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Ouch, what a mess, - Extjs goes GPL3 : - open source

Published 2008-05-07 00:00:00

I think that basically sums up my reaction to Jack's GPLv3'ing a library. For those who are not aware, As I was not, when I visited the extjs web site a few days ago to grab a copy of the old 1.1 version and found all references to download it had disappeared. Digging a bit deeper on the site, I started spotting a few comments about the new licensing.

While I can say that Jack as the author (of I presume most of extjs?) has the right to change the license to whatever he likes, I think he has probably just destroyed the project. I could not commit to writing new code with a "Library" that is GPL, unless I was working on a GPL project (which is unlikely at present - got bills to pay). And for commercial or spec projects, that are not turning revenues yet, I can't really justify my time in committing to develop stuff that may, or may-not be able to fund today's and whatever Jack feels like charging in the future for the non-commercial license.

I've seen too many people burned by this closed source dependencies that they build their businesses around, only to have the effective rental for their office yanked through the roof, and no other option than a huge effort moving to another library or software causing chaos.

All that said, I'm not sure if v2.0 and v2.1 are really worth bothering with anyway, I've tried them on 2 projects so far, and the general sense I get, is that compared to v1.1 they are a little finicky, and tend to produce slightly unpredictable results. Which is tempting me to stick with 1.1..

The problem I see though is that the community that has built up around extjs has been supported by quite a few handy tools, the wiki, the doc's and the rather nasty forum (which is a good way to waste time finding answers to issues). So I guess someone setting up a openext? (I saw something on the net about it) should probably sort out those issues first, then start solving the technical issues about how to replace all the images and css in extjs which where not previouslylicensed under LGPL.

I would hate to have to go looking at the alternatives again, So sticking with v1.1+ hacks may be the best long term plan for me anyway.

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