Evolving the qooxdoo Project

The qooxdoo Open Source project is going to see some significant advancements.

For quite a while now we have been talking about the intention to open up the project to facilitate more community involvement. 1&1 as qooxdoo’s initiator has started and is supporting this transformation. As the opportunity is actively being pursued, we would like to announce where we stand right now.

In order to allow for a best possible transformation of the project, we wanted this to be driven by people who have been involved with the qooxdoo project for a long time, have been providing first-class contributions to it and have an expert knowledge of its technology. Ideally, they should have a track record of running Open Source projects successfully as well as knowing about the specific needs of a professional, business-oriented community such as qooxdoo’s. Knowing such people in person and trusting them wouldn’t hurt either.

We’re glad that the ones we approached – encompassing all of above requirements perfectly – agreed to take up the opportunity to evolve the qooxdoo project: long-time qooxdoo fellows Fritz Zaucker and Tobi Oetiker joined to coordinate and drive the upcoming changes and improvements.

Moreover, others we asked for their close collaboration are also on-board, e.g. Cajus Pollmeier, Derrell Lipman, Dietrich Streifert, John Spackman. Given the recent activities of various people on the mailing list there is much additional momentum.

Actually, we had hoped to announce both plan and completion of this entire process by the end of 2015. But a few administrative hurdles are still being worked on. With 1&1, a great supporter of Open Source and qooxdoo in particular, some necessary steps are being taken to ensure the organizational and legal aspects are properly addressed:

1) As previously announced the current dual-licensing (LGPL/EPL) will be simplified and future releases are expected to be under the MIT license.

2) We founded a legal entity called “qooxdoo.org” as a non-profit association after Swiss law (named a “Verein” in German).

3) 1&1 is going to transfer the intellectual property rights and the qooxdoo.org internet domain to the qooxdoo.org association.

4) The ownership of the qooxdoo organization at Github and thus the official code repository will also be transferred.

5) The qooxdoo hosting infrastructure (homepage, blog, bugzilla, etc.) is to be replaced, by public infrastructure and services such as GitHub, etc. wherever possible.

With the new freedom there will also be more responsibility for the community. While 1&1 developers might continue to contribute to qooxdoo as their job responsibilities permit, the driving force behind the project will be you, the experts and collaborators right within the community. qooxdoo will now depend on your contributions (ideas, code, infrastructure, money, etc) and benefit from your engagement.

We have seen a number of qooxdoo-based projects being discussed on the mailing list in the past. And we know of a few other projects using qooxdoo as key element that are not publicly visible. Let’s bundle our resources to make qooxdoo even better. As there are so many talented and enthusiastic qooxdoo users this transformation is going to succeed. The qooxdoo.org association will provide the vessel for this endeavour.

At this point we would like to thank 1&1 for the tremendous effort put into this framework over all those years, and moreover, for the generosity to make it available as an Open Source project since early 2005 and now allowing qooxdoo to be further evolved by a grown-up community.

We will let you know once the administrative steps are completed. In the meantime please feel free to send any of your comments/suggestions/pledges.

Cheers,

Andreas, Fritz, Tobi and supporters


License Update

qooxdoo as an Open Source project has come a long way. As such it has always been and will continue to be available under liberal open-source licenses.

In order to simplify on the current, rather complex dual-licensing scheme (LGPL/EPL), as well as to better align with licenses typically applied to similar JS frameworks nowadays, qooxdoo is going to update to the
MIT License, http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT.

MIT License

The MIT license is very popular, and also being pretty straightforward it is easily been applied by users and contributors. Simplifying and modernizing qooxdoo’s licensing terms is one of the steps to further open up the project and to make it easier for the open-source community to contribute and participate, now under more comprehensible terms.

Procedure

With the proposed change to the MIT license all past and current collaborators with substantial contributions to qooxdoo (i.e. documented by the copyright in the file headers) are going to be contacted by email and asked for agreeing to the updated licensing terms. Given the benefits and the lack of real disadvantages with regard to switching from the previous dual-licensing of the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) & the Eclipse Public License (EPL) towards the MIT License, we expect to receive the contributors’ Ok soon.

Once this round of feedback has been successfully completed, code base and documentation are going to adjust terms properly, and ultimately a future qooxdoo 6.0 release will ship under the MIT license.

Thanks to the qooxdoo open-source community for supporting these improvements.

 

qooxdoo-contrib 3.0

For many years now an infrastructure for user-provided contributions to the qooxdoo framework has been available. As most of you certainly know, it goes by the name of “qooxdoo-contrib“.

While sticking to the very name, it has seen many significant changes over time. For instance, from its initial SVN repo at Sourceforge; over its deep (but often problematic) integration into the framework’s toolchain; all the way to a semi-dynamic, web-based catalog. Nevertheless it (mostly) kept moving into the right direction, trying to make it easier to collect, manage and use contributions to qooxdoo.

Just recently qooxdoo-contrib has been brought into a fairly decent state, allowing for easier participation. Much feedback from users and contributors has been incorporated into its fundamental overhaul.

To test-drive the new infrastructure, we invited Norbert Schröder for his recent theme contributions. He successfully managed to add, modify and publish the following three themes – all by himself:

DarkGraydientSilverBlue

The former qooxdoo-contrib has now been switched to the new infrastructure. That doesn’t mean qooxdoo-contrib is “done”. There are still some tasks to get rid of the old infrastructure entirely.

Moreover, qooxdoo-contrib might even look quite different in the future. Not just in terms of a nicer presentation, maybe also in its technical base for managing user-contributed packages. But that also depends on you. Because its further evolution (in terms of appearance, content, infrastructure) can now – for the first time – be handled according to the need and engagement of the community. The infrastructure of qooxdoo-contrib has therefore been made self-contained, transparently being hosted at Github, allowing but also requesting interested people to engage in improving it.

The current state of qooxdoo-contrib may be just an intermediate milestone, but a good starting point for the community to further improve it. For instance, to streamline it, to make it fool-proof, to automate it. Get familiar with the current infrastructure and the procedures, check out its concise documentation at Github. Pull requests welcome. Feel free to use the qooxdoo-devel mailing list for discussions.

On a side note, the work on the new qooxdoo-contrib, built upon a transparent Github infrastructure for easier management and collaboration, was also to evaluate to move other parts of the qooxdoo project over to Github. I.e. not only leveraging Git repos, but gh-pages or wiki (instead of the Dokuwiki-based homepage), issue tracking (instead of Bugzilla), etc. Some of the project’s proprietary infrastructure just needs to be replaced by more manageable solutions, open for participation. While this is still work in progress and under evaluation, it’s certainly the way to go to allow for easier management and collaboration of the qooxdoo project in general. Stay tuned.

qooxdoo 5.0.1 released

A new maintenance release of the framework is available.

qooxdoo 5.0.1 ships with a few bugfixes over the previous qooxdoo 5.0 release. It particularly improves support for Microsoft Edge, the new browser of Windows 10, which was finally released after qooxdoo 5.0.

As a patch release qooxdoo 5.0.1 is fully backwards-compatible to the previous 5.0 version. Nothing needs to be changed in your existing apps if they are based on 5.0.

Even for apps based on qooxdoo 4.1.x updating should be rather trivial; just consult the previous release info. When upgrading from an older version, use migration support to get directly to 5.0.1.

Download qooxdoo 5.0.1. Check out the release notes and the manual.

Many thanks to the community for reporting issues and your support in improving the framework.