InfoWorld's Test Center picks the best open source development tools of 2011
There are more slick open source NoSQL projects than there are fingers on two hands. All of the top versions have something nice to recommend about them, as well as their own cheering sections. But we can't give an award to all of them, even though they're pretty cool.
We can credit MongoDB with single-handedly drawing attention to the Affero General Public License (AGPL). The license is generally considered to be a stronger lever to compel users to share their source code because it considers creating a website to be equivalent to distributing the software. The GPL forces programmers to share code only when they "distribute" the software, something that most people feel doesn't apply to putting up a website. The AGPL is an attempt to plug this loophole, and MongoDB is one of the more prominent packages to test it.
Already website owners and software developers are wondering whether they're being fair with the MongoDB community when they set up their servers. Is the AGPL the right solution? People who love the minimal strictures of BSD-style licenses will probably balk and choose projects with looser licenses. Others, though, might be attracted because they feel that forcing everyone to share will be fairer to all. Forcing everyone to contribute may make a stronger project.
No one knows how this will work out, but it's nice that MongoDB is taking a chance and experimenting with it.
The Bossies 2011 index:
This slideshow, "Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source application development software," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in application development and open source at InfoWorld.com.