[License-discuss] objective criteria for license evaluation

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Tue Nov 13 17:48:05 UTC 2012

Top 10 seems reasonable. If you collapse GPL into 1 category and LGPL into
one then that leaves:

GPL 44%
Apache 13%
MIT 11%
BSD 7%
Artistic 6%
EPL 2%
MS-PL 1%
MPL 1%
CDDL <1%

You could do top 9 with a 1% threshold but 10 is a rounder number and
there still are some significant projects/technologies using CDDL
(NetBeans, etc).  To not include MPL in the list would also strike me as
odd given the significance of some of the projects under MPL and the
(IMHO) importance of that license to Open Source in general.

As for C# these days I only loosely follow MonoMac and MonoTouch (mostly
from a lack of desire to learn ObjC) so I'm not the right one to ask.

That MS-PL is used more often than MPL surprises me.  I would not have
guessed that.

On 11/13/12 11:46 AM, "John Cowan" <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:

>Tzeng, Nigel H. scripsit:
>> Unless you do open source using Perl or C#.  Two widely used languages
>> with strong communities backing them.
>AFAIK most Perl work is done using a GPL/Artistic disjunction.
>I know there is a lot of C# in the world as a whole; how heavily is
>it used for open-source work, and how much of that is under the MS-PL?
>(These questions are not rhetorical.)
>> Since it is a distinction without a difference in your opinion then
>> may we assume that you should have absolutely no problems with adopting
>> such a metrics driven list?
>Personally I would have no problem with it, excluding of course any
>licenses that are not OSI certified.
>The problem of course is when to stop.  I would be content to chop off
>all licenses with less than 5% market share at Blackduck, which would
>give a short and sweet list:  GPL (43%), Apache (13%), MIT (11%), LGPL
>(9%), BSD (7%), Artistic (6%).  I think all further concerns would be
>satisfied by a strong recommendation that if you are working within
>a particular community, to use the standard license of that community
>whatever it is.  To meet the objection that some of these licenses are
>legacy, it would be interesting to see a crosstab of number of projects
>started in a given year vs. their licenses, assuming that relicensing
>events are rare enough to ignore.
>(Note: I got the ordering wrong in my last post through failing to add
>LGPL 2.1 and LGPL 3.0 numbers.)
>John Cowan    cowan at ccil.org    http://ccil.org/~cowan
>        Sound change operates regularly to produce irregularities;
>        analogy operates irregularly to produce regularities.
>                --E.H. Sturtevant, ca. 1945, probably at Yale
>License-discuss mailing list
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