GPL Questions Continued, User related

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Goosemoose » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:24 am

Brad,
I do NOT speak for SMF, but I have been a user of smf (and yabb se before that) for almost 10 years. I've been an smf mod team member for awhile now too. Everything I have seen points to the direction that SMF will never become GPL. It's been discussed to death and I would be very surprised if it ever changed. It's very unfortunate that Joomla couldn't pull off a GPL/LGPL license as that would have allowed the best of both worlds. My sites like http://www.goosemoose.com are a forum first. I have over 10,000 members and 600,000 posts. I can't switch forum software, and as much as I hate it, will have to change from Joomla. I have many other sites that rely on a forum as well. I've contact via pm several core commercial addons that I use and heard from a few that they are going to try and go back to mambo. While this really really sucks, the only bright side is that the core pre 1.5 code is still similar enough to pull this off.  Sites WILL have to be redone and converted to a cms, and this makes for a very, very sad day. If I don't do this they I could never upgrade the current SMF version I have since I would not have a new bridge and that would be a huge security risk. It also means I need to convert about 50 clients of mine away from Joomla as well.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by pasamio » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:58 am

n0fear2 wrote: Yes but maybe i did not understand this hole thing right but developers must do all components under gpl.. so they have to release sourcecode and everything and one single user who gets the code can make it avail for free... do you think people would buy for example Windows XP with the source would be everywhere for legal in the net? Sorry if i get something wrong but in my opinion as a user since back of the days of the first mambo releases, it is a stepp backwards... Joomla is nice for sure, but i am sure that alot of other users keeped on joomla because they could buy the components they needed to make their wishes true. And what i see now is that alot of developers stopped developping for joomla allready in the last days. Sure it makes a difference if they get like from 500 customers 20 $ or from 50 that redistribute the code in the net.
Heres the kicker, people already use Windows XP illegally off the net. In fact I remember when I was in Malaysia I could have bought a far superior (on paper) product than what I could have gotten from Microsoft: a copy of XP fully patched up to date (e.g. with all patches post SP2) with firewall automatically enabled plus some other highly illegal features (bundled antivirus I believe and disabled WGA). I can't get that from Microsoft even if I paid! And in one mall I was at there were three different shops specializing in pirate media each with five different copies of XP with their own unique features.

Now just because the code is under GPL doesn't stop the developer from perhaps writing a condition of sale that you do not distribute any package gained to third parties. As such for buying the software you waive the right to give it away. Again, I'm not a lawyer but it sounds like to me this would work. Its not in the spirit of the GPL, but its what commercial developers are doing already with nonGPL compliant licensing.

This is why we suggest people chat to their lawyers about their options because Joomla! doesn't want commercial developers to leave, we just want them to comply. It doesn't have to happen tomorrow, or next month, but perhaps for the next release of their product it is placed under the GPL so that moving forward the right thing is happening.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by RobS » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:18 am

n0fear2 wrote:
Goosemoose wrote: So, if I read all this correctly, the Joomla-SMF bridge and a ton of other bridges that connect Joomla with Non GPL programs are no longer going to be allowed to exist. I noticed that the bridge was already removed. It looks like it's time to move back to Mambo as there's no way a dozen of my sites can survive without the bridges. There goes thousands of hours of work on custom components I made for joomla too!
Seems so, we use smf-bridge too on some of our sites. Well i hope the Core team will rethink their conclusion, as it will for sure be a step backward.
The SMF license is very similar to the GPL license.  From first glance it appears that it is compatible enough with the GPL to not be considered a violation.  The 4 most important freedoms granted by the GPL appear to also be granted in the SMF license.  We are going to investigate this matter and get some legal feedback to see what can be done.  We will get back to you guys when we know more.

Edit:

On second glance, it appears more restrictive than I thought.  We will still get legal feedback and let you guys know.
Last edited by RobS on Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by azrulrhm » Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:08 am

pasamio wrote: This is why we suggest people chat to their lawyers about their options because
It seems that lawyers are more and more involved in Joomla than ever before  :'( . Not everyone (most people) can afford a lawyer or have a free lawyer standing by.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:22 am

azrulrhm wrote:
pasamio wrote: This is why we suggest people chat to their lawyers about their options because
It seems that lawyers are more and more involved in Joomla than ever before  :'( . Not everyone (most people) can afford a lawyer or have a free lawyer standing by.
If you are running a business you need to charge enough for your product that you can cover your business expenses.
If you are an end user or not trying to run a business, you don't need to worry about it.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:58 am

MuffinDCC wrote: That question can only really be answered by the individual developers themselves.

