R Kent James edited this page Mar 14, 2018 · 2 revisions

Is ExQuilla free software (either without cost, or free to modify)?

Free as in without cost

Currently, ExQuilla is free of charge to use. ExQuilla versions 52.* and earlier require a license to function, but those licenses are being given out automatically without charge from our license server. ExQuilla versions 60.* will not require a license.

If you need a license for ExQuilla, go to this page to get a free license: http://mesquilla.net/buylicense.html

Prior to March 2018, ExQuilla required a paid license to function, which cost approximately $10 per year for a single user. Those licenses were valid for a year after purchase. In reviewing the likely future of Thunderbird as well as my personal circumstances, there are serious doubts about whether an extension as complex as ExQuilla will be viable in major releases of Thunderbird past version 60. The next major release of Thunderbird, version 67, will likely be released in March 2019. It did not appear that I could guarantee licensed ExQuilla users compatibility with the current version of Thunderbird once Thunderbird 67 is released, so I decided to stop selling licenses in March 2018, and allow free use of ExQuilla.

The future of ExQuilla licensing and compatibility in Thunderbird 67 and beyond is currently undecided, but the most likely path is that ExQuilla will not function in Thunderbird versions 67 and later that will release in March 2019.

Free as in freedom to modify

The code for ExQuilla, since it is released as Javascript code as a Mozilla legacy extension, has been fully viewable since the ExQuilla 52 release. Partly for that reason, in March 2019 the ExQuilla code was put on a public Github repository. However, I did not relicense the code at the point to be Free Software, so it is still subject to full copywrite protection from the original author (R. Kent James kent@caspia.com). The reason that the code is not being made free at this point is that I do not believe it is likely that someone will be able to maintain that code for Thunderbird 67 and beyond without a solid revenue stream. To preserve the possibility of returning to a paid license in Thunderbird 67, should ExQuilla continue to be supported in that version, I keep the license proprietary.

If you want to contribute changes to ExQuilla, you are free to post pull requests, but I will require that rights be assigned before incorporating any changes.

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