GPL Questions Continued, User related

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brett.hooker » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:01 pm

AmyStephen wrote: 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.
I would think that a true end user would have a hard time finding this thread.  It's their IT person/friend/specialist that does (you, me, nephew-ware).  I think that is a good thing, becuase a regular business person would run to the hills at the mention of a internal legal debate of this type.

BUT, you raise a very good point.  So, image an end-user comes here to ask the following question (ignoring the community buzzwords):

"I have invested $5k in building a business website that includes a commercial extension.  I have over a years worth of activity in this website, and my entire product catalogue.  My 3PD is now scaling down his business and moving into a different line of work because he can't scale his niche solution to a sustainable level on a pure-play GPL model.  I can't afford to migrate off my current investment.  What do I do?"

A1) Go to JoomLance to find other developer who will support your site
A2) Work with your 3PD to help them explore alternative revenue models that allow their niche solution to be GPL and commercially sustainable (paid doc, support, upgrades etc).

 
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by mcsmom » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:27 pm

Brett,

As soon as we can, we will have some faqs for end users along those lines.

We want to write the official faqs carefully, but unoffical questions and answers like yours are really useful as a starting point and helpful.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Chris Davenport » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:43 pm

brett.hooker wrote: "I have invested $5k in building a business website that includes a commercial extension.  I have over a years worth of activity in this website, and my entire product catalogue.  My 3PD is now scaling down his business and moving into a different line of work because he can't scale his niche solution to a sustainable level on a pure-play GPL model.  I can't afford to migrate off my current investment.  What do I do?"
I think they're more likely to say "my 3PD says he's scaling down his business and I don't understand why", but that's beside the point. :-)
brett.hooker wrote: A1) Go to JoomLance to find other developer who will support your site
A2) Work with your 3PD to help them explore alternative revenue models that allow their niche solution to be GPL and commercially sustainable (paid doc, support, upgrades etc).
You'd have to check the proprietary licence terms for A1 to see if that is possible.  Probably yes, but you'd need to check.

A2 is a better bet but I can't see many end-users actually doing that.  This is where we, the Core Team and the Community, need to put our efforts into educating 3PD's about sustainable GPL-compliant business models.  The Core Team is trying as hard as we can to do that, but there are only a few of us and not enough hours in the day.

One solid piece of advice that you can convey is that there is no rush to do anything.  All the reputable 3PD's have said that they will continue to support their existing customers even though some may have decided to withdraw from future sales.  You might have to pay for that support where previously it might have been free, but I doubt that many commercial end-users will worry too much about that.

I hope that some end-users may learn the lesson I learnt over 2 decades ago; that with proprietary software comes an element of "lock-in" that you need to cost into your future business plan.  And that can be far, far higher than the cost of buying a licence.  That's the main reason I got into open source development in the first place.

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

Post by eyezberg » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:20 pm

End user question: a dev does not change his commercial license and doesn't remove some encrypted part because he knows many people need his code and he prefers to continue making income. I need his extension, and buy it. As far as I understood Core's current position, nothing at all is ever going to happen as they have no intention of going after non-compliant extensions. So that dev can happily keep selling (and fixing and coding), right? What should anyone be worried about?
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:33 pm

brett.hooker wrote: I would think that a true end user would have a hard time finding this thread.  It's their IT person/friend/specialist that does (you, me, nephew-ware).  I think that is a good thing, becuase a regular business person would run to the hills at the mention of a internal legal debate of this type.

BUT, you raise a very good point.  So, image an end-user comes here to ask the following question (ignoring the community buzzwords):

"I have invested $5k in building a business website that includes a commercial extension.  I have over a years worth of activity in this website, and my entire product catalogue.  My 3PD is now scaling down his business and moving into a different line of work because he can't scale his niche solution to a sustainable level on a pure-play GPL model.  I can't afford to migrate off my current investment.  What do I do?"

A1) Go to JoomLance to find other developer who will support your site
A2) Work with your 3PD to help them explore alternative revenue models that allow their niche solution to be GPL and commercially sustainable (paid doc, support, upgrades etc).
@Brett -

I have spent a year and a half helping real Joomla! end users on this forum and ones who email me, as well. Trust me, not everyone invests $5,000 in building websites. Not everyone hires this work done. But, those people matter, too!

@Joe -
eyezberg wrote: What should anyone be worried about?
There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.  ;)

You have worked to help end users successfully use Joomla!, too! And, Mambo before. Why don't you help people transition through this change instead of try to find all of the possible reasons this will be difficult? Let's continue to support the end user.

If you want to talk about the impact to developers, there is a thread for that. Why post things that just make people worry? You are not asking this question for yourself. PLEASE - let end users come forward and express concern. Let there be ONE PLACE they can come and not have to walk past the flames.

