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

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

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • heh.. i'm concerned with people copying it before I can release it on rocketwerx as a supportable gpl project. I kinda use the template club to release beta versions to get bug fixes and features ironed out. I did this with RokSlideshow which is a very popular component on joomlacode. I want to be able to do this with the others also, but if it's released before I can get my site updated with the relevant info, I could lose the edge. You understand? It's in the timing.
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Bah. Damn it Andy stop proving me wrong. :P
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • @Daniel

      Nice, what part of Oz?

      On the "left with a dead encoded product" - I've worked in Gov't and know how it works. That would have been part of their product evaluation. If they didn't have a deal whereby the source was held in escrow in the event the vendor went under (for whatever reason, and it happens), then I'd suggest they took a fair risk.

      And if they choose Drupal then they are in strict compliance with the GPL anyway.

      But hey, I take your point, and it's very valid. I think what's happened is that the old advice and attitudes that came from the Mambo project where not on the ball, if not possibly skewed to a preferred way of thinking. Joomla! has very good legal support now and I suspect what's happen is they've been tapped on the shoulder to make things right because of our popularity. And I'm as much at fault as anyone because I'm looking back and thinking "how the heck did we swallow some of this". Would a correction "hurt" Joomla!? Initially, most likely - but then that opens up new opportunities for some. Will it kill the project? I doubt it. I think in the long term it will improve things just because of the way other big players are supporting OS (eg, Google). There is also a very real risk that without a "correction", other projects like Drupal and Typo3 (and maybe Google??) would distance themselves from what is otherwise a healthy rivalry. That would be a very sad thing to see happen and that *could* kill the project.
    • Andrew Eddie
      <><
      The Art of Joomla - A Joomla Magazine - www.theartofjoomla.com
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Andrew Eddie wrote:
      @Daniel

      Nice, what part of Oz?

      The east coast. Dad was full time Army and I was a Contract Oracle Developer for 10 years, so between the two of them I have moved around Aus 34 times. Perth and Tas are pretty much the only places I haven't lived at least once.
      Andrew Eddie wrote:
      On the "left with a dead encoded product" - I've worked in Gov't and know how it works. That would have been part of their product evaluation. If they didn't have a deal whereby the source was held in escrow in the event the vendor went under (for whatever reason, and it happens), then I'd suggest they took a fair risk.

      And if they choose Drupal then they are in strict compliance with the GPL anyway.
      lol Drupal was just the first cms name that came to mind.

      My point here was more that they are basically pulling the rug out from under the extensions community in a BIG way.

      A lot of what has made Joomla such an attractive CMS is the commercial components. Not because they are commercial, but because they are generally high quality and well supported because they are treated like a professional extension. It is a lot more difficult to develop a totally free extension to a professional level. Because exactly as you pointed out, you need to be doing many things at once to supplement your extension income which = less time to work on the extension = lower quality and less support.

      Yes GPL doesn't need to be free but it can be after one download. And no person anywhere in the world would consider it same business practice to plan your business around the 'trust my customers to pay' model.

      The system you outlined above works in many cases, but not in all. And most sadly, the better you code your product, the simpler and easier it is to use, the less bugs it has, then it becomes less likely that the above model is going to work. Because if people don't need you, the docs and the training videos, then they won't pay you.

      If they would pay when they don't need to then donation models would work, which they don't at all and as far as I know never have. (barring of course corporate donations)

      As I have pointed out several times it also hurts niche players with less mass appeal products.
      Andrew Eddie wrote:
      But hey, I take your point, and it's very valid. I think what's happened is that the old advice and attitudes that came from the Mambo project where not on the ball, if not possibly skewed to a preferred way of thinking. Joomla! has very good legal support now and I suspect what's happen is they've been tapped on the shoulder to make things right because of our popularity. And I'm as much at fault as anyone because I'm looking back and thinking "how the heck did we swallow some of this". Would a correction "hurt" Joomla!? Initially, most likely - but then that opens up new opportunities for some. Will it kill the project? I doubt it. I think in the long term it will improve things just because of the way other big players are supporting OS (eg, Google). There is also a very real risk that without a "correction", other projects like Drupal and Typo3 (and maybe Google??) would distance themselves from what is otherwise a healthy rivalry. That would be a very sad thing to see happen and that *could* kill the project.

      No more than half the components vanishing overnight and (at a guess) 80% plus Joomla users begin suddenly left in the lurch without updates and support *could* kill the project.

      It *will* (and the silence from the core team *is* already) hurt the project, it's the recovery that is in doubt. Will Joomla retain it's professionalism? Or fall to being merely a hobby CMS?

      At the very least I hope the core team is smart enough to give an amnesty period, and offer alternatives such as continued sale of non gpl components for 1.12 but not for 1.5, to allow the software houses time to adapt.

