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Open Source FLOSS Exceptions

April 28, 2008 | Jack Slocum

Ext JS Open SourceWith our recent change to the GPL v3 some concerns have been brought up by the Ext Community. We are hoping to address some of those concerns via community discussion of two new FLOSS exceptions.

The first step for us is the Open Source License Exception for Extensions. It is currently in draft status and we are seeking input from the community before we have it finalized.

The intention of this exception is to allow for more liberal licensing of extensions, language packs, themes and open source developer toolkits and frameworks for Ext libraries under a variety of open source licenses. (Note: this exception is not for applications and does not grant any exception for the library itself. A FLOSS exception on the libraries for open source applications will be addressed in the exception discussed in “Next Up” below).

The discussion is here:

The latest draft is here:

Please chime in and provide input and feedback.

Next Up

After the Extension Exception is complete, the next step will be drafting a FLOSS exception similar to the one by MySQL AB for both Ext JS and Ext GWT:

This exception will be for open source applications that use Ext JS. It will have a few distinct additional grants the Extension Exception doesn’t have (e.g. “bundling” will be ok) but won’t be applicable to extensions or toolkits, as that’s what the Extension Exception is for.

We would appreciate any input and feedback you can provide on it as well. We expect to move quickly and we will let the community know when there is a draft ready for review and input.

Once both those are complete, we also hope that those that participate in their review and drafting can also help us to create an FAQ explaining what they cover, how they work, etc by contributing questions that will be asked by open source developers looking to use them.


The community speaks very loudly and we have heard you. We are hoping these exceptions will not only provide for continued usage for open source users that are not able to use GPL code in their projects, but also with greater open source license flexibility than has ever been available for Ext JS.

There are 27 responses. Add yours.


7 years ago

Wow, that was fast.  Way to respond to the criticism!  We knew you wouldn’t let us down.  We love your work.

Jack Slocum’s Blog - » Ext JS License

7 years ago

[...] Please give us your input!  It’s not right the amount of personal attacks I have been receiving lately. I have people questioning my ethics, business practices and saying we changed Ext JS to GPL v3 because my (and I quote) “greed for money came before your moral ethics”. [...]

Open Source License Exception for Extensions | Gui

7 years ago

[...] Ken Udas wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt… via community discussion of two new FLOSS exceptions. The first step for us is the Open Source License Exception for Extensions. It is currently in draft status and we are seeking input from the community before we have it finalized. [...]

Ajaxian » Ext JS responds with Open Source F

7 years ago

[...] Slocum and his team are listening, and appear to be working with the community to clear things up:  With our recent change to the GPL v3 some concerns have been brought up by the Ext Community. We [...]

EXT JS and The Nightmare of (Open Source) License

7 years ago

[...] under GPL (or to buy additional licenses from authors of extensions? Update: Jack seems to have response to this issue). The major problem, on the other hand, is the community can no longer trust Jack & Co. for the [...]


7 years ago

Jack, good to see your response to these ‘issues’.  For my 2 cents worth, I think ExtJS is the best thing since sliced bread, and to show my support, I am going to go ahead and purchase a commercial license in the next few hours.

Keep up the good work, and never stop talking about your kids either…I know I can’t! smile


7 years ago

Do you remember way back when Jack Slocom wrote JavaScript instead of legal documents? Good times…


Javascript News » Blog Archive » Ext J

7 years ago

[...] Slocum and his team are listening, and appear to be working with the community to clear things up:  With our recent change to the GPL v3 some concerns have been brought up by the Ext Community. We [...]

Andrei Neculau

7 years ago

At this point, I’m lost in legal issues.

On Ajaxian, there’s a nice comment that tries to put things in order by asking the right questions:

Maybe by putting the answers online on will completely settle things once and for all, no matter what license ExtJS uses.


7 years ago

This change in license is rather troubling to me. I will probably have to stick with previous versions of ExtJs that were under LGPL and therefore the ExtJs project is dead to me. The viral nature of the GPL is just too problematic even with the exceptions. I have been using ExtJs in my open source project mojoPortal ( which is primarily licensed under the CPL. Even though CPL is one of the licenses in the extensions terms it still poses problems for me. I’m not a lawyer but I know I need to stay away from GPL code in my work or else I will need a lawyer. I really wish you had not made this decision to change to GPL. What a bummer.

Joe Audette


7 years ago

What I need are answers to the questions on the ajaxian post as referenced by @Andrei Necaulau.  Along with some more corporate-type questions below:

1 - I have a standard data table on an intranet-only webpage, and I’d like to use the Ext grid to render the data. 

2 - I want to make an order entry screen out of vanilla ext components (using a viewport and json to build it). This would be available on my company’s client extranet, or on the intranet.

Is the new license scheme prohibiting me from doing this?  It seems like I’ve been cornered into switching things to an alternative AJAX framework (yui, dojo, whatever), OpenEXT, or flex for the sole reason of licensing confusion…

Andrei Neculau

7 years ago

It’s not my comment on Ajaxian, but thanks for attribution smile
But that is indeed what regular people should have somewhere to read. I kindly ask the ExtJS team to take all of those scenarios into analysis (and maybe other scenarios as well) and have it documented with the right answers.