You know I respect you, Joe,
Amy

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Chris Davenport » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:36 pm

eyezberg wrote: End user question: a dev does not change his commercial license and doesn't remove some encrypted part because he knows many people need his code and he prefers to continue making income. I need his extension, and buy it. As far as I understood Core's current position, nothing at all is ever going to happen as they have no intention of going after non-compliant extensions. So that dev can happily keep selling (and fixing and coding), right? What should anyone be worried about?
Good question Joe.

Firstly, there is no legal effect on the end-user.  The end-user is not breaking the terms of the GPL and in any case the proprietary licence for the extension is between the end-user and the dev.

Secondly, we said that we don't want to sue anyone.  We want to educate, not litigate.  But if a dev persists in breaking the terms of the GPL despite all our efforts, then we might sue.  If we do it will be absolutely the last resort.  Devs have plenty of time to come into compliance, but they should not think that our patience will be infinite and we will never take action.

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Chris.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by aoirthoir » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:52 pm

Brett,

These issues are very real. There have been users that have been effected by the fact that certain extensions are encrypted and proprietary. The bang starts with the purchase of an encrypted extension. Then no support is provided and the user is left in the dust. This is a very real thing that occurred. Besides that, proprietary software that forbids rights afforded by the GNU GPL all of the time effect users. In our case we are a Business User that has been bitten too many times be software that has had issues. Moving to a GNU GPL model for our purchases makes plain capitalistic business sense. In answer to why this happened please read the following links pretty thoroughly:

http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,163278.0.html
In particular pay attention to item #11.

also:
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,163492.0.html

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

Post by Beat » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:59 pm

In respect of not repeating arguments 100 times as others did, I wrote 3 posts only on the GPL thread (but those took me a week each to compose). None of those concerns got answered by core team yet.

Having pinged two core team members on the subject, it seems those, and my email to thoughts@... got lost in the flow of 100-times multiple-posters.

Here url to the unanswered posts:
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic ... #msg805540
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic ... #msg818529
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic ... #msg811720

As this is both a developer and a user perspective and the thread got splitten, I will post it in both threads (here in the other thread), As these are only links, and concerns the two threads, I don't think this counts per forum rules as double post.

Thanks for your kind attention. Respectfully and Peacefully to all.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by aoirthoir » Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:03 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
Phil,

We do buy GNU GPLed commercial products. We have not purchased a proprietary program in months, and then only regretably our OS for new computers. Besides that it has been more than a year since we have purchased proprietary software. Our office is moving entirely to FOSS exactly because we need the ability to modify it. I personally am unable to modify GNU or Linux software at the moment. But if we need a change, we will hire someone to do it and then our changes will be released under the GNU GPL.

Yes there are going to be some users that do not like the change. Why? Only because of developers that will not even try to make a GNU GPLed business model work. Now let us be honest. We already know that copying of existing proprietary extensions occurs. These developers are not suing people that have done so. What has changed? For them a tiny change in a few files. The folks that would have copied their software will continue to do so, most of those that would have purchased it will continue to support the business. So it is the actions of extension developers that are making users unhappy, not the actions of Joomla! core devs.

However, only then even some users like yourself are unhappy. You might not care about code. You might not care about FOSS or software freedom or rights to modify and share your software. However just as you have real business concerns and are not interested in these things, there are other users (like ourselves) that have real business concerns and are interested in them.

So it is not that OSM is looking for *your* rights specifically. As I already quoted they are looking out for all of us that are affected by these things. For you it would not matter really at all whether your developer released his software as proprietary or GPLed, except that he has made the decision to not even allow you the choice to purchase as GPLed or in the meantime as proprietary. This is in no way OSM taking away your freedom, it is your developer doing so.

Kind regards,
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by pizzicar » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:01 pm

AmyStephen wrote: @Brett -
I have spent a year and a half helping real Joomla! end users on this forum and ones who email me, as well. Trust me, not everyone invests $5,000 in building websites. Not everyone hires this work done. But, those people matter, too!
Thanks for that! I was almost out of hope that someone recognized my subgroup :)

I'm feeling better about the long term prospects of the changes and I am/have taking the following steps:
Fireboard: Seeking a donate button (left a post on their boards) - I'm really excited about this project and wish I could code to help.
Contacted two proprietary developers I have bought from (best of breed components) to encourage them to find a way to make this work.

John

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Chris Davenport » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:07 pm

That's the spirit.  Well done John.  :D :D

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:15 pm

Rock on, John!  8) Thanks for helping with this transition!