      As I said, this doesn't affect my business plans in the slightest, but it does affect components on which I rely and use and do not want to lose. I am speaking here as a concerned customer and not as a developer with my lively hood at stake.
    • Last Edit: 15 years 2 months ago by Daniel Chapman.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Good points and observations. It's certainly a tough one to call because there is no one "right" way.
    • Andrew Eddie
      <><
      The Art of Joomla - A Joomla Magazine - www.theartofjoomla.com
      JXtended - Empowering the Web - jxtended.com
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Agreed.

      If a good open source model could be found that suited all extensions types and provided appropriate compensation to the developers, then I would have no problems with jumping to the 'GPL for all' side.

      But I am struggling to see a model that will work for everyone, except for things like using tricky code to bypass the GPL such as an lgpl API or 'component template' or the like, or switching to service based models where you distribute a GPL interface to the program which resides on your secure site. (ala youtube videos being able to be shown anywhere)

      I am not arguing for the sake of arguing btw. I am genuinely trying to find a solution that is best for all, but both sides seem to be entrenched in the idea that their extreme is the correct one, and I would rather see the components alive than dead.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • I'd love to find a loophole, but the GPL is just so darn well written to be anti-proprietary. Even if the rider was there I wouldn't use it because it locks "you" and "me" into Joomla+Rider and you can only do stuff within that stack. I think some explanatory material will come about this, so we can pick up then because I know what I've found out, but I may also be missing some key points.

      There is a way with the LGPL but that would mean creating two Joomla! projects and then users would have to decide to use the commercial one and be locked into the offerings there, and a GPL version and you get to fish in that pond.

      The problem is most people see dual-licensing means I can use "both" GPL and non-GPL in the same stack. It's not the case (unless I'm completely wrong, which I could be). You have to use "either" one of the versions. It's oil and water - you can't mix the stuff. For example, SugarCRM, you technically can't add extensions based on GPL projects (even though I know they have them in their forge).

      The real solution would be to champion a license shift that allows both, but then you'd have to encourage all the GPL developers to shift as well since that is such a rich resource for developers. Or at the very least, source sufficient LGPL libraries to be able to run "something".

      The issues are varied and complex. While I appreciate there are the fundamentalists out there, the is still no win-all solution. And I really do feel for the little guy trying to start out. It won't be easy.
    • Andrew Eddie
      <><
      The Art of Joomla - A Joomla Magazine - www.theartofjoomla.com
      JXtended - Empowering the Web - jxtended.com
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • On topic but off topic Andrew, what do you -think- (I know you can't speak for them obviously) will be the Joomla stance on bridged non GPL components.

      Obviously the bridge must be GPL, but will this enforcement of the GPL now forbid bridges of non GPL products?

      Also including wrapped ones potentially. Wrapped I assume is ok as it is in an iframe.

      SMF is obviously the highest profile of these, but there are lots of others.
    • Last Edit: 15 years 2 months ago by Daniel Chapman.
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  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Off the cuff I think don't think bridges are affected. The Joomla-SMF bridge is actually an interesting one for other reasons, but if it's all Joomla-side, then it's a non-issue. If it's SMF side then you need permission to distribute and I'm *still* waiting for an answer from them for how that's done (in order words, don't . I also think Joomla talking to the XML-RPC or Ajax API of a non-GPL application is fine.

      I'd have no bones about developing a GPL bridge as an XML-RPC service to talk to a proprietary ERP system as an example.

      Browser wrappers should be fine, for the iframe case and passing data via a cookie or URL arguments.

      PHP wrappers I don't think are feasible other than one that sets up a server client relationship ... and maybe there is a place for these. I tried to think of a case where you could wrap a non-GPL in a BSD and then pull that into Joomla ... nah.
    • Andrew Eddie
      <><
      The Art of Joomla - A Joomla Magazine - www.theartofjoomla.com
      JXtended - Empowering the Web - jxtended.com
  • Re: Must Joomla Extensions all be GNU/GPL? Have your say.

    Posted 15 years 2 months ago
    • Also while brain picking, what about Java? Seeing as I brought it up anyway before.

      There is no way the Java can directly access the Joomla php functions. It must all be done though an on the fly api of variable passing.

      Would the Java parts of a component then be non/GPL able if the php parts were?

      As a piece of interest, from what I have heard from quite a few of the other 3pd's open source isn't their concern, and many of them even now distribute their code with open source. All they want is the ability to prevent re-distribution of their code. Which imo shouldn't be an unfair request.

      Do you think the core team would be willing to compromise on licensing for distribution if source was kept open?
    • Last Edit: 15 years 2 months ago by Daniel Chapman.
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      Over 50 open source extensions and 100 videos to you build the site you want.

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