Axum is a Microsoft DevLab project that Microsoft hopes will “validate a safe and productive parallel programming model for .NET”.  Axum is an incubation project, and as such, the syntax, features or runtime itself may change.  Microsoft has no product commitments related to Axum at this time.  The Axum team wants to solicit customer feedback, likely in the hope that Axum itself will become a first class programming language for .NET, or will influence a follow-on language.

Does this sound like a great candidate for an open source project?  It does to me.  Especially since Axum is up against Erlang and Scala, two leading languages that address concurrency, are developed through open source projects.

Surely Microsoft could have kept control of the Axum language and related intellectual property through a contributor agreement.  Microsoft could use the LGPL, for example, to “protect” against competitor actions, and yet have the ability to re-license Axum under a commercial license. Even if Savio Inc were to fork Axum, the strong likelihood is that Windows customers would use Axum over Savio Inc’s fork.

Of course, Axum requires a .NET runtime.  I’m sure the smart folks at Microsoft could have figured out a way to enable community contributions without having to open up .NET to wholesale community edits.  Maybe Project mono could have played a role?

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