Sooner or later you're going to have to interact with people when the documentation isn't cutting it or other issues pop up. The lack of visible interaction from the group is astounding. Your product has its own forum that nobody from the product team posts in. Crazy.
I mean, at least the guys at SharpDevelop fake it: they'll post a completely worthless URL ('check out this three year out of date ebook on Addin architecture!') or babble something incoherent ('SharpDevelop's codebase is self-documentating!') but at least they pretend.
C'mon. Fake it. Fake it for me, baby.