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Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

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    • damo
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • first off, there would be no boycott of 1.5 because

      second, it cant just be 'disallowed' under the current GPL license

      third, they'll be no forking off from joomla because the people that can already have and they're not likely to leave

      i will say something though; it's not about should they be allowed to be able to sell GPL as the question is wrong, in my opinion. in fact the thread over at joomla has got so out of hand i just left it.

      while the forum community should be allowed to discuss whatever they want it should have been nipped in the bud with 'we're looking at changing/modifying the joomla license'
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Hi All. Most of you know me a masterchief on the Joomla! forums. I'm teaming up with Andy to deliver some really cool free and commercial components over the coming months. I will probably make more comment later but I just want to share with you some thoughts.

      I wear two caps at the moment. One is as a professional developer relying on an income from delivering Joomla! based software products, training and consulting. The other hat I wear is as what I like to think is a "patron" for the Open Source project called Joomla!. I am one of the senior developers on the project and also former project lead. I'm very attached to both of these hats, so how can we make this work.

      Let me look at them separately.

      Wearing my first hat, the commercial one, I've done a lot of research into the GPL and sought a lot of advice. Almost all of the software I write is delivered in an open source format, so we don't have to worry about the encoding side (I say almost because I have previously released encoded software, but I don't do that anymore). And as far as coding secrets go, well, if you cheat off the Joomla! sources you know all me secrets anyway so I've unfortunately got nothing to hide there.

      To cut a long story short I looked at how commercial non-GPL licenses could be used to deliver extensions and just found more and more brick walls the further I looked. Where I found a loophole that meant I could prevent redistribution, I would the fallout was it reduced the freedom to the client. So in the end I've opted to release Commercial GPL software. How does that work. Well, basically it's the same as you would do now, you'd register, pay a few dollars and download whatever it is. Part of my "edge" would obviously be some level of support, access to updates, documentation, etc, etc. Because the source is open, and because it's GPL, it affords "you" the most flexibility. You can see the source, you can combine it with any of GPL application or library, etc.

      To give you the maximum freedom I do carry some risk. That is that I'll sell one copy, that person will put that software say on joomlacode.org and people will just download it from there. Technically that's their right and there's nothing I can do to stop them (apart from some tricks with copyright notices...more on that another time). But if people download from there, they miss out of a whole lot of value adding that I hope to bring as the business goes. They miss out on support, miss out on the latest news, the latest updates, etc. Will I mind you sharing copies with your friends to try. Nah, people do that anyway, but encourage your friends not to be cheap and buy a copy to support further work :) The people I will be a bit narky about will be those that put my stuff up on their site for 10 bucks less than I sell it for ... legal, but I couldn't sleep at night if I did it.

      This will certainly be an experiment but one I feel strongly about. I'm sure we can make it work.

      My second hat is that of someone who holds the Joomla! project dear to his heart, someone who has shed a lot of blood for that project to keep it free. Make no mistake - Joomla! receives unprecedented interest from people whose only interest is profit at any cost. We are the most popular CMS in our class, if not the world. If someone is looking for an investment opportunity in the Open Source CMS market then Joomla! is the one to sharpen the claws over.

      Mambo has already been the center of 2 commercial sales (that we know of). The first was at the time we "forked", rumoured to be around US$10 million in value, and the second was I think over a year later valued at around AU$1 million. And there are certainly venture capital people with their eye on Joomla!.

      So why do I bring this up? It's because I'm very concerned that by loosening the straps about which proprietary development can occur, that we allow for forces to enter that will pillage and swallow the project. The quip was made that Joomla! could become like a coral reef where all the fish have done. I will contend that the fish were eaten by sharks that enter through holes in a protecting outer rim that was where the GPL once firmly stood. Some of you might be small commercial shops and be thinking you need the freedom of a non-GPL license to be able to survive. But know this, that same freedom would afford much larger entities, entities with a lot of cash backing to thunder in and blow everyone out of the water. Not that I think they'd want to, but imagine if IBM wanted a piece of the action and how they could swoop in with their resources. Imagine a silent player slowly buying up all the commercial shops until one day we have a very serious monopoly on our hands - one entity responsible for supply of the majority of the proprietary extensions. These scenarios were attempted on a small scale with Mambo. Joomla! is 20 times bigger. Think about the math.

