Historically Important: Sanjiv Jivan’s Blog: Update on future direction of GWT-Ext (Licensing debacle)

NOTE: This is of “historical” importance because it was the cause of the “early death” of Gwt-Ext. It’s no doubt for the best, because SmartGwt has supplanted it.

So, there is no longer a call to use a thinly-wrapped Javascript library – both SmartGwt and Ext-Gwt (a.k.a. Gxt)  are written in Java and will take full advantage of improvements to the GWT compiler.

In addition, it makes it easier for libraries like SmartGwt and Gxt to track future widget developments and changes such as the new event handling in Gwt 1.6

Sanjiv Jivan’s Blog.

In light of ExtJS going GPL, I’d like to provide an update to GWT-Ext users on the future direction of the project. While many users would like to see GWT-Ext continue to provide an LGPL stack with Ext 2.0.2, a few others felt that GWT-Ext should just go ahead and support the GPL versions of ExtJS.

One of the early adopters of GWT-Ext sent me an email yesterday voicing his concerns saying that since GWT-Ext fully depends on ExtJS, moving to support Ext GPL would be the right thing to do. He goes on to say that “..licensing is a big deal, but to most people who are using the ext product, GPL is not a bad change. The biggest hits will be the big companies that are using it, not the little people. GPL for these bigger companies is perfectly fine.”

I value his opinion and I’m sure some others feel the same way, but I have a different view on this matter. There are two aspects to ExtJS going GPL :

The first is the ethical aspect of a company choosing to change licenses on a dime and the questionable way they got to the point they have. There are several other excellent Javascript libraries like SmartClient that haven’t gained the recognition they deserve and community support only because they were honest and consistent in their licensing model. While its no big deal to many to buy a (currently) reasonably priced commercial Ext license, supporting such a move from LGPL to GPL is an extremely bad precedent to set in the OSS community that has flourished on the basis of trust.

Quick Guide to gplv3 compatibility

Quick Guide to gplv3 compatibility

Note: messiness above is Adobe’s fault, caused by the “svg” standard (or lack thereof)
Note: “svg” is a rare file type, “scalable vector graphics.”
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