WebMessenger vs. Centova Messenger FAQ

Q: What is the status of the WebMessenger project?

A: WebMessenger is no longer under development. We are now focusing exclusively on development of Centova Messenger.

Q: Will the WebMessenger website and forums still be maintained?

A: No. The vast majority of the posts to the WebMessenger forums were from users requesting support and bug fixes, despite the fact that the project has been unmaintained for quite some time.

To avoid frustrating or misleading users, we have removed the WebMessenger web site and forums.

Q: Is Centova Messenger backwards-compatible with WebMessenger?

A: Centova Messenger is essentially a brand new product, and as such, it is not backwards-compatible with WebMessenger.

Q: What are the system requirements compared to WebMessenger?

A: Centova Messenger should use roughly the same amount of system resources as WebMessenger. Centova Messenger now runs properly under Windows as well as Linux, however, and is supported under Apache 1.3.x and IIS 6+.

Q: What costs will be associated with Centova Messenger?

A: Centova Messenger licenses will be available under several different pricing plans. Pricing will be based on the total number of accounts required.

There will also be a free package available for personal, non-commercial use.

The Centova Messenger product should be available in late October, 2004. More information about pricing will be available upon release.

Q: Is Centova Messenger an open-source product?

A: No, Centova Messenger will not be released under an open-source license.

WebMessenger was originally released under an open-source license with hopes of attracting other open-source developers, because the creator of the project did not have sufficient time to maintain the project on his own. Unfortunately, this approach failed -- while the project became popular, there was little developer interest, and the project was essentially abandoned for many months.

Faced with the decision to either let the project die, or revive it as a proprietary product (the proceeds of which can be used to fund development), we have opted for the latter.

We understand that this may upset some existing users, but the alternative would have been to cease development permanently. We feel that this is a far better choice.

Q: Can I still customize the Centova Messenger code?

A: Yes! We certainly do encourage our customers to customize and modify the Centova Messenger code as necessary to extend and integrate it with their sites or web applications.

In fact, we even provide both a PHP-based class API, and a CGI-based web API to assist you in integrating Centova Messenger with your own site or code.

Q: Isn't it illegal to relicense GPL code?

A: No, because we hold the copyright to the original WebMessenger code on which Centova Messenger is based. (The author of WebMessenger owns Centova Technologies).

The copyright holder for any work may relicense his work under any other license, regardless of any licenses it was previously released under. (Other developers do not have the same right, of course, because they do not hold the copyright for our code.) Refer to the GNU GPL FAQ for more information.

Q: Didn't WebMessenger include third-party GPL code?

A: Aside from class.jabber.php, WebMessenger included only a handful of lines of third-party GPL code. Those few lines were removed during our rewrite. (This can be verified by any Centova Messenger licensee by simply examining the code.)

Although approximately 90% of the code in our Jabber library has been completely rewritten from scratch, it still does contain portions of the original class.jabber.php code. We have made arrangements with Carlo Zottmann, the original author of the class.jabber.php code, to relicense our Jabber class under the GNU LGPL (rather than the GNU GPL). This allows us to include it in our proprietary application.

This also means that our Jabber library is still free software under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. You can download it here.