Consideration for Joomla Framework Package Licensing

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AmyStephen
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Consideration for Joomla Framework Package Licensing

Post by AmyStephen » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:12 pm

I understand Joomla is licensed under the GPL v 2, or later, and that the contributor agreement for contributions on that code base require the same. I have personally signed this agreement, proud to have done so.

I would like to contribute a number of packages to the Joomla Framework but I prefer to do so using the MIT.

Given the Joomla Framework is now moving towards uncoupling the code and offering it as individual packages where these packages can be separately installed and used without requiring the other packages, I'd like to ask the board to *also* consider accepting packages under the MIT license.

1. These packages do not share a common API. They are separate and distinct. There is no dependencies on the Joomla API. They will be maintained separately.

2. The MIT license appears to be more favorable for framework level software packages amongst PHP developers. That should help rebuild involvement. That will help encourage contributions of packages.

3. The MIT license is GPL-compatible, obviously critical for use with Joomla.

Objective review with good links in this article by Simon Phipps, OSI president. http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source- ... ine-191816

Final point, we could debate for months on what is the best license and never get an answer that works for anyone other than ourselves. I am in no way suggesting that existing packages be relicensed, or that the project stop accepting packages under the GPL, my request is that OSM add the MIT license as a viable license under which packages can be contributed and maintained. The point is to extend the base of developers who we can draw from.

If there is a preferred approach for making such a request, I am happy to be directed in that way. Thank you for your consideration.
Amy

Note: updated text to clarify the request.

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Re: Consideration for Joomla Framework Package Licensing

Post by masterchief » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:53 pm

With the benefit of hindsight it would probably have been better to allow for MIT in some capacity, but I think having different files, potentially even different lines of code, being different licenses would be incredibly confusing and a legal nightmare to defend. Dual licensing would make more sense but then we'd have to go and get that permission from all the previous contributors even if they did sign the JCA. I doubt the effort would be worth it in the end. The LGPL is satisfactory for our [Framework] purposes and removes some obvious barriers presented by the GPL.

In terms of Molajo packages themselves, we wouldn't be adding them directly to the joomla-framework repo as is. We can either evaluate them and put them in the "suggest" field of a composer file if we want to recommend them, or we can massage them to fit into the existing Joomla Framework packages. Given what I've seen of the packages, the latter is the way we would go providing "someone" was willing to do that work and we reach a consensus on what needs to happen. Either way, those points should be discussed on the Joomla Framework mailing list.
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Re: Consideration for Joomla Framework Package Licensing

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:31 pm

First, I am not suggesting anything be done for the existing code base. I support the move to LGPL which is something the existing agreement should cover (provided agreements are in place.) I wouldn't change that license or the agreement that covers those.

I am only suggesting visiting this for new packages, submitted to the framework, with 100% new code.

I agree it would be more complicated. There are tools like CLAHub, http://jayunit.net/2013/01/09/clahub-ea ... on-github/ that could ease that burden because the agreement can be associated with the package.

I am not in anyway suggesting this is ideal but I am saying it's not impossible. To me, the more important question is which license is going to support developers over the long run? Or, is there a concern? Now is an ideal time to think about that -- for the new packages.

In all honesty, it's not going to stop me from contributing or not, but on a personal level, I would prefer MIT. But, my opinion on this is not material. If it appears MIT might be a better long-term position for the project, right now, in anticipation of new contributions is a good time to think about it.

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Re: Consideration for Joomla Framework Package Licensing

Post by masterchief » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:42 pm

My opinion is the Joomla owned code in the Framework should be unified in terms of licensing (every file has the same license, even if that might be a dual license in the future). Given we are using Composer now, there is no pressure to add external code to our own repo like we have in the past with the CMS.
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Re: Consideration for Joomla Framework Package Licensing

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:51 pm

k, just thought I'd ask.

Thanks.


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