Check out the LimeSurvey source code on GitHub!

Withdrawing 2.0a and the reasons behind it

5 years 3 months ago #69676 by drivencompassion
+1 Symfony2

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5 years 3 months ago #69686 by Mazi
After weighing the pros and cons we decided to use "Yii" framework because it supports all features we need, is lightwieght and fast and the difference to CodeIgniter is not that big which makes porting easier.

Some Google Code in students already started porting the first parts so we hope to get lots of the porting done during Google Code in contest.

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)'"

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5 years 2 months ago #69841 by tacman1123
I'd like to chime in and support a license change. I spent about a month trying to integrate LimeSurvey into our application without violating the GPL, and in the end couldn't do it.

The GPL is an infective license. Any code it touches becomes infected with the GPL license, it is a license designed to make proprietary software open.

LimeSurvey is a fabulous survey tool. But let's say you want to ingrate a survey into your medical clinic software. Suddenly, you can't sell your medical clinic software without making your code open as well.

LS is in need of a pretty significant rewrite. I was excited to see that it was moving to MVC, but the first look at the CI port showed that it retained most of the architecture of building up HTML internally and displaying it at the end. The view file I looked at was little more than "print header, body, footer".

It appears that the LS API is also dead, which means that there's absolutely no way to easily use LS with a commercial application without infecting your code. For a while I used LS as the UI to creating the survey and reviewing the results, and did some of our processing internally on the database tables, but it became a nightmare trying to manage the logins and security. The LS 1.x code is very, very difficult to extend, and because it's not in github it's not even easy to fork and make corrections.

Anyway, I'm a huge fan of LimeSurvey, but hate the license restrictions. I have a client that needs a multi-lingual survey, and I'm probably going to install LS for them, but if and when they want my software, I'll have to explain why it uses a completely different system.

So all that is to say -- please figure out a way to make a less restrictive license, even if that means contacting previous contributors and asking them to switch to Apache or Berkeley or something else.

Thank you for your consideration,


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5 years 2 months ago - 5 years 2 months ago #69843 by DenisChenu

tacman1123 wrote: But let's say you want to ingrate a survey into your medical clinic software. Suddenly, you can't sell your medical clinic software without making your code open as well.

Stop this FUD !

You can integrate any GPL tools on any proprietary software !
  1. You made what you want with is you internal software. And if you don't distribute your software the there aren't any source of problem. source
  2. You can offer service with a modified source of limesurvey without distribute your modified source : GPL is not AGPL. source 1 , source 2
  3. You can have link between GPL tools and proprietary tools without GPL contradiction. GPL tools don't have to be a part of a proprietary tool only. You have to separate the tools clearly source 1 , source 2

And , please read the licence ! And somlething more : LimeSUrvey is under GPLv2 and more, then it's less strict than GPLv3.

For your problem:
you can sell GPL software, but with the source code .
If you want to sell a proprietary software using LimeSurvey, the separate the 2 tools clearly !


PS: If you want to have a proprietary software with qsame function than LimeSUrvey, then rewrite LimeSurvey ... :p

Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).
Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by DenisChenu. Reason: Type /selling GPL software

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5 years 2 months ago - 5 years 2 months ago #69862 by tacman1123
Continuing the medical clinic example. If you offer a service you can integrate Limesurvey, agreed. But then a practice says "You know, we don't want to connect all our patient records to the internet, and we have to integrate with our insurance module, blah blah". So you install your software and their server, and suddenly you're "distributing" your software and it's subject to GPL.

My concern is that GPL is intended to infect. It's not just additions and enhancements to LS, but rather anything that integrates it.

And yes, you can separate it, but the code isn't designed for easy modular integration. I would love the survey to be integrated like a forum -- here's some functionality you can easily add.

I appreciate your response. Can you provide more insights about what the goals and intentions of the authors are regarding the license? Rather than saying "this is what the license allows", say "there are the restrictions we want", and see if the license really reflects that.