Not all "commerical" development is going to stop suddenly.
I find that comment amazingly unreassuring!

I’ve avoided getting involved in these discussions mostly because I don’t understand the full ramifications.

What I do know is that I run a Joomla-based site that is a combination of open source and commercial extensions. I didn’t choose the commercial extensions simply to spend money...I decided upon them because I felt they met my needs (as an end administrator of a Joomla site) better than anything else.

Now...I’m about to move to Fireboard, which is minus a good Private Messaging system. I’ve downloaded all the open source systems and not liked them. Then I came upon Clexus PM and liked the look of it....so much so that I decided to buy it.

Why? It had features that none of the GPL extensions had and appeared to be well supported and updated (again, I suspect that this is because the company involved earned money from the product).

Yet when I went to buy it just now, I see the following...
Dear visitors, Following the discussion in joomla community regarding the commercial software, we are sorry to announce the withdrawal of our products from sales. Thank you for your understanding. Support for current clients will continue however.
I’ve also had emails from developers of other components I use (commercial or not) about the changes they intend to make in the future, such as Joomla Add-ons statement from Adam, which includes.....

http://www.joomla-addons.org/option,com ... 332.0.html
I will not start working on making my components compatible with Joomla 1.5 for now
- I will start building a LGPL framework which will act as a replacement to Joomla's core features, using this library I can comply with the GPL compatibility, while keeping the freedom to license components in a way I wish.
- Using this framework isn't a bad thing, it will eventually allow my users to run components standalone, on mambo and who knows what other CMS as well
I’m glad that this thread for users has been created. Because I don’t think there really has been an appreciation as to the impact that recent events/discussions is going to have on end users who run a Joomla site.

There seems to be an amazing leap of faith being asked of us all that says “We’re sorting out the GPL on Joomla, and tightening it up....it’s going to impact on developers, but hey they can release things using a different business model...but don’t worry....whatever hole created by the impact on any developer that occurs, don’t worry...that hole will surely be filled by someone releasing work under GPL”

With the greatest respect (and kudos to the superb GPL components that I *do* use)....if that were truly the case **completely**....why would I have ever invested time and money in commercial Joomla extensions in the first place!?

Cheers,

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by aoirthoir » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:09 am

Phil,

Just to clarify the information you received is not accurate. GNU GPL and Joomla! always have allowed commercial use and commercial extensions. Non-GPL compliant extensions  have always been in violation.

Consider it this way, I cannot take a proprietary program and distribute it how I desire. If I fail to follow the license and sell it to others, I am in violation of the programs license. Even if the company whose license I am violating has not intervened for a time, I am still in violation.

Now to ease your mind I will quote from the statement Joomla! devs have made:
And you'll have plenty of notice before any large changes get made. Here's the plan: first, we clean our own house and bring the Joomla! sites into compliance.  Next, we ask people in the community to voluntarily comply with the license.  At the same time, we try to help people understand what it takes to comply and how they can do it easily.  We believe we're going to get a lot of compliance that way.

So far, that's the entire plan.  No lawsuits, no pogroms, no martyrs. More to the point, no shouting, no demonisation, and no drawing lines between "us" and "them".  It's a big community with many kinds of developers, and we want solutions that will work for everybody.
Please note that they are not going to make large changes without plenty of notice. It is going to take a while to bring the Joomla sites into compliance. In addition they are going to help people to comply easily. The third party developers that are creating non-compliant software up to this point are not going to be sued. Rather, voluntary compliance is going to be sought.

So the letters you are receiving and the information that has been posted about 'commercial' developers is really about proprietary developers that close their source code. They wish to deny you the very rights they were given by Joomla. One of the best things that you can do now as an end-user is to inform those developers that you wil continue to purchase their extensions and you will gladly support them in a GPL modeled business.

