[License-discuss] objective criteria for license evaluation

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Thu Dec 6 23:35:07 UTC 2012

Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu> writes:
>On 12/05/2012 10:23 AM, Karl Fogel wrote:
>> Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> writes:
>>> Anyone else have other suggestions for objective criteria we could
>>> use? I know some folks here have been thinking about this issue for
>>> some time.
>> Number of "forks" of software under a given license on GitHub, adjusted
>> for license popularity across GitHub?  (And the equivalent calculation
>> for other sites, where possible.)
>That could be misleading, depending on what we want to measure.  There
>are a lot of forks doing real work (either true forks, or those that do
>ongoing pull requests to keep synced).
>However, there are also people that fork and make one or two changes, or
>none at all.  There's nothing wrong with that, it just might not be a
>meaningful metric for this purpose.

Of course.  I meant that as a direction to look in, not as a literal
suggestion of methodology.  By number of forks at GitHub, I meant "look
at the forks, using some kind of intelligent criteria, statistical
methods, etc".

This is non-trivial work, of course.  Which is why it is so hard to get
good stats on license popularity and why the notion is rife with
fundamental definitional questions.

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