Community and Licensing
May 9, 2008 · 4 Comments
Daemon is considering changing the license for FarCry 5.0 from Common Public License 1.0 (CPL) to a dual licensing model with GPLv3 and commercial options. Jeff Coughlin interviews Geoff Bowers of Daemon about this possible change and what it might mean for FarCry users and developers.One of the key points made in the interview is that despite FarCry being open source for five years, there have been almost no contributions back to the project from the larger community of its users. Even the documentation wiki has only had a handful of people contributing. This is a common complaint about open source projects in the CF community - the authors put a huge amount of work into the projects but get very little support back from the community. I believe this stems from the CF community's roots in the Windows world where most software is commercial and, historically, there hasn't been a great deal of open source. CFers just aren't used to how open source works. Compare that to C, C++, PHP, Ruby and any number of languages that grew up in the Unix community and you'll see a world of difference. Those developers "get" open source. They don't just take projects and complain about bugs - they try to fix the bugs and submit patches back to the project, they offer up their enhancements and plugins as open source, they update the documentation, they get involved with testing and feedback and generally try to help out. I think that a shift to dual GPL/commercial would be a good move on Daemon's part and would help encourage the FarCry user community to grow and support the project in more concrete ways. If folks aren't prepared to open source their own code, there's always the option of a commercial license which also supports the project by helping defray the costs of hosting and maintenance. I don't know whether Daemon's thinking has been influenced by the Open BlueDragon project but I hope that was at least part of the catalyst. If we see a general shift to GPL and increased community involvement in open source CFML projects, that will benefit all of us.