Confirmation of my doubts about ExtJS licensing

ExtJs is a great javascript development library, some time ago I did some tests to port P4A to ExtJs and I wrote a post with my considerations about it and other javascript libraries.

In that post I wrote:

ExtJs as really a killer graphic layout, and it’s released under LGPL3 (developers wrote some licensing notes that I can’t really understand… actually I think that those notes could conflict with LGPL3 itself)

Today I found a post by Matt Asay called “ExtJs: When open source is not open at all“.

A quote from that post:

It’s a bit like saying, “You can use this as open source so long as you use the software how we’d like you to use it. If you have any money, forget open source: pay us instead.”

So how is this open source? This is a wholesale rejection of the Open Source Definition (#6).

That’s a confirmation of my doubts about ExtJs licensing and a confirmation that we took the right choice not to use it for P4A at the moment.

Now, I always try to be constructive also when writing critics about a project so here there are some suggestions for the ExtJs team:

  • clarify your licensing model, choose LGPL3 (or AGPL3 or whatever) definitively and remove your own notes (this will make ExtJs grow both within the final users market and the server-side market)
  • open your SVN, it’s ugly for FLOSS developers not to be able to follow the development
  • listen to user requests, when I wrote in the forums that there was no way to get a field’s label displayed if the field is not inside a form panel, the only answer I got (not from the team which didn’t answer at all, but from a premium member) was “buy a license and ask for that feature” […]
  • think general purpose because not all the users want to build all the application from javascript, ExtJs could do fireworks if it could be better combined with server-side frameworks

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