As a software developer, I'm afraid of the GPL -- a small mistake could cost you your entire business, so I'm hesitant to use it. I'd love to be educated correctly if I'm wrong.


Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by tacman1123. Reason: factual correction

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5 years 2 months ago - 5 years 2 months ago #69865 by c_schmitz

I am sorry but that's not true. GPL does not 'infect' other software on the same server - it is a common misconception around GPL. Shnoulles responses pretty much says that, too.

Better API: Sure, valid point
Modularity: Yes, for the future a plugin-like architecture for question types, authentication and other reasonable areas is planned

You are absolutely right that the code is not very modular, currently. But with LimeSurvey 2.0 we will most certainly start a new advanced API based on SOAP, JSON-RPC or XML-RPC (specifics are clear on that yet). I already started to code an XML_RPCL one on the CI version but with the port to the new framework this got thrown back for now. Still, creating an API like that forces to make the code modular and in the process I refactored big parts of it already.

Some parts of the new version are still not refactored to real MVC, others look great already with proper views. You must have caught an not-refactored part when checking it out. Rome was not built in one day, so bear with us. Fact is that we do not intend to change the license.

Other GPL software products(e.g. Joomla) have a thriving community regarding extensions, many of these extensions are commercial and still open source. That's were we want to go, too.

Best regards

Carsten Schmitz
LimeSurvey project leader
Last Edit: 5 years 2 months ago by c_schmitz.

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5 years 2 months ago #69870 by tacman1123
Would you consider maintaining a github repository for the code? That way, developers can clone it and create their own branches, which will pull requests could then be brought back into the master.

We disagree on the license issue, and from what you're saying I've understood things correctly -- if I want proprietary software to use anything with LimeSurvey, I need to wait for the API or be extremely careful how they're integrated. I'd be happy to pull out the problematic issues, release those changes in github and under GPL, then keep adequate distance between the my application and the modified / more modular LimeSurvey.

I think switching to github would really open up letting other developers contribute.


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5 years 2 months ago #70059 by TMSWhite

I'm intrigued with your goals vis-a-vis medical surveys, since that is where I started my survey work over a decade ago. Can you say more about what you want to accomplish and the barriers you are running into?

As to helping create a more modular LimeSurvey, you can do that with SubVersion without needing a switch to GitHub (especially since not all of our developers can easily work with GitHub). What I and others have have done in the past is to ask c_schmitz to create a "personal" development branch of LS, which becomes our own sandbox in which to do exactly what you describe. I used my to develop Expression Manager without worrying about keeping in sync with active changes in the 1.91+ and 2.0alpha branches. We can then merge that back into the main branch using standard Subversion tools. Would that approach work for you?


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5 years 2 months ago #70076 by tacman1123
Thanks, Tom, ExpressionEngine is interesting.

I'm not really doing medical surveys, although I did look at a project implementing a bunch of federal standardized questionnaires. I was using it as an example, though, because medical practice software would clearly be something that someone might want to sell / distribute but keep closed, yet may want to survey their patients as well, so I was trying to get an answer about how the licensing would work. The answer appears to be that it can't, because GPL doesn't allow closed projects to integrate directly.

I've replicated all the survey functionality in our project to avoid licensing problems, but I really like the LS admin and reporting. So much so that I had originally written our software to populate the LS database, just so that someone could log in and edit / report from that UI. Unfortunately, it got too complex after a while, so now we're re-writing the reporting as well. Sigh.

I'm revisiting LS because a client asked me to help them prepare a survey in Vietnamese, and the LS multi-lingual stuff is great. So I'm probably going to install it for them and teach them how to use it. I'm familiar with CodeIgniter, so I was excited about the possibility of adding GPL extensions that could at least export LS to our format and vice-versa, we'll see what happens with the new framework.

Or maybe the new framework will at least make it possible to add an API, which would be very, very helpful.


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5 years 2 months ago #70792 by snathan99
I realized you have removed 2.0 from public distribution. I would like to view the code for purely "Academic" purposes. Is there a link you can email me? Appreciate it.


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