The rise of the Server Side Public License (SSPL)

The Redict fork of Redis looks promising:

By using a copyleft license, all changes to Redict are required to be distributed using the same LGPL free software license, guaranteeing that modified versions of the software will be free.

There are many copyleft licenses and LGPL was chosen as the most suitable for Redict. The Affero GNU General Public License (AGPL) is a common choice for projects of this nature, particularly those run by stewards who, like Redis® Ltd, would prefer that cloud providers do not sell their software. The AGPL is a fine license, but we want to make it as easy as possible for users to comply with the Redict license and we do not see any reason to discourage cloud providers from making use of Redict. EUPL was considered, but was not selected for the same reasons.

LGPL was chosen over the GNU General Public License to reduce concerns that integrations with Redis® compatible Modules or Lua plugins would be subject to the “virality” of the GNU GPL.

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The Valkey Redis fork is the one with cloud capital behind it:

Industry participants, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Oracle, Ericsson, and Snap Inc. are supporting Valkey.

And the license is still a permissive one:

Valkey will continue development on Redis 7.2.4 and will keep the project available for use and distribution under the open source Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) 3-clause license.

It’s worth a skim through Redict 7.3.0 is now available | Redict which highlights the differences. I find redict quite appealing from this perspective.

we are focusing on stability and long-term maintenance, and on achieving excellence within our current scope. We believe that Redict is near feature-complete and that it is more valuable to our users if we take a conservative stance to innovation and focus on long-term reliability instead.

We have also taken this opportunity to re-evaluate our infrastructure and double down on using free software. Rather than continuing to use the proprietary GitHub forge, we have elected to use the non-profit, free software Codeberg as our home

I’ve been using redis in projects for ages, and I never use the really fancy features of it, for me it’s something many tools just plug into, storing django sessions, huey task running queue, basic caching… etc.

Whereas my sense is once the Garantia (later Redis Labs, later just Redis…) got their hands on it (see RIP Redis: How Garantia Data pulled off the biggest heist in open source history) it grew and grew in features and complexity because:
a) it needed to serve huuuge massive scale complex cloud company problems
b) it needed to grow as a business to eventually make money

For almost all the use cases I’m interested in (small scale community-level deployments of FOSS tools), the simple, basic version is much more useful and appealing, and that’s where redict seems to target.

… it might be that valkey still can effectively serve this use case though, and with those big companies on it, looks likely to work out. Perhaps like the postgres model, which is supported by various big companies and still works for the little person :person_shrugging: