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GNU Public License (GPL) vs. MIT: Choosing the best for Open Source

I've been looking into why WordPress chose the GNU Public License (GPL). I had an interesting chat with someone on, which you can check out right here). It hit me that GPL is smart because it stops people from taking the code private. You can use it, but you need to give credit and keep it open for everyone. That seems like a better deal than the MIT license, right? What's your take on that?

Let's say I let people play with my toy & make any changes to it. But if they make any changes / improvements to the toy, I can incorporate the same changes in my original toy. Then which licence is best to use?

I've been thinking that in the context of... of course... our new Open Source project WebCrumbs.

When considering open source licensing for a project like WebCrumbs, the choice between GNU General Public License (GPL) and MIT License often boils down to the philosophy and goals of the project. WordPress's choice of GPL aligns with its commitment to freedom and sharing, ensuring that derivatives of the software remain free and open source.

Under the GPL, any derivative work must also be distributed under the GPL, which means that if someone modifies the WordPress code, they must also share those modifications under the same license terms. This "copyleft" approach guarantees that the software and any derivatives of it remain free for all users. It’s a way to ensure that the community benefits from improvements and that the project remains a collective endeavor.

The MIT License, on the other hand, is more permissive, allowing anyone to do almost anything they want with the code, including making it proprietary, as long as they include the original copyright and license notice. This can be beneficial for encouraging wider adoption and use in a variety of projects, including commercial ones, as there are fewer restrictions on how the code can be used.

Choosing between these licenses can reflect a strategic decision based on how we envision the growth and development of WebCrumbs. If the aim is to foster a community that builds upon each other's work openly, GPL might be a better fit. If the goal is to maximize adoption and allow for more flexibility in how the code is used, then MIT might be preferable.

Both licenses have their merits, and the better choice really depends on the specific objectives and values of WebCrumbs as it positions itself as the WordPress for React. It's worth considering how these licenses align with the vision of creating a collaborative and open-source community while also encouraging innovation and extension of the platform.

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WebCrumbs aspires to be an industry-standard solution for React applications, positioned as the "WordPress for React." Whether you're a developer or not, you'll find it effortless to create, manage, and scale your React-based websites using our intuitive admin panel.

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Key Features

  • Plugin Platform: Integrate and manage React plugins to extend functionality effortlessly.
  • No-Code Admin Panel: Control every aspect of your website from a robust admin interface, no coding needed.
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Top comments (2)

samirmishra27 profile image

Great Read! πŸ˜„

opensourcee profile image

Inspired by you! Thanks for provoking it