Thanks kindly
Joseph James Frantz

edited to add "without plenty of notice" in my comments.
Last edited by aoirthoir on Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:14 am

It's really important to understand that commercial development is totally fine under GPL, and, in the case of Joomla!, commercially developed extensions are a very important part of the ecosystem.

What is NOT allowed under GPL are a set of specific practices.
The most obvious is encryption if the source is not made available to people given the encryted program..
But there are other aspects as well. For example, developers cannot prevent you from fixing bugs or customizing a product as you see fit.
If the developer goes out of business--or just gets bored or runs off to a dessert island -- you or someone else cannot be stopped from continuing to maintain or further develop the product.

Not only is commercial development not going to stop, it is going to (after the initial adjustment period) thrive because the rules will be much more clear for everyone involved.


Corrected info on encryption
Last edited by mcsmom on Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:36 am

I kinda feel like you're trying to represent us as users...and with the greatest respect, I don't think you have that right. There seems to be this "we're trying to protect you" attitude that I find disconcerting. For example....
They wish to deny you the very rights they were given by Joomla
That's scare mongering. I've been happy with whatever rights they have denied me already...seriously! Because that was *MY* choice.
One of the best things that you can do now as an end-user is to inform those developers that you will continue to purchase their extensions and you will gladly support them in a GPL modeled business
But I'm not being allowed to say "keep going the way you've been going"....there's a sense that this is being denied to me
The most obvious is encryption.
But there are other aspects as well. For example, developers cannot prevent you from fixing bugs or customizing a product as you see fit.
Which implies that commercial developers have previously maliciously stopped me from bug fixing or customising...when in fact, they embrace it! And if they don’t...well I stop buying their products and go elswhere...which I have done!

Don't get me wrong...I own quite a few commercial extensions and not all of the developers are great to deal with....but they're the experts (and I'm not trying to imply non-commercial developers are not experts either)!...but when I pay them money, it's because I've decided that I want to be in their hands...I want them to code...I want them to bug fix and spend time working for me...because I'm clueless!  ;)
If the developer goes out of business--or just gets bored or runs off to a dessert island -- you or someone else cannot be stopped from continuing to maintain or further develop the product.
But again...you’re igoring the fact that this is a decision that *I* made and that I didn’t ask for anyone’s protection. I’m fully aware of the risk I took when purchasing that commercial product....in the same way that I’ve purchased apps for my Mac before that have subsequently stopped development. Is it the most upsetting and disappointing event in the world? Yes! Should I expect that what the developer has left behind (all their hours of work and effort) can be picked up by someone else and (I guess) to then make money on? I’m not sure the answer to that is Yes...in fact, I feel like it should be No!

A decision to purchase a commercial extension has been decisions that I have made...fully aware of the ramifications. I don't need anyone to protect me or tell me that I'm missing out on something such as the ability too customise or alter. If that were the case, I would have taken a GPL equivalent extension in the first place.

Get what I mean? There is the feeling I get that somehow this is all being done for our benefit, when I'm not completely sure we wanted it done in the first place.

Cheers,

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Chris Davenport » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:45 am

n0fear2 wrote:
Goosemoose wrote: So, if I read all this correctly, the Joomla-SMF bridge and a ton of other bridges that connect Joomla with Non GPL programs are no longer going to be allowed to exist. I noticed that the bridge was already removed. It looks like it's time to move back to Mambo as there's no way a dozen of my sites can survive without the bridges. There goes thousands of hours of work on custom components I made for joomla too!
Seems so, we use smf-bridge too on some of our sites. Well i hope the Core team will rethink their conclusion, as it will for sure be a step backward.
I'm not familiar with the details of the SMF, SMF Bridge or their licenses as I don't use either, but as I understand it only the bridge would need to be GPL.  SMF is a standalone application that can be as proprietary as it likes, so it's business as usual there, absolutely no change.  And switching the bridge to GPL doesn't mean they have to stop charging money for that either.

[Note: When I said I don't use SMF I was forgetting that this very forum is an example of SMF running standalone, so I guess I am a user after all.]