      It's not that I don't appreciate the position small commercial developers are in, and what a non-GPL option might mean to them. But I wholeheartedly believe that there is more at stake here than the rights of the average Joomla! developer. I can't put my finger on it yet, but something fishy is going on. Call me paranoid but we were right two years ago ... we'll see.

      Anyway, I thought it might be helpful to share my heart on the matter. I'm very concerned for the longevity of the Joomla! project. I want to make sure that any decision regarding a license charge (or reinforcement of the existing position) means that Joomla! is around for everyone in the years to come. And regardless what happens, I'll be working under a Commercial GPL + support/goodies model, and I'll have a few really neat freebies up my sleeve as well - you can't complain about that.

      As Andy has already said, templates form a special case and I'm sure he'll have more to say about that.

      If anyone has any concerns please feel free to contact me. I've got a few major deadlines coming up so don't always expect an immediate response but I'll do my best :)
    • Andrew Eddie
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • So why do I bring this up? It's because I'm very concerned that by loosening the straps about which proprietary development can occur, that we allow for forces to enter that will pillage and swallow the project. The quip was made that Joomla! could become like a coral reef where all the fish have done. I will contend that the fish were eaten by sharks that enter through holes in a protecting outer rim that was where the GPL once firmly stood. Some of you might be small commercial shops and be thinking you need the freedom of a non-GPL license to be able to survive. But know this, that same freedom would afford much larger entities, entities with a lot of cash backing to thunder in and blow everyone out of the water. Not that I think they'd want to, but imagine if IBM wanted a piece of the action and how they could swoop in with their resources. Imagine a silent player slowly buying up all the commercial shops until one day we have a very serious monopoly on our hands - one entity responsible for supply of the majority of the proprietary extensions. These scenarios were attempted on a small scale with Mambo. Joomla! is 20 times bigger. Think about the math.

      this doesn't mean someone like IBM couldn't/wouldn't come along and snap up a small GPL house

      like i said above. this has been blown out of all proportion and i wouldn't worry about it. how about something like this:

      www.sugarcrm.com/crm/products/faq.html#about2

      i'm not saying go this way; only that the SugarCRM project has managed to develop something that isn't your standard license ..
    • Last Edit: 15 years 2 months ago by damo.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Sugar is a little different. That would have been the situation if we'd stayed with Miro. A for-profit company would have controlling interests of the project. That's not to say it can't work, because it does for Sugar, but Sugar is not an Open Source project, it's a company that produces Open Source free and proprietary software. There's a huge difference.
    • Andrew Eddie
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • and i' not saying use that license i'm saying that joomla doesn't have to be released with GPL; maybe they should look at developing the license.

      i just think this has been allowed to get out of control and what you've said above, some would consider, scaremongering
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Fair comment.
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Andrew Eddie wrote:


      So why do I bring this up? It's because I'm very concerned that by loosening the straps about which proprietary development can occur, that we allow for forces to enter that will pillage and swallow the project. The quip was made that Joomla! could become like a coral reef where all the fish have done. I will contend that the fish were eaten by sharks that enter through holes in a protecting outer rim that was where the GPL once firmly stood.




      so...perhaps,,,, if I read you right...do you feel the powers that be,, that hold the GPL ( and actually understand it )understand that it ( the GPL) once had the teeth to thwart the onslaught of ... oh lets say.... a large OS firm out of Redmond.. and that by it's( the GPL) watering down by of little infractions here and there by small commercial developers ( through encoding) will infact allow a standing by which a claim could be made by a large monolythic OS firm patent holdings ??
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Hehe, I wasn't going to use the "M" word in my example, and I don't think they or IBM would be interested. ... buuuuut someone in the 490-499 end of the Fortune 500 ... maaaybe. Look it's pure speculation, but it's the kind of concern that won't happen overnight, but in 2 years time you look around and we don't have a project anymore (I guess that could happen anyway, but you get the picture).
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • So then,, would it not be an idea for a third leg of this scheme to be a "reserve" ( not associated with joomla but run as a seprate intrest) to generate capital through donation and funding by large firms with an intrest in open source success that then developers could apply to seek "grants" for the R&D while keeping their work free for distribution??
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • It's called Google Summer of Code :) That's exactly what they do.
    • Andrew Eddie
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      JXtended - Empowering the Web - jxtended.com

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