John Resig on ExtJS, the GPL fiasco and open source community style

It seems as it does not end.

Reading a comment from John Resig, the (or one of the geniuses, sorry if there are more :-) genius behind jQuery, a library which was for some time a basis for ExtJs (beside YUI), irritated me a lot.


We (the jQuery project) worked hard with them to try and fix bugs and add features for an ExtJS integration layer. They turned around and built their own, specialized, library (removing the need for any of our work) and then mutated the licensing into this bizzaro scheme that they have now. We can’t, in good consciousness, even recommend their library anymore due to its very nature. On top of this they ended up hiring our lead evangelist to promote their work. I can’t speak for everyone on the team but I feel quite frustrated and used.

I’m speechless about the style of ExtJS. Without the not correct comments on my blog by Jack I wouldn’t believe someone could act this way.

I think you are missing the point. This has nothing to do with money, we are doing fine financially. It had to do with cleaning up what had until 2.1 been a hodge-podge of licenses that came out of necessity into a clean simple licensing structure that is aligned with what we expected all along.

says Jack. Sure it’s about money, everything could be clear – or to most people is clear – with the LGPL. No need to switch to the GPL at all. When it’s about being open source, switch to the ASL. And I find it highly irritating how Jacks kids are always dragged into this ydiscussion as in “my kids are waking up so I have to cut this short.” and “With my third child due, and savings running low”. I have no kids on my own but most certainly not drag them into a business discussion as an excuse.

Funny thing: “Ext JS is currently asking for input on two FLOSS exceptions to help make open source usage of Ext JS more flexible.” if this plays out like the switch to LGPL or GPL, hooray another episode in this mind boggling soap opera.

Update: “The intention of this exception is to allow for more liberal licensing of extensions, language packs, themes and open source developer toolkits and frameworks for Ext libraries under a variety of open source licenses.” on their blog.

Sure, because the more liberal the licenses of extensions are, the better it would be for the commercial side of ExtJS. Best to have the extensions as Apache licensed code and ExtJS to be GPL. The Ext LLC can reuse and resell the extensions without bothering. “(Note: this exception is not for applications and does not grant any exception for the library itself. A FLOSS exception on the libraries for open source applications will be addressed in the exception discussed in “Next Up” below).” This is so ridiculous and gives Open Source such a bad name. They hurt everyone who tries to make a living in the open source space.

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