I'm also confident that there are enough users of SMF out there that even if the SMF Bridge developers don't come back with a GPL version some enterprising developer(s) will write another GPL bridge and make some money in the process (if they want to).  When one door closes another opens.

The developers who have recently pulled their products have done so to put pressure on the Core Team to take Joomla! out of the GPL world.  Such precipitate actions are unnecessary and irresponsible and serve only to damage their users and ultimately themselves.

Regards,
Chris,
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by aoirthoir » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:52 am

Phil,

I'm not a Joomla dev. I am merely explaining what occurs when proprietary vendors seek to base a project on other's works. Now, they expect us to follow their licenses. Well in choosing a GNU GPLed program as the base for their extensions, they also have an obligation to follow the license of the copyright holders, in this case GNU GPL.

While this may not matter to you, it certainly matters to other users like myself. Our business has had to deal with closed, proprietary code. We have run into numerous bugs in software that we pay quarterly fees for maintenance. This is legacy, non-php based software. I am currently in the process of creating new software that will better serve our needs. However in the case of PHP based programs or extensions, where the code is not encrypted, as a user, yes we could change it to correct problems. However, we are forbidden from giving those corrections to others. I have dealt with this before also. So while there are users that won't care about these issues, there are also users that do care about them.

Now stating that they are denying you rights that Joomla provided them is not scare mongering. In fact this is the fundamental difference between proprietary and FOSS. (Free and Open Source Software).

Going the way that Joomla was going was simply not possible. Joomla! always has and always will be under the GNU GPL. If any code is incorporated from other GPL projects now or in the future, then closed extensions cannot be allowed, because that would forbid the use of such code. The reason for this, is that riders that allow the GPL to be waived, are incompatible with the GPL, thus Joomla! would not be GPL software.

As to the reasons this was all done, I will quote from the FAQ:
This decision reflects a lengthy introspection combined with legal considerations to properly secure the project in the spirit of Open Source.  For us, for everyone, Open Source does matter.
This project has always been open source. For the benefit of everyone, current developers, the joomla! devs, future developers, users, consultants, turnkey providers, hosting services, and others not considered, Joomla will always remain FOSS.

Now there are a great many persons making money with FOSS software. Including selling it. You paid $X dollars for your current extensions. You stated that you were going to purchase one tonight. It was not OSM or Joomla! that pulled it, but the provider. Would you pay them still for it right now if they were compliant? Then inform them of such. The only ones that are causing an issue in this, is the developer that has pulled his product from sale.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brad » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:59 am

There is already another SMF bridge available, see: http://extensions.joomla.org/component/ ... Itemid,35/
No need to fear :)
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by pasamio » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:00 am

azrulrhm wrote:
pasamio wrote: This is why we suggest people chat to their lawyers about their options because
It seems that lawyers are more and more involved in Joomla than ever before  :'( . Not everyone (most people) can afford a lawyer or have a free lawyer standing by.
A business who doesn't have a lawyer and deals with legal practices and makes legally based decisions is doomed to fail. If you are doing the wrong thing as a business in terms of the law and someone catches you out (either under civil or criminal grounds) I fear that some lawyers will not touch you with a rather long stick and you may be left in an undefendable position which is something that I do not wish upon anyone, which is why we suggest developers consult with their lawyer. If you are a developer worried about this, then that is something that needs to be directed to the Developer related thread not the user one.

The FUD that users are going to be threatened is coming from the commercial developers who are making the stance that they want to leave the community and in so leaving having nothing to lose by attempting to damage the community. We are not going to litigate against any user for using a non GPL compliant extension on your site. In fact I could write a non GPL extension and so long as I don't distribute it I can run it on my website. Why? Because the GPL only comes into effect upon distribution. So long as you, as a user, don't distribute the extension then the GPL simply doesn't apply to you nor the proprietary licensed extension.

We're only after a happy GPL compliant future. There are solutions but people want to pull out and beat edge cases, present problems and not look for the solutions. The solutions are there, people just need to open their eyes :)
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by RobS » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:21 am

@Phil,

I understand where you are coming from.  I realize that some of these comments might seem disingenuous or like we are trying to pull the sheets over your head but I assure you that is not the case.

