There's an old saying, "Be careful what you wish for."
Since the JED went GPL, we (the JED Team) included the rule that listings that link to sites that provide both GPL and non-GPL extensions would not be allowed. I don't believe that anyone can expect the Joomla project to provide free traffic to sites that violate our license. So the rule itself is not baseless. However, it's not explicitly in the terms of service. Why? It's not a rule that we have historically "applied in reverse". Meaning, when the JED went GPL-only, we didn't go back to all the currently-listed developers sites and ensure that they weren't also providing non-GPL extensions.
Ok - so why did that happen and what was the result? At the time of going GPL-only in the JED there were already thousands of listings. It would have been an extreme investment of volunteer time to go back through every site. So the rule was applied to "new submissions".
Kind of, it has also been applied to *some* old submissions as well. For example, AcyMailing was added 20 November 2009 to the JED while the rule was published to the Joomla Docs in early August of 2010, yet AcyMailing was removed and the reason given was a direct quote of the rule, see image in: viewtopic.php?p=2616686#p2616686
. AcyMailing was republished once ALL their extensions were GPL.
The result was fruitful as well - it created a "bridge to GPL" that has ended with many developers who were very hesitant to go "full GPL" see, firsthand, that they could have a profitable business from being GPL. The exception is those domains that requested entry to the JRD or were using a Joomla TM. From there, all extensions must be GPL on the site.
So where are we now?
Now it's a case of - if we add it to the terms of service, that means we must apply it to all listings (with a 30 day grace period before going into effect). That heavy-handed approach we typically try to avoid as it only frustrates everyone involved and creates huge workloads. So Nick, to be clear, you are asking for this heavy-handed approach and asking that numerous extensions be unpublished. The rule itself won't be removed as no developer should expect the project to provide free traffic to non-GPL extensions, and this rule helps prevent that.
I'm not asking for a heavy handed approach or any specific approach really (other than responding in timely manner
). I just wanted a clarification because it seemed like some were getting preferential treatment and were above the rule.
I don't see the issue with the rule being applied as-is. It hasn't been applied unfairly - and the original issue that started you on this (HikaShop) was not even related to this rule. The rule has been applied more strictly to those developers that have decided to intentionally confuse users or routinely violate the other rules of the TOS.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but it has been applied unfairly, see AcyMailing but not Joomlaworks. For example, AcyMailing was added 20 November 2009 to the JED while the rule was published to the Joomla Docs in early August of 2010, yet AcyMailing was removed and the reason given was a direct quote of the rule, see image in: viewtopic.php?p=2616686#p2616686
. AcyMailing was republished once ALL their extensions were GPL. And as long as it's poorly documented it will continue to cause confusion in the future.
Also, there's a big issue with the rule being applied as it is. As developers we agree to the JED TOS when we enter a listing. The TOS is the JED Team's mutual agreement with us as well. We don't agree to rules we don't know about, aren't notified about (until after we break them), and which aren't properly documented. If we're penalized for rules it should be rules that from are from the JED TOS.
Another big issue is that everything Amy mentioned is valid and that rule doesn't even come close to addressing any of those concerns. OSM concludes (see attached image which is taken from http://opensourcematters.org/index.php? ... icle&id=55
) that is of their opinion that *most* Joomla extensions must be published GPL not *all*. So when you have a rule like that is:
1) Hidden away,
2) Only applies to certain developers,
3) Is not in keeping OSM's own interpretation,
4) Has never been announced (other than today in this forum post) that it's in effect,
5) Is twice (viewtopic.php?p=2614489#p2614489
) refuted by the leader of the JED Team (you) without any exceptions stated or clarifications made, even though it occurred *after* the rule was published in the docs
6) Is not in the TOS
...it makes for a very complicated and confusing situation especially for new developers. I hope you can at least see that
I'm currently in a situation where I have to make a decision one way or the another, and this affects the entire business model of the site and is a very big deal. I've always read the TOS extremely carefully and have always sought to follow every single rule outlined in it, however I'm now afraid of being caught in a catch-22 with the Joomla docs.
That said, I don't disagree that there need to be more clear definitions to the TOS and guidelines and there is already an initiative underway to help remedy that. But, as with anything in a volunteer community, time is a primary deciding factor of what gets done. The JED has come a long way in the past year in making things more simple and defined, and that continues to be the case. Nothing will every be "completely perfect" - that's the world of technology we live in.
Agreed! Perhaps allowing more volunteers to help would be a good starting point
Below is the attached image: