Withdrawing 2.0a and the reasons behind it

Unfortunately we have some bad news this time. We withdrew LimeSurvey 2.0a a couple days ago because of license issues, we also advise you not to use or distribute version 2.0a. Here is what happened:

When we chose a PHP framework as a base for future development we decided for CodeIgniter (CI) because it was lightweight, fast and easy to learn. Their website said that 'CodeIgniter is licensed under an Apache/BSD-style open source license' so everyone assumed that the license would be GPL-compatible because LimeSurvey is under GPL. (even one of the past CodeIgniter developers, Derek Allard, thought so because he developed an application based on CI being under GPL). A new team member, Tom Klingenberg, joined us a couple month ago and pointed out there might be something wrong with the CodeIgniter license. We started to investigate and contacted the CodeIgniter project lead, a company named EllisLab. It went downhill from there. As we insisted on getting some conclusive response if the license is GPL-compatible we seemed to have woken some sleeping dogs. About 10 days ago EllisLab suddenly changed the license in their source code repository on the future CodeIgniter version 3.0 to OSL (Open Software license) which is incompatible to the GPL for numerous reasons. A huge discussion about this started in their forums, especially why this license and why this was decided without including the community or past contributors. EllisLab reacted by publishing a number of articles on their blog 'educating' their community about license issues. That's when the real bomb went off: The current CI license is also not GPL-compatible. Many many people assumed otherwise before that and so people are angry and disappointed. In the days after that announcement EllisLab did not revise their decision. There will be no GPL-compatible license on CodeIgniter and they will be using OSL (which we think is kinda stupid for a PHP framework). For us that meant that LimeSurvey 2.0a is/was in violation of the CI/GPL license and so we had to withdraw it.

What now?

In the upcoming days we will decide on a new PHP framework to use. For the previous port done to CodeIgniter by two of our team members we needed full two month of fulltime work, which means that 4 man-month of work went partially down the drain. Luckily most frameworks are similar and we won't have to re-invent the wheel completely. But the port to a new framework will take time so expect a delay on a new version for another 3 months at a minimum.

Who's to blame?

Sure, not checking the current CodeIgniter license closely enough is to blame on our own stupidity - but in the available information at the time and threads in their forums EllisLab never disclaimed that their license is GPL-compatible. There were even GPL components listed in their Wiki. EllisLab had it in their hands to choose a better license for the next generation of CI. We did alot of arguing in the forums, there was a uservoice with hundred supporters, we even contacted them personally but nothing helped. Obviously EllisLab only cares only about their own IP (how legal that is could be discussed because no past contributor was asked about the license change) not about their community or other open Source projects (they weren't even aware of Derek Allards project) based on CI.

Contrary to this we respect our past contributors. LimeSurvey was and will be always under GPL license. Please bear with us and be patient waiting for the next version of LimeSurvey. If you are a PHP coder, have great experience with PHP frameworks and like to give a helping hand porting to a new framework, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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