I am quite confident that Joomla! users are capable of making decisions for themselves and practicing their rights under a free market economy.  I am a staunch supporter of democracy and the power of the people.  While it may seem odd right now, I think this decision about GPL compliance goes hand-in-hand with those principles.

I would never sign off on a plan to end free market competition, the idea is completely absurd in my personal opinion.  With that being said, I don't think we are doing anything of the sort.  Yes, this will have some affect on 3rd Party Developers, especially ones that sell products carrying proprietary licenses, however, the exact affects have yet to be determined.  We have not done anything besides state our goal for GPL compliance.  We have not removed any extensions from our extensions site, we have not banned anyone (related to this), we have not sued anyone, we have not kicked anyone out of anything.  So far, all we have done is communicate a goal to achieve GPL compliance within our community.

There are a lot of ways that developers can achieve GPL compliance without undergoing huge amounts of restructuring or chaos.  The problem is, many developers are choosing to focus on the problems (or theoretically problems) instead of focusing on solutions.  There have been many companies that have proven this can and does work.  There are companies out there that are selling 100% GPL compliant free (as in freedom) software while protecting their products from exploitation and are making profits.  The information is out there on how to do it and it isn't that hard.  I believe that we can maintain the wonderful free market economy that we have developed over the years with one slight twist, the code will be GPL compliant.

So, where does that leave us?  Well, I think the power of the consumer is the best tool that users have right now.  If you like the commercial or proprietary extensions you currently use and want to keep them: tell the developers.  Send them e-mails saying that you appreciate their products and you would like them to continue using them on your Joomla! sites.  Post it on their forums.  Tell your friends and colleagues if they use Joomla!.  Tell your clients.  Put the word out there that you like what they do and you want them to stick around.  Hopefully, the message will get through that their client base is not going to disappear over night like many of them seem to believe.  I firmly believe that this is not the end of the road for most of the developers within our community.  Yes, there might be a few who walk away and move onto other things but the market is not going away; it is big and there is a lot of money in it.  There is demand now and that is not going to change.  And if there is one thing that Economics 101 teaches us it is that demand gives cause to supply.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:25 am

pasamio wrote:The solutions are there, people just need to open their eyes :)
Sorry...I know you don't intend it to be, but I do find that comment slightly patronising.

I'm talking from an user perspective of someone who doesn't have the skills at all (never will!) or the inclination (never will!) to put myself in a postion to code. I have relied on both commercial and noncommercial developers for extensions and support and have been incredibly happy with both.

Will I be able to do the same in the future? Absolutely....but I think it naive to suggest that commercial developers who are signalling changes are doing so simply to create FUD...because when the dust settles, they'll be the developers I avoid. I do believe that some have made their decisions after a lot of thought and that these decisions will impact end users.

I think it is going to be a gross generalisation by me, but I'm not entirely convinced that how things had been couldn't have been how things continue....but I've said that badly.

Phil

PS...RobS..your comments were posted as I was typing. I appreciate the reassurance alongside some unreassurring comments :-)

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by aoirthoir » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:52 am

Will I be able to do the same in the future? Absolutely....but I think it naive to suggest that commercial developers who are signalling changes are doing so simply to create FUD...because when the dust settles, they'll be the developers I avoid. I do believe that some have made their decisions after a lot of thought and that these decisions will impact end users
For a some (many?) commercial developers there is no change because they are already compliant with the GNU GPL that Joomla! is released under. The only change is for the proprietary developers (whether commercial or un-renumerated.)

Now a great many of them are informing about changes and not spreading FUD. There are folks however (that may or may not be devs) that are spreading FUD. However I think in your case this is neither here nor there. What truly matters to you is that a component you wanted to purchase is no longer available. The path to bringing everyone into GPL compliance is going to be a long one. It is now June 17th, and a thread that contributed to this process began on April 24 of this year. This is nearly two months of discussion to arrive at the decision to seek compliance with the license. So this is obviously a long process. As has been pointed out, extensions are not being pulled by OSM or the Joomla! devs. Only the extension developers are doing that. This is not FUD at all. It is however hasty. It is bad for you as a user, bad for the developer who could surely use your funds, and bad for Joomla!