We will get there!
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

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

aoirthoir wrote:This is in no way OSM taking away your freedom, it is your developer doing so.
I just love end comments like that one. I feel they are quite emotive.....you're kinda saying "It's their fault they're leaving", when I'm trying not to aportion blame...just ask that the impact be recognised and that I believe that this impact is having an effect on the Joomla community as a whole.

I still think that you are talking from the point of an atypical user....or at least you need to acknowledge that recent events are impacting on those of that have been happy with how things have been and have been more than willing buy commercial products knowing we (as non-tecnical purchasers) were putting ourselves in the hands of those people.

Cheers,

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:11 pm

phil_roy wrote:
aoirthoir wrote:This is in no way OSM taking away your freedom, it is your developer doing so.
I just love end comments like that one. I feel they are quite emotive.....you're kinda saying "It's their fault they're leaving", when I'm trying not to aportion blame...just ask that the impact be recognised and that I believe that this impact is having an effect on the Joomla community as a whole.

I still think that you are talking from the point of an atypical user....or at least you need to acknowledge that recent events are impacting on those of that have been happy with how things have been and have been more than willing buy commercial products knowing we (as non-tecnical purchasers) were putting ourselves in the hands of those people.

Cheers,

Phil
I agree. Let's all *try* to be more sensitive to the end user. I don't think we need to talk about why we are here or if it's good or bad or who is to blame or how it happened, at all! It's probably best to not discuss whether we agree or disagree with the decision in this thread, either. And, maybe we could all stop with the rhetorical questions and leave room for real websites and community members.

This thread is for helping community members who have questions about what THEY need to do on THEIR websites.

It's not a place to predict doom or better days ahead! Let's just answer real world questions! agreed?

All the best,
Amy :)

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Brenda » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:24 pm

If I understand correctly the end user can do anything they like with their install of Joomla & if they incorporate non compliant code that is entirely their decision & they are not breaking any laws or licenses.

But some extensions are incapable of complying because they use other incompatible code & face the same problems Joomla would have if it changed license.

If that is the case can't the onus be put entirely on the end user?

So developers (that can't comply) remove all joomla code from their extensions & license their product any way they see fit.

I buy said extension that will not run on joomla or drupal or any other cms.

I then go to freeconversions dot com - I find the donated search & replace script that will change the necessary code to work with my cms install.

I unzip the extension & run the s&r utility - I rezip & install in Joomla

I exercised my right to alter Joomla as I saw fit or I paid someone "work for hire" to do it for me. There is no single distribution that requires compliance - the parts have to be put together manually.

Or have I totally misunderstood?

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:01 pm

Brenda wrote: If I understand correctly the end user can do anything they like with their install of Joomla & if they incorporate non compliant code that is entirely their decision & they are not breaking any laws or licenses.

But some extensions are incapable of complying because they use other incompatible code & face the same problems Joomla would have if it changed license.

If that is the case can't the onus be put entirely on the end user?

So developers (that can't comply) remove all joomla code from their extensions & license their product any way they see fit.

I buy said extension that will not run on joomla or drupal or any other cms.

I then go to freeconversions dot com - I find the donated search & replace script that will change the necessary code to work with my cms install.

I unzip the extension & run the s&r utility - I rezip & install in Joomla

I exercised my right to alter Joomla as I saw fit or I paid someone "work for hire" to do it for me. There is no single distribution that requires compliance - the parts have to be put together manually.

Or have I totally misunderstood?
Well, that certainly is creative! I looked at the freeconversions dot com and was redirected to currencyconverters dot biz, so I presume that was just an "example" website name you are giving.

The end user cannot infringe the GPL by using non-GPL compliant code with Joomla!. If you are trying to creatively think of ways for developers to continue to license their code non GPL compliant - but distance themselves enough far from implementation to be okay, you (standard answer goes here - lol) might have to contact an attorney to see if it's okay. ;)

I think we could use your excellent creativity to help generate new ideas about business plans! Smart thinker.

All the best,
Amy :)

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by brad » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:04 pm

Mod note: 3 posts removed for being offtopic. Joe is welcome to contact one of the Global mods if he wants the text back so he can reformat and repost on topic if he wishes.

THERE IS NO CONSPIRACY JOE, I PROMISE YOU.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Omega X » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:12 am

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!
SMF Bridge users need not to worry. Orstio (and most likely other bridge developers also) created a workaround using a middleman file licensed under the LGPL.  I'm pretty sure Commercial Developers will do this also.

So the drama for the time being is over.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:29 am

Or another way to look it is that users are probably going to be faced with more "bridged" systems than truly integrated?  :) ???

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by researchtoxic » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:15 am

I just wanted to chime in.

