CCP announced details of their new Developer License in a dev blog on December 20th. The announcement, made by CCP Seagull, also covers plans for the highly anticipated (at least by developers) debut of the new CREST API, a badly needed upgrade to EVE's ancient third-party API that allows developers to create applications, which in turn enable users to do things like check their skill queues, market transactions, and wallet balances.
One of the most touted capabilities of the new CREST API is its ability to permit two-way communication between third-party applications and the EVE cluster. In the first release of CREST, users will be able to add and remove personal, corporate and alliance contacts, as well as set standings, an incremental but important step towards the ability to interact directly with the EVE universe from devices other than your gaming rig. However, this rich new capability requires that CCP enforce a more strict agreement with developers. As a result, developers who wish to create applications that use the API must register them with CCP and obtain a license. Thankfully, CCP has learned their lesson from the controversy surrounding a previous announcement of developer licensing: the license is now being offered free of charge.
In the dev blog, CCP also broke down in plain English what the license does and does not allow you to do. This list is pretty common-sense, and allows developers broad freedoms to create applications so long as they do not violate the EULA, show ads that CCP doesn't like, or (intentionally or unintentionally) execute denial of service attacks on the API endpoints. Conversely, the license makes developers agree to the condition that CCP is unable to guarantee the performance or stability of the API and that applications may be rate-limited or lose their access if they behave maliciously.
The rest of the announcement details the means by which developers can sign up for the CREST API beta. This beta, which will be open to all, was not given an official start date. The testing phase is slated to take place on the Buckingham test server, with feedback given on the EVE Forums. The dev blog also shows a screenshot of the new developer site, which is currently under construction.
Overall this is encouraging news for developers. However, given that no formal start date of the beta has been announced, we must still wonder just how much longer the wait will be.