When is free not free? When it comes to Appcelerator’s Titanium mobile developer tools, the answer is “when you make money from it.”  Confusion over the company’s license and some aggressive attempts at revenue generation by Appcelerator’s sales team have led to a complaint from a developer on the company’s forum accusing the company of “extortionate fees,” an apology from the CEO, and arguments about the ethical use of open-source licensing.

As a result, the company says it is working to remove the “confusion” around its licensing, which blends an open-source software developer kit with a proprietary integrated development tool. “Rarely does this happen that we get such confusion and noise (about the licensing),” Appcelerator Vice President of Products Jonathan Rende said in an interview with Ars. “We acknowledge there’s some confusion on our licensing. We hear the feedback loud and clear. We’re going to make sure the message is very clear as we approach customers in the future. Our developer community is super important to us, and we want to do right by them.”

Appcelerator’s Titanium development tool allows programmers to build native applications for Apple’s iOS and Google Android mobile operating systems using JavaScript and a framework that connects to the operating system’s native widgets (rather than using HTML5). It’s available in a free version called App Explore. The core software developer kit is available as open-source source code under an Apache license through GitHub. “We give our software away for FREE!” the Titanium Mobile “readme” proclaims. “In order to do that, we have programs for companies that require [an] additional level of assistance through training or commercial support, need special licensing or want additional levels of capabilities.”

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/2pSUKiienmg/