Let me start by saying I love Joomla and agree whole heartedly with the direction it has taken.

As soon as I have a bit more experience, I hope to join the documentation team as I am a teacher and I like to write things of that nature.

It is my opinion, that the best extensions out there are already in line with the direction that Joomla is taking. I have bought no less that 5 extensions in the last month and to be honest after getting them I either loaded a free version I thought was better or said to myself, "heck I could have coded that myself". Of course that is not true for all cases.

I have for a long time been a proponent of everyone getting on the same ship on some of the extensions everyone wants: directories, image galleries, SEF URLs. It is the community that will combine all the ideas and get it right.

My only real question concerns the selling and distribution of templates. How will this be affected?
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by phil_roy » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:21 am

In answer to your last question....
http://www.joomla.org/component/option, ... 105/p,371/

I'd have to disagree with most of the other comments.

Phil

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Goosemoose » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:23 am

Omega X wrote: SMF Bridge users need not to worry. Orstio (and most likely other bridge developers also) created a workaround using a middleman file licensed under the LGPL.  I'm pretty sure Commercial Developers will do this also.

So the drama for the time being is over.
I'm happy it looks like SMF will be able to make a bridge (still not a sure thing though) as I'm on the team. I still have a big concern about the developers of commercial components I use. I think a lot of effort will be diverted away when people start posting websites with all the commercial components for legal download for free. I still have not seen a legal way that commercial components can prevent this, and that scares me. I go commercial on some components because they are clearly better than whats out there. You can look at sourceforge and see thousands of dead projects, so it's not like either are really going to have a chance of outlasting the other.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by researchtoxic » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:23 am

phil_roy wrote: In answer to your last question....
http://www.joomla.org/component/option, ... 105/p,371/

I'd have to disagree with most of the other comments.

Phil
thanks for the link

it has just been my experience.

i am really enjoying reading everyone else's
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by dhudiburg » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:15 am

I, for one, would like to see non-GPL components widely avaiable.  I don't mind paying for something that works and solves a problem for me.  I'm not sure I understand all the finer details, nor do I want to.  I just want to be able to find and either buy or download great Joomla plugins.

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:22 am

dhudiburg wrote: I, for one, would like to see non-GPL components widely avaiable.  I don't mind paying for something that works and solves a problem for me.  I'm not sure I understand all the finer details, nor do I want to.  I just want to be able to find and either buy or download great Joomla plugins.
Dhudiburg -

Developers *can* and *will* still charge for distribution of software. They only have to license the software using a GPL-compliant license. In the other thread, it was mentioned there are only 15% proprietary extensions. Those will have to be relicensed. But, charging for software distribution can still continue.

Hope that helps!
Amy :)

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by n0fear2 » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:51 am

AmyStephen wrote:
dhudiburg wrote: I, for one, would like to see non-GPL components widely avaiable.  I don't mind paying for something that works and solves a problem for me.  I'm not sure I understand all the finer details, nor do I want to.  I just want to be able to find and either buy or download great Joomla plugins.
Dhudiburg -

Developers *can* and *will* still charge for distribution of software. They only have to license the software using a GPL-compliant license. In the other thread, it was mentioned there are only 15% proprietary extensions. Those will have to be relicensed. But, charging for software distribution can still continue.

Hope that helps!
Amy :)
Only 15%? Maybe but those are mostly those that professinal joomla site owners need - and i speak of professional not commercial. Anoter thing, as i see more members leaving the team i will promise everyone here those "forcing" will hurt joomla alot even i am not a future teller.

And i am still unhappy about how endusers lose on this decission! And don't tell its no problem and all those things! tzzz

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Goosemoose » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:54 am

The numbers I have seen are closer to 30%-50% or more if you include those who work on commercial and gpl projects, as well as those that are free, but not gpl. Many of the developers supported themselves with commercial projects and worked on free/gpl projects as a way of giving back to the community.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:57 am

I can't remember which 3PD it was who published the 15% in the other thread. I'd have to dig around to find it. I guess it doesn't necessarily matter.

The response to the question is the same - developers *can* charge for distribution. The community *should* financially support developers.

Maybe we can get an official list - then, we would have something with authority. But, for now, it's 2 am and I'm going to bed!  :P

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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by Goosemoose » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:03 am

I understand, thanks for the attempt to keep things peaceful amy. I'm just getting a bit worried here as I see components that I rely on, whether GPL or Commercial, such as OpenSEF start to drop off.
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Re: GPL Questions Continued, User related

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:05 am

I understand. It's hard for all of us. I appreciate your attitude. I really do believe we are going to get through this.

I'll say no more for now. All the best, thanks!
Amy :)

 

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