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

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

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • i was under the impression that everything for 1.5 was new ... surely, if it is, cant they associated there own license?
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • damo wrote:
      i was under the impression that everything for 1.5 was new ... surely, if it is, cant they associated there own license?

      While attending Joomla! Day USA West, I got the same impression from Johan i.e. the code in J! 1.5 is from scratch.
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • which would mean they can introduce a new license to allow developers non gpl ....

      i'm a genius ;)
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    Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • hmmm... then everyone who has contributed to J! 1.5 would have to agree to a new license. There are bound to be a few hardcore GPL fans amongst them so I doubt this would be possible with 1.5.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • The majority of the code for J! 1.5 is done by Johan and Louis.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • Peter Osipof wrote:
      The majority of the code for J! 1.5 is done by Johan and Louis.

      Who (johan) has made it quite clear he is a hard core GPLer.

      I saw some quotes from him referring to the commercial 3PDs as 'pollution' and 'parasites'.

      Good luck convincing him... :(
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • Peter Osipof wrote:
      The majority of the code for J! 1.5 is done by Johan and Louis.
      Ehum. And me :) I've heard the statements as well and I clarified [in the thread-from-hell] that they are both correct and incorrect depending on your point of reference. Joomla! has been redesigned from the ground up. Does that mean that we've reinvented all the lines of code, no, of course not. So it depends on how pedantic you want to be.

      There is certainly enough intellectual capital to relicense the framework (say to LGPL, which in my view would be a good thing). There is insufficient intellectual capital to relicense the whole of Joomla! - the CMS part. They could try but if challenged they'd loose.

      You need to read Rob's blog post about changing the license. If you change to non-compatible GPL license you suddenly loose all access to using any GPL tools, whatever in your extensions, etc. That's a big chunk of code that is lost to you and so the 3PD market is no better off - you have to write everything from scratch or get other library authors to write a special license for Joomla! with an exception. All licenses have pros and cons. None of them are perfect and to change the license away from GPL you have to sacrifice certain things. The problem is that in order to give 3PD's freedom to use proprietary licenses, they must sacrifice flexibility and the end-user sacrifices the range of things they can install. The scales are not tipped in the end-user's, nor the project's favour. That's my assessment anyway.

      On top of that there is also the issue of not being able to control the size of proprietary interests that are sustainable in the market. Like there's no way to ensure that a small business has any better chance of surviving than a serious player with many millions of investment dollars backing them. Since Joomla! is now arguably the most popular CMS, it would obviously attract the most intense corporate interest if allowed, and that really has an unknown effect on the project except for being able to compare it with what happened with Miro/Mambo ... when that project was a tenth of the size we are now.... Something to think about.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • My issue with the GPL, as I have expressed elsewhere, is that it doesn't encourage good business. It allows business yes, but it doesn't encourage it to be productive for anyone.

      But the primary focus of any GPL extension business is -not- writing code. Code is the extra flavour, or the bait to attract people. You make your money off other services. This in turn reduces the amount of code you can produce as your time is divided.

      It also encourages and rewards bad coding. As you can then sell your services to repair your own code rather than make it A grade code and then sell one copy...

      All this strict enforcement will do is force the devs to make their own LGPL framework. Which the Core team could do themselves, and save everyone the hassle.

      All it means now is that custoemrs have an extra layer of PITA in their Joomla isntallation. Or at best they don't notice the change except for installing the framework and updating it now and then. So what has been achieved?

      Nothing, except a lot of people getting burnt. There are ways around the GPL and people aren't just going to give up and die.

      The announcement should have been phrased

      'we want to keep Joomla purely GPL so that we can keep our compatability with other GPL products. The Rider does not allow this. So we are seeking input and suggestions from the community on how we can make this happen without jeapordising peoples sites, businesses or incomes.

      We are willing to work with leading develoeprs to maintain the GPL integrity of the project without damaging the thriving community that has been built up around it and are seekign applications and suggestions on the best way to move forward.

      We are considering moving the core API functions and variables to an LGPL license to allow commercial projects to continue to exist and to keep the project pure without risking them or the project.'

      Viola, no hysteria, no panic, no angry 4billion post threads on every single joomla community board.

      The core moves the libraries to LGPL. The 3pds can keep eating and providing code, Joomla stays 'pure' GPL, the users don't have the faintest idea that anything has changed.

      Probably wouldn't even require any new code to be written.

      That is of course 'if' the descision was purely for the reasons claimed - to keep joomla GPL and not - to shut down/chase away 3pds
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • I don't share your optimism. The same result would have ensued - the names would have been different that's all.

      I guess it boils down to a fundamental question - "who should be driving Joomla!". Yes, Joomla! has become popular because of 3rd party extensions, but less than a quarter of those are proprietary, and the distribution of proprietary extensions on actual installs would be even less again. That's not to belittle the contribution of 3PD's, but Mambo rose, and Joomla! did also, not *just* because of proprietary extensions - in fact 4.5.0 was a hit with no commercial products for a time. The whole issue becomes much harder when you start asking what *should* Joomla! do, in whose favour should their be the most compromise, etc.