Rob Whelan

7 years ago

I’ll second (3rd? 4th? 100th?) the request for responses to the questions in the Ajaxian thread; that’d be very helpful.  I’ve read the GPLv3, but I’m not at all clear on how it applies to different types of web applications for JS libraries included but not required for site functioning (most responsible developers build helpful degradation into their sites…), etc. etc.



7 years ago

First of all, I think it was really wise extjs project skipped the binary driven and therefore unfitting LGPL in favor of the current GPL version with the great exception for the commercial usage for those who want to. This makes licensing more serious in both cases: For Uncommercial and Commercial Open and for Commercial Closed Source Projects. The only type left behind might be uncommercial closed source projects like freeware apps but there might be option for them to switch to open source as well as well as thinking about becoming closed commercial.

And it makes the developers (project and external ones) work on the code base more seriuos.

For all those ranting here and there, most of the comments I was reading and the fear those (mostly bloggers) are facing are that they were not already aware of licensing. Most of the questions posed reveal general shortcomings in licensing knowledge.

The suggestion by Andrei Neculau to let the questions posed by deadcabbit on ajaxian do not hit the nail as well. Answering those questions might give a general view but licensing is bound to the concrete act of usage, and since there are a million possibilities, there must be some million questions asked and then answered. Therefore choosing a clear and well known license type does help a lot more and even people like deadcabbit or Andrei Neculau who pretend to be new to licensing. Extjs does inform about the licenses, you find the information here:

Then Max who fears to pay his lawyers, that aren’t cheap. Normally for licensing (any type) and more seriuos clients you mostly always need to contact your lawyers. But anyway, extjs makes your live much more cheaper with spending only little money for the commercial license. Just a scenario: Max re-licenses on LGPL to his customers but some court later on says that LGPL is defenetly not fitting for scripting languages. The LGPL then is lost as licensing for the code used and you are without license then. Since you are without license you were not able to re-license to your customers. Just a Scenario.

After the License Change things did infact got more simple and easier. Now with the FLOSS Exceptions drafted things become a little bit more complicated but I think these additional licensing terms do make live for people like Andrei Neculau and deadcabbit more easy because they get their questions clearly answered.

A little hint on the end: It is possible to license Images and such files shipped with extjs under GPL as well. GPL is not bound to sourcecode only.

I wish the project all the best and hope that the choice of license will help to evolve - on the codebase on commercially for the project.


7 years ago

As a developer of an Apache-licensed server app, I’m most interested in the FLOSS exception for open source applications.

We paid for a support contract on Ext with the understanding that we could distribute it as LGPL. Without this exception we will have to pull Ext functionality from the app.

We cannot switch licenses for our code at this point, and continuing to use a dead-end version of Ext is not attractive.

What is the timeframe for information on support for non-GPL open source applications?


7 years ago

Can someone simply explain to me (all of us) how these exceptions affect the possibility of Spring adopting Ext JS back into their web framework?  There is a great blog that explain’s Spring’s move from Ext JS to Dojo…


7 years ago

When is this going to be resolved?  It has been 3 months since this blog post was created, and there is still no answer.  There has been plenty of community feedback in the forums regarding the issue of FLOSS exceptions, community extensions, and GPL vs. LGPL.  There are many of us who have (or are considering) purchasing a commercial license, and we just want to see the results of the discussions come to a final resolution so that we can all decide if we want to continue using ExtJS or not.


7 years ago

In my opinion all this is not about ethics. It is about *law*.

Is it *legal* what you are doing? I mean, you have benefit for a long time of the help of many many people reporting bugs, creating tutorials, answering the forums and so on, all under the LGPL licence.

Now you want to sell the result of *their* work, along with yours.

What i’m trying to say is that this product can’t be *YOURS* after being under a LGPL for so long.

This project is not *YOURS* anymore! In my opinion this is not even legal!


7 years ago

i think i’ve talked before think enough of it.

I was angry about your decision…but i understand now.

Your work is invaluable Jack, you have done something very very special. It’s an absolutely outstanding framework, a great piece of software.

Without you Ext would not be possible.

Just remember the work of the community, by keeping on supporting them on the forums, and another thing: if you one day decide to drop this framework for some reason, please retain the paternity and revert it to LGPL license so that this work can be taken and developed by the community.

Wish the best.


7 years ago

I am so sorry you have to deal with all this instead of doing what you love which is creating this wonderful library. I love ExtJS, and we will be buying a commercial license since I have implemented and demo’ed extjs in prototype apps, clients want this and nothing else. It doesn’t matter to us what you decide on using as a licence. We will support you.


6 years ago

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6 years ago

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6 years ago

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6 years ago

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5 years ago

The tutorials cater to both new and experienced Ext developers and cover a broad range of topics including application design, DOM manipulation using DomQuery, Drag and Drop and Grid implementation to name of few. If you’re new to Ext, you definitely want to start off with the Introduction to Ext 2.0 tutorial. It’s an excellent starting point which highlights the usage of some very important features and helps to build the foundation for you to work from.
Advanced developers can take advantage of other tutorials such as Extending an Ext Class or Writing Ext 2 Plugins.

Edwin Noriego

5 years ago

wow cool here a vid on it


4 years ago

I’ll try to put this to good use immdeilatey.

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