This is why we state that informing your developer that you wish to continue to purchase her component is the best thing you can do at this point. Hopefully she will reconsider and realize that there are many viable business paths available via the GNU GPL. All it really does is put us all on equal footing. We all have to follow the same rules.

Kind regards,
Joseph James Frantz
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mic » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:14 am

phil_roy wrote:
MuffinDCC wrote: That question can only really be answered by the individual developers themselves.

Not all "commerical" development is going to stop suddenly.
I find that comment amazingly unreassuring!

I’ve avoided getting involved in these discussions mostly because I don’t understand the full ramifications.

What I do know is that I run a Joomla-based site that is a combination of open source and commercial extensions. I didn’t choose the commercial extensions simply to spend money...I decided upon them because I felt they met my needs (as an end administrator of a Joomla site) better than anything else.

Now...I’m about to move to Fireboard, which is minus a good Private Messaging system. I’ve downloaded all the open source systems and not liked them. Then I came upon Clexus PM and liked the look of it....so much so that I decided to buy it.

Why? It had features that none of the GPL extensions had and appeared to be well supported and updated (again, I suspect that this is because the company involved earned money from the product).

Yet when I went to buy it just now, I see the following...
Dear visitors, Following the discussion in joomla community regarding the commercial software, we are sorry to announce the withdrawal of our products from sales. Thank you for your understanding. Support for current clients will continue however.
I’ve also had emails from developers of other components I use (commercial or not) about the changes they intend to make in the future, such as Joomla Add-ons statement from Adam, which includes.....

http://www.joomla-addons.org/option,com ... 332.0.html
I will not start working on making my components compatible with Joomla 1.5 for now
- I will start building a LGPL framework which will act as a replacement to Joomla's core features, using this library I can comply with the GPL compatibility, while keeping the freedom to license components in a way I wish.
- Using this framework isn't a bad thing, it will eventually allow my users to run components standalone, on mambo and who knows what other CMS as well
I’m glad that this thread for users has been created. Because I don’t think there really has been an appreciation as to the impact that recent events/discussions is going to have on end users who run a Joomla site.

There seems to be an amazing leap of faith being asked of us all that says “We’re sorting out the GPL on Joomla, and tightening it up....it’s going to impact on developers, but hey they can release things using a different business model...but don’t worry....whatever hole created by the impact on any developer that occurs, don’t worry...that hole will surely be filled by someone releasing work under GPL”

With the greatest respect (and kudos to the superb GPL components that I *do* use)....if that were truly the case **completely**....why would I have ever invested time and money in commercial Joomla extensions in the first place!?

Cheers,

Phil
But this newsletter or announcement of Adam has a 'side effect': he was creating a new license (his own).
Now i have to ask myself (and all others too):
  • Is this the way some developers may go?
  • Can this be useful for end users?
  • Makes this sence ?
If this would be a possible (and finally legal) option, we may have at the end x.xxxx licenses ... for each component an own.

Would that be good?
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brett.hooker » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:21 am

As I stated in the thread before the was decided by the core team, I'm pro-choice.  Like Phil, I've scan all the GPL and non-GPL extensions, and use GPL to start with, and then commercial if they are a better fit.

My only complaint with all of this is why it even had to happen.  A LOT of energy has been wasted, and a LOT of innovative and energetic people are being forced to try and read and interpret new information that doesn't allow them to focus on their core strengths.  I'd like to know what "real" underlying problem existed that required this action to be taken by the core team.  I didn't see anything that was broken.  But, it's done now, and we'll wear the costs of a round of variability.  I just hope that the double-hit of legal interpretation and 1.5 compliance doesn't drop the momentum beneath the line of sustainability.  With the size of the community here, one can hope not.

I'm off to work out which of the extension I use are still alive (as if that is really how I wanted to spend my night).  I see that open-sef and open-wiki are off the air - hopefully for other reasons...  We didn't have a whole lot of Wiki's to choose from in the first place...

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by RobS » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:33 am

Brett,

That is a very reasonable request.  In fact, we are already working on answering those questions.  It will hopefully be published within the next few days.

