Web Software Architecture and Engineering – Life on the Bleeding Edge

UPDATE: Officially Adobe has a Commercial Agreement with ExtJS. How much flexibility that allows us is still being looked into by Adobe.
For those of you using CF8’s built in ExtJS related Javascript/AJAX functions, you’re safe because CF8 uses the previous version (and previous license).
For those of you who don’t know about the ExtJS controversy, the latest version has moved to a very restrictive license, and for those of you who don’t use it for Open Source projects, you now have to pay! And pay big time.
For a summary of the controversy, see: http://pablotron.org/?cid=1556. For the new ExtJS License, see: http://extjs.com/products/license.php. For ExtJS License costs, see: http://extjs.com/store/extjs/.
I suggest people stick to JQuery, YUI and other libraries. I am awaiting official word from Adobe on what happens moving forward, and if they include the new version of ExtJS, does that cover us, or are we restricted by the type of application we release. Also, if we have CF8, and we intermix the built-in library with the new one, what happens? What happens to those extending the built-in library, and to those with code on RiaForge with ExtJS 2?
I’ll be posting an update to this soon hopefully. I’ve directly contact Jason Delmore, Adam Lehman and Ben Forta regarding this, and Jason has promised he will get back to me.

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Comments on: "Brewing Controversy Surround EXTJS" (17)

  1. This is my understanding of what it means for ExtJS 2.1 to be using GPLv3…

    If you’re using the Ext library that is built-in to CF 8 then you’re safe, because the new licensing changes only affect ExtJS 2.1 and on.

    If Adobe were to include the latest version of ExtJS in CF9 then they would need an OEM license which in turn means your project would not need to be GPL.

    If you want to *distribute* a commercial application that incorporates ExtJS 2.1 which is not under the GPL then you would need to buy developer licenses.

    If you want to release a GPL project that incorporates ExtJS 2.1 then you can just go ahead and use it. OpenBD is GPL and so this would be perfect for any bundled applications which would also be released under the GPL.

    Code prior to ExtJS 2.1 is not affected by the GPL announcement.

  2. This is a standard consequence of the GPL license. MySQL uses it and does dual licensing, Open BlueDragon uses it (and is essentially dual license since you can buy the commercial BlueDragon product).

  3. WOW! Those prices are RIDICULOUS! The $289 for one developer is *almost* acceptable, but $1,100-$14,000 for a JAVASCRIPT UI LIBRARY! Too funny. Should be interesting to see how this plays out with CF9.

  4. A solution my friends, move to jQuery!

  5. John Paul Ashenfelter said:

    @Troy Why are they so ridiculous? $289 ~ 3-5 hours of developer time. It’s either worth it to you or not. And if the time-savings scales, who cares. $14000/1000 developers = $140/developer, drop in the bucket.

    Sean is right on — GPL software almost *inevitably* ends up dual-sourced. This frequently happens once the software group becomes a “corporation” and needs to support itself.

    The thing that makes it hard here is that a Javascript library is pretty different than a database (eg MySQL) as far as how often you access/use/modify/generate the source code. But since it’s GPL, you have the user download and install. This is no different than not being able to distribute MySQL *with* your application and instead requiring the user to download it.

    Software gets relicensed more often than you think. At least it *is* open source and previous libraries are still under the old license. Fork it. The good news is you can’t “unlicense” the old versions to prevent the fork under the GPL.

    That said, these guys don’t seem to be handling the relicensing transparently, openly, or smoothly.

  6. If I want to sell an application that uses ext, what are the options?

    1) sell my app then tell people to download the library under the Open Source License and to add it on for free?

    2) pay a a single developer license for myself, then I can include it?

  7. @John: You are absolutely correct when you boil it down to “saved developer time”. But JS is really one of the most “open” scripting languages ever. By that I mean it is just a given that if you create some cool JS code and server it up on your site, SOMEONE is probably going to borrow it. We all know that going in, and we all accept it.

    I just think it is strange to start treating (translation: pricing) JS libraries like they were a IDE or even an application server like ColdFusion or something. I don’t know why…it just feels “icky”.

