How to lend a hand to NDoc and other non-MS Developer Tools

I was forwarded an interesting suggestion today from the Product Feedback Center.  Here it is:

Put some developers on the open source nDoc project

We have used the XML documentation system with our C# code. Full integration with VS 2005 and .NET 2.0 is missing. Unfortunately, the developer for the open source nDoc project has not updated this project in some time. We do not have the resources nor knowledge base to offer our direct assistance to this project.

By time you read this my reply to the suggestion should have been propagated from our internal database to the feedback center.   But aside from the resource concern that's real there are some interesting questions this raises.

I'm honestly don't think there is consensus that it's our (Developer Solutions) team charter to do development work on projects that were born out of the community.  We (Microsoft) really don't like stepping on community toes and don't want to be seen as taking over/invading 3rd party territory.  But are there other ways we could help out projects like nDoc?

  • What if we highlighted more projects like nDoc from our developer centers to get more attention that might lead to more community contribution?
  • What about having some sort of awards for shared/open source development in the Visual Studio developer tools space?
  • What if had some project sponsorships we could give out each year to developers who take on projects like this? 

Other ideas?