As for OpenSEF being off-the-air... it hasn't been updated in several months by the maintainers (last I looked).  I believe the project was forked and is now being more actively developed as JoomSEF.  Unfortunately, I don't have any recommendations for Wikis.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:39 am

I think OpenSEF and Open Wiki are indeed casualties of all this...
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,181116.0.html

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Chris Davenport » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:40 am

Brett,

Drop me a line if you need support for open-wiki.  I'm thinking of picking that one up.  I'm pretty sure it's GPL.

Regards,
Chris.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:43 am

http://extensions.joomla.org/component/ ... Itemid,35/

http://www.artio.cz/en/support-forums/j ... rator/view

Interesting to note that JomSEF has advertising in its meta generator....
you can download the component that comes without the sponsor link from our e-shop for a small fee
I wonder if that's OK given the new mood?

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Orstio » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:56 am

RobS wrote:
n0fear2 wrote:
Goosemoose wrote: So, if I read all this correctly, the Joomla-SMF bridge and a ton of other bridges that connect Joomla with Non GPL programs are no longer going to be allowed to exist. I noticed that the bridge was already removed. It looks like it's time to move back to Mambo as there's no way a dozen of my sites can survive without the bridges. There goes thousands of hours of work on custom components I made for joomla too!
Seems so, we use smf-bridge too on some of our sites. Well i hope the Core team will rethink their conclusion, as it will for sure be a step backward.
The SMF license is very similar to the GPL license.  From first glance it appears that it is compatible enough with the GPL to not be considered a violation.  The 4 most important freedoms granted by the GPL appear to also be granted in the SMF license.  We are going to investigate this matter and get some legal feedback to see what can be done.  We will get back to you guys when we know more.

Edit:

On second glance, it appears more restrictive than I thought.  We will still get legal feedback and let you guys know.
The SMF license is proprietary.  It is free (as in beer), and you can modify it all you like, but you may not redistribute, and you m,ay not remove the copyright notice that appears on the page.  There are some very good reasons why the originators of the YaBBSE project did not license under GPL when they abandoned YaBBSE and started SMF.
brad wrote: There is already another SMF bridge available, see: http://extensions.joomla.org/component/ ... Itemid,35/
No need to fear :)
That is also technically in violation of GPL.  Reaad carefully:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLAndPlugins
If the program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function calls to each other and share data structures, we believe they form a single program, which must be treated as an extension of both the main program and the plug-ins. This means the plug-ins must be released under the GPL or a GPL-compatible free software license, and that the terms of the GPL must be followed when those plug-ins are distributed.
These bridges treat SMF as a plugin of the bridge.  Since SMF is not GPL, and the bridge definitely makes function calls and shares data structures, then the bridge is not compliant with the GPL.

Basically, if anything in the workflow of a program at runtime is GPL, then everything within that workflow needs to be GPL.  That would be the pure, unambiguous interpretation.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by n0fear2 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:10 am

mcsmom wrote: It's really important to understand that commercial development is totally fine under GPL, and, in the case of Joomla!, commercially developed extensions are a very important part of the ecosystem.

What is NOT allowed under GPL are a set of specific practices.
The most obvious is encryption if the source is not made available to people given the encryted program..
But there are other aspects as well. For example, developers cannot prevent you from fixing bugs or customizing a product as you see fit.
If the developer goes out of business--or just gets bored or runs off to a dessert island -- you or someone else cannot be stopped from continuing to maintain or further develop the product.

Not only is commercial development not going to stop, it is going to (after the initial adjustment period) thrive because the rules will be much more clear for everyone involved.


Corrected info on encryption



You maybe forget that most people using Joomla are people not able to code php very well - sure else i would maybe code my own stuff! So your point about fixing bugs and stuff is not hiting the target in any way same to all those diskussion about "it will not stop developers to develop/continue with commercial components" - sure it WILL and allready does. Maybe you guys get enough money from google ads or sponsors but think about one-people-companys with maybe just one nice idea and one nice component no other ever coded (like others here told allready the superb clexus - witch is really the only pms system for joomla doing great on heavy traffic sites like we run one) - with GPL they will not even make enought money anymore to be worth to code anything and that is for sure