  8. Fredro Lewis 3rd said:

    From a contact @ Adobe – they already have an OEM agreement, so this is non-issue for CF users.

    “very restrictive license” – actually it is a very open license, that prohibits YOU from adding additional restrictions.

    “I suggest people stick to JQuery, YUI and other libraries.” – How much do you make per hour? Do you think you reproduce Ext JS in any of those other libraries in $289 / (your rate) hours?

    I use Ext in an enterprise application that took us 3 months to build a prototype for in Dojo. My team was able to build the same thing (but functional, not a prototype!) in less than 2 weeks using Ext JS. 5 developers @ 40/hr * 10+ weeks time = $32,000. Our license cost us $1,000. Do the math!

  9. @Fredro,

    The same issue exists for CF. If you have supportive management, and a big wallet (in this economy), you can sell buying the licenses. CF pays off in the same manner. The only difference being, management says, well, aren’t most JS libs free? And so it does feel “icky”. And on top of which, ExtJS hasn’t managed the transition well, and ticked off tons of people.

    And yes, I heard about the OEM Agreement months ago, but didn’t have the license to officially state it… but since you’ve leaked it I can confirm.

    Other libs are trying their best to catch on the GUI side, so it’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out over the next year.

  10. Andy Sandefer said:

    This is very interesting. Right now I feel like I’ll remember the last couple of years (probably along with the next few years) as the “battle of the frameworks” era. CF already makes it pretty easy to use Spry, then you’ve got some widgets in CF that are Yahoo UI, ExtJS, open source (like the new editor), etc. I don’t know anything about jQuery yet but I see a lot of people that I respect saying good things about it. Are there any “getting started” articles on CF/jQuery development? You must admit that the new cfgrid totally rocks!

  11. Roo’s website will be running soon – http://www.roojs.org

    The Fork of V1.1.1 is pretty much working, V2* is underway.

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  13. Well this is very interesting indeed.Would love to read a little more of this. Great post. Thanks for the heads-up…This blog was very informative and knowledgeable

  14. I was working for an ISP and i wrote their entire VOIP IPTV WIFI media rates charges and accounts management ERP app on my own using zend framework and extjs.

    I have to say the components are amazing and they should charge for reselling, fortunately the ISP was using this app in house.

    The application development time was cut down 1 developer ME it took me 1 month to master both ZF and ExtJs and 4 months to write the app. you cant beat the ExtJs in its speed of development and usability.

    ExtJs suffers from speed issues on some machines and lines, this renders it unless because on slow machines and lines it will crash.

    I would not recommend developing in ExtJs if the computers it is going to be used on and the line is not high speed, you will look silly when all your cool collapsible and grids and stores and combos don’t work.

    The license issue does sound slightly ridiculous when you look at how much they want, but the framework is impressive.

    I think they should either make it compleetly free or lower teh price drasticaly, because if you go on jobsite and type ExtJs you wont get any hits you know why, because no one uses it SIMPLES.

  15. I don’t think you can compare the Ext-JS framework with YUI, jquery or prototype. The comparable framework would be Ext-core, which is free. Ext-JS provides a whole Component architecture including layout management and is meant for application development, not for website enhancement. As other posters here already mentioned, it costs less than a day’s work per developer, which my current company and previous company were very willing to pay, and even more for support. If we make money on top of their work, I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t pay for it.

    @Nadeem: I recently moved from MI to CA for the weather. It took me one night of filling out applications to find a very good job using my Ext-JS skills right in the middle of a recession.

  16. hi everyone,
    Iam looking for some help about the EXTJS license
    I would want to buy the license to avoid any problem too expensive for my status, but first I want to make sure, if there is alternative cause Iam just a small time freelance which do not have yet the resources to buy such, the thing is, can I use EXTJS to develop my apps and I will not modify any of the ext package, but my web apps will be hosted in a webserver and only generate configs that will be use by extjs, this webapps will be then use buy the end user, its not downloadable, if i do this can I ask for a small fee for the service of my webapps without getting an issue with the license?

    Hope any body would response Iam realy in a blur rightnow.

  17. Very good article I find Here. It is very useful for me!

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