Update: I have been using Apache Spark; and had very good experience with it; hence I’d recommend others to migrate to it instead (it is not quite as user friendly as Spark; until somebody makes a similar UI for it; but is much more powerful and is truly open source).
RapidMiner switched its license from AGPL to Business Source (LETS FORK IT!!!):
… the latest version, although still open source for most parts of the product, will only be available as a trial version or under an commercial license. [url]
I have been a big fan of RapidMiner for close to a decade now; and am quite saddened to see that it decided to leave the open source community; it is a great loss.
p.s. since RapidMiner is AGPL I am not even sure that it is legal for them not to release source of their future versions under AGPL (besides some of the code was contributed by community). I have nothing against dual licenses; and making money; but I just feel there is a better way. Finally, I feel that this is very unfair to the open source community.
What is the best alternative?
Fork the RM’s Community edition (it is under AGPL).
As Bradley Kuhn stated when faced with a similar situation:
Fork! In essence, don’t give into pressure by these companies to assign copyright to them. Get a group of community developers together and maintain a fork of the codebase. Don’t be mean about it, and use git or another DVCS to keep tracking branches of the company’s releases. If enough key users do this and refuse to assign copyright, the good version will eventually become community one rather than the company-controlled one.
I am currently working quite a bit on PMML, and will be doing a lot of NLP soon (in addition to doing ML on a daily basis); so would be happy to contribute.
How did this happen?
Nobody knows for sure; but my guess is that it was due to RapidMiner receiving series A funding ($5 million) from Open Ocean. Monty Widenius is a partner at Open Ocean; and is “coincidentally” the author of “business source” license.
Monty used to be an open source advocate. Sadly he had a change of heart and no longer is a proponent of open source — primary motivating it by a lack of financial incentives. This is odd; since he did sell MySQL for 1 billion USD. Undoubtedly he contributed a lot to MySQL, but so did the open source community … Anyways; here is an article that describes it in more detail; and a short video, for academic completeness here are the posts in defense of close-sourcing 1, 2.