[License-discuss] objective criteria for license evaluation

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Tue Nov 13 18:52:17 UTC 2012

I am unaware of another comprehensive dataset but I also haven't seriously
gone looking for one either.  The raw data is available and there is an
API to access it.

Ideally the OSI would collect such metrics but I understand the financial
limitations that the OSI is operating under.

On the other hand things like Ohloh and the OSRC metrics really should
have been OSI initiatives and perhaps with the affiliates and individual
memberships you can now afford to do things like this.

This is off-topic but I would be more inclined to join as an individual
member if there was more clarity into what concrete benefits the OSI will
provide (beyond advocacy) and what membership governance really means. Do
members get to vote for board members?

I can easily give the OSI $40 a year but I don't care to pay for just
advocacy.  Although I do wonder why membership costs $5 more to join the
OSI than the ACLU or NRA with actual DC lobbies and lawyers...the AARP is
a bargain at $16.

You guys should seriously consider an associate/student membership at a
$15-$20 rate.

On 11/13/12 12:58 PM, "Luis Villa" <luis at tieguy.org> wrote:

>At least some of these slightly unusual/surprising results are
>probably a result of methodology; e.g., many CPOL "projects" are just
>a code snippet, and most are just a file or two, so treating each of
>them the same as other projects probably doesn't reflect the real
>scope of license usage there.
>As a general matter, I'd be hesitant to rely on any one source for
>popularity numbers without a fair amount of transparency around the
>data gathering methodology.
>On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:48 AM, Tzeng, Nigel H. <Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu>
>> Top 10 seems reasonable. If you collapse GPL into 1 category and LGPL
>> one then that leaves:
>> GPL 44%
>> Apache 13%
>> MIT 11%
>> LGPL 9%
>> 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
>>>> 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
>>>License-discuss at opensource.org
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