Summary:

The folks at Meteor apparently listened to developer hue-and-cry and put the promising real-time JavaScript framework under a more open MIT license. That means it will be easier to build commercial software with Meteor than it would have been under the GPL license.

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Meteor, the real-time JavaScript framework that grabbed developer interest earlier this month, is now available under the MIT license, meaning it can be used to develop both open-source and commercial software.

As GigaOM reported two weeks ago, mobile and web app developers were initially intrigued by the new framework but then some of their ardor cooled when they realized Meteor was under the General Public License (GPL). Commenters on GigaOM and on StackOverflow lamented this choice, saying it would limit their ability to use the framework for commercial software development.

According to nkoren’s post to Hacker News last week:

As exciting as Meteor is (VERY!), their approach to licensing kills it for me. The products I am working on cannot be licensed under GPL for a large number of reasons, and their “talk to us and we’ll see what we can do” policy puts too much risk into my business plan … So, with considerable regret — because it looks awesome — Meteor is unusable to me. I’m certain that many other people are in the same boat.

According to the Meteor website, the MIT license was chosen:

 … to make Meteor the best possible platform for JavaScript development, it has to be part of a robust ecosystem. That means ubiquity and flexibility: permitting a wide variety of use cases and environments. Because Meteor is a framework, many developers have asked to integrate it with other code that may be GPL, MIT, or closed source. We think it’s vitally important that all these different use cases be easy and straightforward, and not carry restrictions on their use. The MIT license offers all of that.

The suggestion on Hacker News was for the Meteor people to put the framework instead under the MPL, BSD or MIT license. It appears that Meteor listened.

 Photo courtesy of Flickr user Dominic’s pics

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