[License-discuss] proposal to revise and slightly reorganize the OSI licensing pages

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Sun Jun 3 23:13:59 UTC 2012

I completely support this, and am very happy to have it supersede my
original proposed new page -- this way is better, both in the short term
and the long term.  Thanks for the well-explained proposal, Luis.

I especially like the second item under Miscellany, by the way :-).
That will make maintenance of the list much easier, and I think it is
something Infrastructure should look at after the Drupal upgrade.

Terse only because in an airport waiting lounge,

Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> writes:
>Following up on Karl's email of a few months ago, this is a
>deliberately low-key proposal from me and other board members to
>simplify and improve how the OSI-approved licenses are presented on
>the OSI website. As it currently stands, we don't have a page we can
>point a newcomer to to learn about what an open source license is, or
>what the most common licenses are. We'd like to solve that, at least
>in part, by making the current http://opensource.org/licenses/ more
>useful by highlighting the most common licenses and by providing a bit
>more context about what it means to be an open source license.
>Despite coming from me and other board members, the text and layout
>below are just a proposal, and are of course open to suggestions,
>improvements, and discussion.
>What This Is Not
>Karl's original proposal included suggestions of how to change and
>update which licenses belong in which categories. This email and
>proposed web site changes are definitely not addressing that issue. I
>feel (and I'm pretty sure others on the board feel) that those
>questions should be addressed, but because those are complex issues
>that will inevitably involve months of careful discussion and
>planning, and because we all agree that the current website layout is
>unsatisfactory, we'd like to not block this quicker, smaller
>The Proposal
>1. Reorganize the left-side navigation. What is currently "Open Source
>Licenses," with sub-points "Licenses by Category", "Licenses by Name",
>"License Review Process," and "License Proliferation," would simply
>become "Open Source Licensing" (content of that page discussed below).
>"License Review Process" and "License Proliferation" would be moved to
>bullets under "The Open Source Definition," because those pages are
>primarily about OSI's process and standards rather than about specific
>licenses or about open source licenses more generally.
>By slightly hiding the "by category" and "by names" pages, we'd be
>funneling people (particularly newcomers) to a slightly more
>informative page (and one that can be improved over time), while not
>losing the master lists altogether for the times when those are
>2. The "Open Source Licensing" page (replacing
>http://opensource.org/licenses/)  would be fleshed out to say
>(hopefully all changes self-explanatory):
>    Open Source licenses are licenses that comply with the Open Source
>Definition and have been approved through the Open Source Initiative's
>license review process.
>    The following Open Source licenses are popular, widely used, or
>have strong communities:
>        Apache License, 2.0 (Apache-2.0)
>        BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" license (BSD-3-Clause)
>        BSD 3-Clause "Simplified" or "FreeBSD" license (BSD-2-Clause)
>        GNU General Public License (GPL)
>        GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL)
>        MIT license (MIT)
>        Mozilla Public License 2.0 (MPL-2.0)
>        Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL-1.0)
>        Eclipse Public License (EPL-1.0)
>    A complete list of all Open Source Initiative-approved licenses,
>including those above, is available:
>        sorted by name (alphabetical)
>        sorted by category
>    For more information about Open Source licenses and in particular
>about the Open Source Initiative's license review process, see:
>        The Open Source Definition (annotated version)
>        The OSI License Review Process
>        Information on License Proliferation and the 2006 License
>Proliferation Report
>* We'll of course clean up any dangling links caused by changed URLs
>and set up proper redirects before changing any URLs. (Not entirely
>clear it makes sense to change /licenses/ to /licensing/, which would
>be the primary URL change based on the previous suggestions).
>* In the longer term, once Drupal is upgraded, it will likely make
>sense to generate http://opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical and
>http://opensource.org/licenses/category programatically, rather than
>through the current manual listing, which is of course error-prone.
>(Some people have suggested doing away with the alphabetical list
>altogether, which I personally would be fine with.) That may cause
>some more tweaks in URLs and layouts, but we'll cross that bridge when
>we come to it.
>License-discuss mailing list
>License-discuss at opensource.org

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