This is a post that’s been lying around in various forms as a draft for over a year. I’ve dusted it off and decided to publish after the series of announcements made by the Joomla team over Christmas.
The announcements were about decisions concerning the Joomla Extensions Directory where I’m an editor. The decisions were to remove extensions that were for Joomla 1.0 only, weren’t licensed under the GPL or violated Joomla’s trademark.
Over the holidays, I’ve been talking closely with people who agree with the decisions and those who don’t. There are a good number of people on both sides. After listening carefully, I’d like to make several proposals in order to help us move forward effectively.
Proposals for the Joomla Team
OSM BOARD MEMBERSHIP
A strong move would be to increase the amount of community involvement and transparency involved in running Joomla, particularly Open Source Matters. Here is a rough idea of how it could be done.
The Open Source Matters board will expand to consist of 12 members with 8 needed to ratify a decision:
- Three members of the core team
- Three community members (forum mods, JED, translators etc.)
- One treasurer / financial adviser responsible for publishing detailed annual accounts on joomla.org
- One legal adviser with strong expertise in software licensing laws
- One JED developer
- One board member of another open source project
SERVICE ON THE BOARD
Members serve one term and then must step down for the duration of time served. Elections might happen every year in June (as an example), but the method of election and time served will vary:
- Core team: Elected by other core team members, one per year. They serve for three years
- Community members: Elected by community members, one per year. They serve for three years
- Financial adviser: Elected by board. They serve for two years.
- Legal adviser: Elected by board. They serve for two years
- JED Developer: Elected by other JED developers. They serve for two years
- Other FOSS Project Expert: Elected by board. They serve for two years
Proposals for Commercial Joomla Developers
ACCEPT THE GPL AND TRADEMARK DECISIONS
The Joomla trademark decision is closely in line with the policies of Drupal, WordPress, Ubuntu, Linux and most other major open source products. It’s not identical, but similar enough to be entirely reasonable.
The GPL decision was really announced 18 months ago. Developers now have an additional six months to plan and adapt. Again, the decision is very closely in line with how Drupal, WordPress and others operate.
Consider putting forth some of the effort required to build a thriving developer community. The JCD-A has an admirable list of principles on its website. Why not take those ideas a step further? Here are some ideas:
- Make JCD-A membership a mark of highly-ethical, customer-centric Joomla businesses
- Actively cultivate and built good relations with the Joomla team
- Ensure all JCD-A developers offer a no-questions-asked 30-day money back guarantee
- Insist on the removal of all call-home code from members’ extensions
- De-list members who violate these principles or receive too much negative customer feedback
- Adopt these ideas from Brian Teeman. He has proposed a Joomla version of Apple’s “Made for iPod” logo
Constructive Criticism Please
Last year we ran a series of interviews with GPL developers who expressed a wide variety of views. There’s also been a good number of GPL business posts. I’ve always tried to provide constructive criticism and analysis to both sides so in that spirit, only comments that do the same will be published: