Maybe some of you already visited the project homepage of MyGWT in the last days. Yes, MyGWT is gone. The project got finally “moved” to the extjs project, something that was announced long ago.
I was surprised to see GXT getting GPLed. Or better, dual licensed. There is the open source license (GPL), and there is the commercial license. The commercial license calculated per developer anyhow touching GXT classes, what in our agile days of development practically means every single developer of the team.
Browsing the dual license page of GXT I came across this statement:
Contribute to the Open Source community by placing your application under an Open Source license (e.g. GPL v3). This option secures all users the rights to obtain the application’s full source code, modify it, and redistribute it.
IMHO, this statement wishful thinking and not implied by the GPL license. In my understanding (and I impressed to see in how many ways GPL is getting interpreted) that GPL is meant to protect the customer, not the code owner (author). In other words: I get all the code, so my future is secured. I can do whatever I want, as long as my changes and my code is GPLed as well. This means that MY CUSTOMER will get all my code and my changes:
One of the fundamental requirements of the GPL is that when you distribute object code to users, you must also provide them with a way to get the source.
I understand users here the ones getting my product. In the special case of a web-app that is not going public, the user is my customer that is deploying the web-app, and people using the services provided by the application do not get touched my the GPL.
From the GPL FAQ section:
If I know someone has a copy of a GPL-covered program, can I demand he give me a copy?
No. The GPL gives him permission to make and redistribute copies of the program if he chooses to do so. He also has the right not to redistribute the program, if that is what he chooses.
Another very interesting misunderstanding that comes woth GPL, again quoted from the GPL FAQ:
Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money?
Yes, the GPL allows everyone to do this. The right to sell copies is part of the definition of free software. Except in one special situation, there is no limit on what price you can charge. (The one exception is the required written offer to provide source code that must accompany binary-only release.)
As far as i understand GPL, I must not make my code public. I can. Expecting users to do this (”This option secures all users the rights to obtain the application’s full source code, modify it, and redistribute it.” – quoted from above) is not true, and I believe it is a violation of GPL.
Only my two cents.