Sometimes popularity isn't worth the trade-offs it may require, it would seem. Anyway, not for Joomla!, as Linux.com highlights in an article yesterday. The Joomla! team had apparently allowed proprietary extensions to its GPL code base as a way to grow in popularity, but the effect has been to breed mistrust and confusion.
Joomla's original intention was arguably a good one: be very "open" to outside development - of proprietary and open source kinds - so as to serve a more diverse community:
It seemed that Joomla! had created a thriving economy for developers, arguably because its tolerance for proprietary extensions attracted entrepreneurs who discovered an audience hungry for inexpensive but useful add-ons. Further solidifying the third-party developers' position that they were within their rights to develop non-GPL addons, Landry and others explicitly stated in Joomla! forums that the decision about whether to allow proprietary extensions was up to the copyright holder. In a June 2006 topic entitled "1.5 licence change clarification," Landry wrote that the Joomla! license in version 1.5 would "make sure that commercial third-party developers that use Joomla! as a platform can do so without fear of having to release GPL."
The problem, however, is that it's hard to serve two masters.… Read more