Juce's 'truck-number' and long range business plan


Sorry to bring up a morbid topic, but the fact that we just lost our opposition leader in Canada very suddenly made me think of it. (RIP Jack Layton).

What is the business plan for Raw Material Software if anything happens to Jules? The truck-number looks like it’s pretty low. I understand that Juce has dual licensing, so that GPL users ought to be able to continue using the forked community version and it would likely continue to grow. Does Raw Material have a plan in regards to the continued development and licensing of Juce for commercial apps if Jules is no longer involved? Are there more developers in the company who would continue, or would Juce change licenses to a more permissive open source license or would it just halt?

Crappy stuff can happen sometimes. It’s a sad day in our country. =(

XORNOT Studios
Vancouver, BC


I have a basement full of frozen clones of myself. When I die, an automatic system will simply defrost the next one and it will take over.



It is however, a serious question. I ( and no doubt lots of others ) get nervous about committing a lot of development to a platform backed by only one person. I would hope that there has been some kind of planning in that regard. I’ve watched web development frameworks die as a result of low truck numbers, with unhappy users left over.



Well, the truck number is 1. But I’m a non-smoker, if that helps.


Well I guess that answer means there is no plan in place? What would happen to commercial licenses to Juce then Jules?

I’m honestly surprised at the flippancy of your answers to this, it certainly seems like this is being dismissed as something that should be no concern. I may well still use Juce, put it gives me serious pause for thought about the wisdom of buying a commercial license. Are you saying no commercial licensees have ever raised the question of what happens if Raw Material goes under? I have a hard time believing from your user list that none of those companies are concerned, given that I’ve had had clients concerned about it a number of times for my two man with regards to our database application framework.

If you have no plan in position for that possibility, my humble suggestion is that you might assuage client concerns by having some kind of license reversion in place. IE if Raw Material folds because of the founder leaving, the Juce license reverts to a more permissive open source license.

I get that Juce is also under GPL, and that the community fork would likely continue, but that wouldn’t help anyone using Juce in a commercial app.


You’re the only person who’s ever mentioned this. None of my clients - not even the global-corporations - have ever indicated any concern at all.

Maybe you’re misunderstanding how open-source works… You can keep using it in (at least) its current state, under the GPL or commercial license, forever. You wouldn’t have to suddenly stop using it if I died. The worst that’ll happen is that you’d find a bug and have to fix it out yourself, rather than me doing it for you.


Of course I understand that. I do actually develop software for a living. =) But there is still a big difference between being married to code that is actively maintained and code that isn’t, as I’m sure you appreciate. One of Juce’s strong points seems to be how actively you maintain it.

I can assure you that I’m not the only one who’s had these thoughts though, because I found other threads on the same topic raising that exact concern about Juce. I guess I’m just the only one who raised the concern to you, big difference there. I’m sure lots of people have eliminated Juce for those reasons, just as lots of people love Juce for other reasons. ( Just as I’m sure that my company has been eliminated from purchasing decisions for the same reasons, and others are happy to use the work of a small shop )

I may well use Juce regardless, I’m evaluating things at this point, and part of that evaluation consists of looking at the future livelihood of the platform, what the licensing situations are, etc. I’m certainly not alone in that regard, witness the online furor over the future of Qt and the impact on licensees. I have in the past experienced the near-death of an open source framework that we used for my business, and while I could keep developing apps on on an old release, it certainly wouldn’t be a good long range business plan. I don’t want to repeat that experience to be honest.

Of course it’s your decision how to run Raw Material, and I appreciate that. And it’s pretty awesome that Juce exists free for open source apps, kudos to you, and my apologies if my concerns are coming across wrong. However, I maintain that they are valid concerns, and deserving of respectful answers.


BTW, a clarification on the license revision suggestion. I realize that if Raw Material folds, licensees are free to keep using Juce as it is, and that the open source release may continue it’s existence. However, the existence of Juce for commercial apps would change, in that from that point on, it is likely that only the GPL version would continue to be developed by the community. If that happened, a community runs with GPL Juce and continues work on it, then you would have a situation where there was a fork, usable for open source only, with a continued development path, and a frozen version that can be used for commercial releases and will never change. I don’t honestly think that under that situation too many commercial licensees would want to invest long term work using that frozen version. ( maybe I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t, having been in a similar spot before).

So my point was that some kind of a clause that states that if Raw Material goes under, all of Juce is released under GPL/MIT/BSD whatever, would mean that it would be possible for commercial apps to continue using a version of Juce that might continue to be developed. Still a big might though. Of course you can reject that idea, it’s your business, but I wanted to clarify that these are not ramblings of someone with no understanding of open source, but rather concerns of someone who has been making their living coding with open source frameworks, and its perfectly normal to be concerned about those kind of issues when making decisions that can affect long term business plans.

Thanks for clarifying your position at any rate.


No, I have no intention of offering any kind of clause like that.

I think you need to ask yourself: Is the library in its current state worth the admission price for you? If so, great. If not, let me know what’s missing.

But to say that it’s no good without some kind of guaranteed access to a stream of future enhancements seems a bit odd to me, because you’ve got no idea what those future enhancements may or may not be. Perhaps I’ll suddenly decide to take the whole thing in a direction that’s totally incompatible with what you’re doing… If you’re going to start panicking over possible doomsday scenarios, that’s probably at least as big a risk for you as my dying would be.


I’m personally worried that you won’t allow amalgamation, and the Vinn will take out a hit on you.

To the OP: however serious your point may be, as a race, we’re unable to not find the humour in it. It’s either what helped us win or lose an Empire: no-one’s sure which.



OP : I think you didn’t read the licence correctly. If Jules dies, all Juce users are supposed to commit suicide, by burning ourselves.


Ah yes, my lawyer warned me against that clause, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable.