React is NOT Open Source Software

Update: Facebook just announced (Sat, Sep 22, 2017) that it will rerelease React (etc.) under MIT license! Looks like some things can be influenced by our words. Congrats everyone.

YES! Facebook listened to all of us.

VMWare banned React. The thread captures what some organizations—that actual have legal teams—are discovering about Facebook and the over-hyped React non-framework: it is not open source, or at least not safe open source.

Update: Preact looks ok instead but we prefer vue.js because it is just better. JSX is an abomination only Facebook could invent. Templates are much simpler to use and teach. For cases where a JSX would be needed you likely have something wrong with your design that could be simplified.

Update: Apache Foundation will also not allow it. Confirms not open source.

A Fuddy Thing Happened on the Way to 2017

2016 shall be the year remembered for its impossibly stupid realities: Trump was elected President and React became the “top” non-framework, framework fueled in large measure by stroking many into the pipe-dream of all-in-one, cross-platform, write-once-run-anywhere web and native apps that anyone over 30 remembers being horribly burned by (uhum, PhoneGap, Kivy, Java). It is like everyone has absolutely forgotten to even consider history.

Top of the Hype Cycle

React currently enjoys the popularity and unquestioning evangelism that its position at the top of the Gartner Hype Cycle inevitably grants good and bad technologies (remember Second Life?). Unfortunately this hype blinds less experienced developers, architects, even CTOs to the real danger presented by React’s License.

Not Listed on OSI Approved List

Then again, maybe no one has submitted it. For most organizations in the legal know it is worth waiting until it is.

Shared Concern About Using React

A lot of people are making their own declarations but none of them matter as much as lawyers, (this includes employees of Facebook posting on Facebook’s own React forums). The VMWare legal team is clearly one of them, El Camino Legal LLC is another.

At Least Know What You Are Getting Into

React is an exciting technology but not particularly as novel as other alternatives. If you do choose it, just be sure you know what you are getting into and—most of all—make sure your legal team approves.

SkilStak Prefers the Alternatives

As for me and SkilStak we prefer Vue.js over React (update: was Ember over React) for web and PWAs over React Native with SDL2 and/or PlayCanvas for truly performant, multi-platform apps and games.