There have been several popular projects that have shut down because of philosophical disagreement with the core team’s actions. These have included:
- Clexus PMS – clexus.com
- JBAM – jbam.joomlasolutions.com
- OpenSEF – www.open-sef.org
Its also looking increasingly likely that Orsito’s SMF bridge will be discontinued.
There have also been some resignations from Joomla working groups. The last weeks have seen Websmurf, Predator, Vimes and fotisevangelou resign from the project. Forums regulars such as eyezberg have also made public statements about dissatisfaction and have moved on. With over 8,652 forum posts these are people that have worked hard for the project but have rejected the core’s recent re-interpretation of its license.
Controlling the Discussion
Speaking of forums, the Joomla core team have closed the long discussion thread about the GPL, and have instead created three fascinating boards in "The Lounge".
What is fascinating about these boards is that while anyone can start a topic, only official Joomla "people" can reply. Its a really interesting case of control of information and "discussion". The usual scenario is that someone posts a concern and then half a dozen working group members "educate" them. Alternatively, someone posts a "great move Joomla" comment and the post is greeting with cheers of approval. I have to admit this is the first time on hundreds of forums I have seen over the years that I have seen such a tactic. Its been highly effective at silencing and controlling critics of the core’s decision.
The Joint Commercial Developers Association
The JCD was a loose group of 3rd party developers that had common ground after he core team’s re-interpretation of their license. They have since grown to over 110 members and the JCD also has a public forum. Its worth heading over there to see a different viewpoint of the discussion. I am fairly sure that anyone can join the thread discussions and make replies, not just "official members". The JCD seems serious about creating a mature and democratically governed organization for developers. They have released a public statement that has been signed by over 100 3rd party developers. The list read’s like a who’s who of developers and includes almost all of the top tier 3rd party developers such as Community Builder, iJoomla, Phil Taylor, Joomlaworks, Jomres, Elearningforce, DesignForJoomla, XHTMLSuite, Azrul, Joe LeBlanc, Netshine, Orsito, Run Digital, Saka, Predator, corePHP and Joomla-addons. To be honest, I can’t think of who hasn’t signed it!
I had a chance to chat with the spokesperson for JCD, Vince Wooll and he told me that they are actively trying to reach out to the core team and reach a compromise position that will be in the best interests of both parties. I certainly hope that the people involved will be able to put their pride aside momentarily and have true mediation. He also mentioned some non-GPL issues going on like developing a self-policing code of standards for developers, a team to investigate any alleged GPL abuse by members and examining code escrow for encrypted code.
The Joomla Blog World
Some more blog posts have appeared on this issue. One very interesting one I found was about Linux and Open Source. It really does show that this is less of a legal issue and more of an interpretation issue, one that is guided by philosophies and opinions. That to me seems the root of the problem here, people always think their opinion is right……