      At the end of the day, the commercial model is possible under the GPL, but yeah probably for less profit and you need to have a "solid" business model to support it. Does that exclude the quick-buck makers - yes. Does that exclude the person that has one component and wants to live off that income - no, but they have to be very smart to do it. Does it exclude the person wanting to make a quick buck - no, but that's all they are going to make.

      My personal impression is that the real angst is about the fact that it now requires more work to sustain the same level of profit ... in other words, a Commercial GPL model cuts further into your margins.

      The LGPL framework, while I agree is a good thing, doesn't help people in the way they think. It's not a silver bullet, it has boundaries as well. Likewise the Rider is not a silver bullet, it has some glaring issues that are of benefit to the minority, not the majority of installs. Every license is a compromise for something. There is no "cake and eat it" license - it doesn't exist - and I don't think a lot of people get that. "Oh the GPL is a bad immature license for kiddy hackers" - er, and what's the license then for the experienced professional ... "I dunno, just write one".

      I'd also disagree strongly that the GPL encourages bad code - that would suggest that the Joomla! source is tarred with the same brush. I'd argue strongly that encoding encourages sloppy practices because nobody ever sees your mistakes. I saw some of Miro's proprietary code - it was less than impressive. I'd also argue that Open Source regardless of license encourages better code.

      Finally, going backwards :) , I'd say that all software business is about business. The license doesn't matter a cracker. If you don't have a product, if you don't have a plan, if you don't have a market and if you don't have some sort of system to handle life after the first sale, it doesn't matter how good or bad your code is. Your business will live or die because of the effort you put in and the decisions you make. All software is ultimately about service - who do I call when there is a problem ...
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 17 years 4 weeks ago
    • Lots of chewy points. Even got me thinking some! ;)

      The hamstrung code is for those who try to make a living from support. The problem with comparing Joomla GPL with extension GPL, is that Joomla is a mass appeal product. The same comes with any of the big open source projects. All of them are either frameworks or a mass appeal product like an OS or CMS. Comparing something designed to sit inside a framework with a doubly limited client base (limited by their personal vertical market and the CMS it sits on) is apples and oranges to the framework itself (which has basically unlimited customer potential).

      I agree people are angry because it's harder. A lot harder. GPL business forces you to make money from things other than writing code because you can't guarantee sale of your products (the code). There wouldn't be any angst if it was easier to turn a profit obviously. :D But why is there a need to make it harder? What good reason is there to make it more difficult than it needs to be? In order to stop people from 'making a quick buck' do we need to put dozens (hundreds?) of people out of work?

      What about thes people who use joomla to make a cheap or free site that sells e-books? They are making a quick buck too off the backs of the Joomla team. Where is the angst against them? Or against Web Developers who use Joomla to give cheaper products their clients? They take a lot more than they give back where is the angst against them?

      Someone asked FSF (i think it was fsf) in an email if they -had- to release their extension as GPL, FSF answered that it was up to the copyright holder to decide where the line for 'derived work' was to be drawn. Which means that the core or someone in the core, has decided that this extreme position needed to be taken when perhaps it -didn't- need to be so strong.

      I agree with the question, who should be driving joomla? Less than a quarter of the extensions are commercial yes, but then about 30% of the GPL extensions were produced by the commercial devs. So now we are looking at closer to half of the modules are a direct result of the non GPL licenses.

      I would dissagree with your percentage I would put it closer to 80% or more sites at a guess run with a product that is the result of commercial developers. Why this figure? Because Community Builder is such an extension. The single most popular extension with over 50,000 registered users is the result of commercial funding. Beat and Nant live off their commercial products.

      Without commercial extensions joomla would not be community enabled, it would not support hotel reservations, it would not support real estate sites, it would not support any sort of directories, as Mosets is commercial and Sobi2 is also funded by commercial sales. JCE, the second most popular extension is also supported by commercial sales. Looking over the most popular page on the JED I can see at least 3 GNU products that are supported by commercial sales, and 3 more I suspect but would need to check. So between 30-60% of the most popular joomla extensions are the result of commercial sales and probably would not exist otherwise. Certainly not exist at the level they do.

      Joomla would have I think only 1 seo option as the rest are either commercial or funded by commercial sales.

      Commercial extensions are certainly far from the sole reason for Joomla's success, but nor are they a negligible contribution either.

      To come back to 'who is driving joomla' the answer probably should be left to the users to decide if they want to pay for commercial extensions or not. If they think buying GPL is more important than getting the best product for their site (be it GPL or not), then they can make the choice. Why should the Joomla team decide for them what should go into their site?

      If MS decided to start dictating to people that they only could put 'MS license' software on their PCs the IT world would go berzerk. MS would be facing a class action suit within days.

      I am not a non GPL licensing developer, but I am someone who does not like having my choices forced upon me. If I hate encrypted code, no one forces me to buy it. Having a non GPL version of something stops no body from developing a GPL version of that software. Encrypting the source of an extension stops no one from reverse engineering the logic and recreating it.

      Non GPL licenses don't stop people who don't chose to be stopped form doing anything. If I chose to buy an encrypted component I accept the risks that come with it. If I don't want encrypted code. I don't buy it or I develop it myself.
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