The Joomla! CMS Project recently announced a change in the policy for listing 3rd-party extensions on their popular JED site. The new policy requires that all 3rd-party extensions must use the GPL license in order to be listed on the directory. Furthermore, they will no longer accept extensions that contain encrypted code, which some open source software developers use to discourage individuals and warez sites from redistributing their software.
This came as no big surprise to me, as Joomla's overall policy on extension licensing, which was announced about 18 months ago, is that extensions to Joomla!, which is GPL, are, by definition, GPL since they are considered "derivative works."
While I personally have no problem with this new policy (other than wondering why GPL-compatible licenses are not allowed), I wondered if anyone had really thought about what the long term effect of a GPL-only policy would be on one of Joomla's often stated future goals. That being the desire to have the Joomla! CMS spawn a companion "application framework" upon which a number of diverse applications could be built.
One thought that crossed my mind while burning a minimal amount of brain cells thinking about this was: