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Servoy’s Web platform goes open source



Alex Handy
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May 7, 2010 —  European Web platform company Servoy announced this week that it will release its core libraries under the Affero General Public License (AGPL). Those libraries provide Java functions in a JavaScript-accessible Web layer.

Jan Aleman, CEO of Servoy, said his company's Web platform mixes the best of both worlds. “We've found a good mix of not being too runtime-oriented and not being too build-oriented. We don't generate Java code. Servoy uses a library of native Java code that has already been built [and] maps against those classes," he said.

"The scripting language in Servoy is JavaScript, but it all maps to native classes. Servoy has this library of objects, but at the end of the day, they are Java objects wrapped in JavaScript."

Aleman hopes that the open-source release of those core Java libraries will spark contributions from talented developers. While the release of these classes under the AGPL may appeal to Java developers, he said that they are not the target audience of the Servoy platform.

With JavaScript on top (as the developer's access layer), Servoy is aimed at Web-native coders. “Our target is not the hardcore Java developer," said Aleman. "They like complicated things, and we uncomplicate things. Our target group is someone who would be coding in a 4GL language, like Delphi [or] Visual Basic, and developers doing PHP or ASP."

The Servoy development libraries are expected to be available later this month from the company's Subversion servers.

Aleman said he chose the AGPL as the license for this release because of its simplicity and because of the hosted nature of many Servoy-based programs. The AGPL requires source code be made available for derivative works that are hosted as a network service. Thus, the AGPL encourages ISVs hoping to build software-as-a-service applications to engage with companies like Servoy for a commercial license.




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