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ExtJs - talking forking : - open source

Published 2008-05-11 00:00:00

I've started looking at forking ExtJS, after some considerable thought, I'm pretty close to the concluding that forking ExtJS is really option left, to retain the investment I've already made in it..

So, as I have a Zip file of 1.1.1 and it explicitly says that the Javascript code is Licensed under LGPL, (not ifs/ no but's) - I'm slowly putting the code into my subversion repo under (*I'm looking at extjs1.1.1 as I have been using it and tend to prefer it, but there is nothing in the discusion below that precludes anyone helping/leadingwith the last extjs2 version that was released)

Now if this actually becomes a full fork (most forks fail BTW), It will need a bit of work, so If anyone is interested in helping out. I've no idea where this could go. But this fork ain't changing the license no-more...

The plan

I think there's quite a few things to do here... so Ideas or contributions.. -- feel free to email me, or just comment on this post. - At worst, it could form the brainstorming for anyone else actually doing this. (If you want to comment on if/should this be done - do it on my previous post, otherwise I will delete the comment)

The Code

  • Tidy up Ext Js's source - see if it can be stored in one file per class, and have a simple classname->filename mapping... (eg. Ext.Dom in Ext/Dom.js) ** started..
    • Sort out the CSS
    • If Jack ever released any old CSS/images under a open licence (ext-yui source?) see if that can be used.?
    • or Go through the classes and see what their requirements are for CSS
    • Probably in batches - write a short document listing the required classes needed by the batch, enabling someone to contribute a CSS file that works.
    • Posibly create enough CSS to make enough of it useable (probably with no images)
  • Document image requirements (see above), then see if other open projects already have images that can be used? - otherwise see if someone want's to contribute themes..
  • Break up Source into managable packages - Distribute ownership! - GIT or multiple SVN repos??

The Project

  • Build infrastructure
    • Create a command line tool that can compress then merge all the required components (and allows end users to do this)
    • Allows source to be taken from multiple sources (so you can create builds with extensions / or without stuff you don't need)
  • Forums
    • Set up a mailing list! (and archived, with a search feature!) - Anyone know a good hosted one available? - or should I just go off and set the infrastructure here..
    • No more 'premium' ... users! - equal, like open source is supposed to be!
  • Manual
    • Work out how to build a manual from the source!-- While Ext's manual is not bad, take the opportunitythis time do it right, and have a bug reporting / user comments on it....
  • A name??/ - May need some thought...

The reasoning.

I have to admitafter some reflection to being pretty pissed at this change, ExtJs was useful in a number of ways, other than being a reasonably well written, the forums where search-able, so you occasionally found fixes to issues that you where having. The doc's where not to bad. etc.

But basically I've committed 1000's of hours of time to learning, and writing huge codebases that depend on ExtJS, under the basic premise that it was availably for Free, with the only Caveat that If I modified ExtJS, then I would have to give back those changes. "Quid Quo-pro" as they say.

The Change to GPL has altered that equation in such a radical way that If this was not a 'software' product, and was something physical. you would be down at the consumer council, and filing a class action against Jack for things like Breach of trust, financial gain by deception etc.And filing claims for the loss of your time, and the cost of replacing his library..

I have seen postings that appear to claim Jack plan's to 'send notice' to people using a fork, but as far as I can see, he released the Javascript code as LGPL, and from every reading I've seen of that, I have the absolute right to distribute the Javascript code, along with any modifications. - This is the purpose of the license!!! - so by claiming otherwise he is not honoring his own license, not a good omen for the future of ExtJs even under GPL!

I'm floating this, as a plan... - shout if you are interested/ have some ideas..?? - (or you can find real technical flaws - not FUD flaws please).

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