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by pasamio » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:51 am

n0fear2 wrote: You maybe forget that most people using Joomla are people not able to code php very well - sure else i would maybe code my own stuff! So your point about fixing bugs and stuff is not hiting the target in any way same to all those diskussion about "it will not stop developers to develop/continue with commercial components" - sure it WILL and allready does. Maybe you guys get enough money from google ads or sponsors but think about one-people-companys with maybe just one nice idea and one nice component no other ever coded (like others here told allready the superb clexus - witch is really the only pms system for joomla doing great on heavy traffic sites like we run one) -
They may not be able to code PHP well but they can pay others if perhaps the developer disappears to fix bugs in the system, if I have an encrypted extension lets say and the developer disappears I have lost the code which is highly undesirable.
n0fear2 wrote: with GPL they will not even make enought money anymore to be worth to code anything and that is for sure
This is in itself a fallacy and has yet to be proven. Of course they won't make enough money because they decided to quit, which whilst unfortunate, is ultimately their decision. Heres a question, if people are paying the developer already why would they not continue unless the developer doesn't offer them anything compelling to pay them the money? Heres the kicker: if the product is in demand and people are already paying for it they're going to be happy to _keep_ paying for it. If an extension decides to shut up shop thats a sign that a person who can work within the GPL can make the same money that extension was making before they quit. And hey, if you're the only one doing it (because lets face it, your competition quitting was what drove you to enter the market) then you're going to soak up all of those people. Nobody is going to stay on a dead platform with no active development if they have the option.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:00 pm

Because you're assuming that people buy commercial products and expect to be able to hack, alter or update them if the commercial developer ups and leaves....or that someone might take over and do it for you.

I don't make that assumption about products I buy and I have been more than happy to live with that risk, as I balance it with the fact that most of the products I've been lucky to use are great!

It's the same with virtually any commercial software that you buy out there. And lets not kid ourselves...I suspect those making money from components are as likely (if not more so) committed to their projects as those simply running on donations.

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brett.hooker » Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:10 pm

Chris Davenport wrote: Brett,

Drop me a line if you need support for open-wiki.  I'm thinking of picking that one up.  I'm pretty sure it's GPL.

Regards,
Chris.
Thanks mate.  It would be good to get it reposted in its last state on the forge, and then we can give it CPR from there...

Likewise for OpenSef...

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:30 pm

phil_roy wrote: http://extensions.joomla.org/component/ ... Itemid,35/

http://www.artio.cz/en/support-forums/j ... rator/view

Interesting to note that JomSEF has advertising in its meta generator....
you can download the component that comes without the sponsor link from our e-shop for a small fee
I wonder if that's OK given the new mood?

Phil
Of course. That's a business model for making money with gpl. You make it hard to find where to remove the link.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:40 pm

I want to add one thought for users.

Right now, a lot of third party developers are trying to figure out what to do. They need to do their research, get advice, make decisions. In that circumstance, if I had an extension, I might also take my extension down. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't put it back up after I had thought things through.

I say, give people a little time to think.  No need to panic even if someone takes a site down. Send him or her an email if you need contact. Try to be supportive in a challenging time. As a customer or potential customer developers should know what you think, whatever your opinion is, whether you agree with the core team or disagree.

This is a hard, stressful time for all, a lot of people are running on little sleep and a lot of coffee. Let's try to be supportive about that.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:41 pm

I was really hoping that this thread was going to be reserved for end users - regular, non-technical people who simply want to understand what needs to happen to their own websites - people who want to know if they need to replace software or how to determine what the license is. People who are intimidated by all of the detailed GPL and business model discussions.

There is a thread on developer license issues.  There is a thread to discuss 3PD business models. So, IMO, this thread should not have those types of discussions - just questions from end users about how the GPL impacts them.

I apologize for complaining when there are already so many complaints. In fact, I really have stopped myself from doing so for a day, now. But, I worry very much about the non-technical user, some of whom have been emailed a few times by 3PD devs and are confused and perhaps scared. I was hoping when this thread was created it would be reserved for them.

Please delete this off-topic post, if desired - even this post will discourage some from seeking help, if they need it.

Thanks for all you do - sincerely.
Amy :)


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