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Red Hat's Big Developer Program Plan

Red Hat has entered into what its calling a partnership with privately held tools vendor Exadel. The deal calls for three Exadel products to be open sourced and rebranded as Red Hat products and is all part of a bigger plan that will culminate this summer in a new Red Hat Developer Program.

Exadel's RichFaces and Ajax4jsf will move over to Red Hat's JBoss.org collaborative development site and be renamed as JBoss RichFaces and JBoss Ajx4jsf. The two projects are frameworks for building Ajax applications on top of Java Server Faces technologies.

Exadel Studio Pro, which is an Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE), will be open sourced under the GPL and be renamed Red Hat Developer Studio. Red Hat is also moving the projects to JBoss.org in order to help build specific tooling around JBoss technology.

Donna Burke, vice president of marketing and product line management at Exadel, declined to comment on any financial aspects of the new partnership. Burke did, however, tell internetnews.com that the deal is a very important one for both parties.

Burke also noted that Exadel would continue to provide professional services for the three products, although Red Hat will now take the lead in determining the roadmap and direction where the projects go as well as hosting them at JBoss.org.

All three of the Exadel projects are being made available under open source licenses, with RichFaces and Ajax4jsf under the LGPL immediately and Studio Pro under GPL later this year.

Bryan Che, product manager at Red Hat, noted that Eclipse-based tools typically involve a mix of open source with proprietary value adds on top. What Red Hat is doing is providing the value add but maintaining it in open source with the GPL.

"We chose the GPL because we want to be able to protect the project and to make sure the value remains in open source," Che told internetnews.com.

Under the GPL, which is a reciprocal license, any changes made to an application need to be contributed back to the community. With a non-reciprocal license like the Eclipse Public License, there is no such requirement.

The Studio product will take longer to open source due to the amount of code involved in the project, Che noted. Which will work out well for Red Hat since it is planning on having the new Red Hat Developer Studio as a key component of a new developer program that will roll out this summer.

Che explained that the new Red Hat Developer Program will be a subscription-based service that will provide Red Hat Developer Studio, JBoss middleware and other related developer components. Support and educational items will also be part of the mix.

Though Che was unable to provide a firm date for the launch of the Red Hat Developer Program, he did admit that a good target to hit would be for it to be released at Red Hat's Summit event May 9-11 in San Diego.