[License-discuss] Evolving the License Review process for OSI

Christopher Sean Morrison brlcad at mac.com
Mon Jun 10 19:13:57 UTC 2019

> Actually, what Thorsten Glaser said was:

Not sure if quoting the entire e-mail is actually in disagreement with my characterization or just being pedantic, but I did not find it helpful.  If anything, it’s a circular pitfall that I’m not going to repeat beyond to address the additional point reiterated:

>  I think you cannot even get anything resembling a
>  representative number even with quite some effort.
> The point seems well-taken:

Except that we don’t need a representative number.  If use cannot be found, that would not imply there isn’t any.  I certainly haven’t said that.

> Often-suggested licence census tools
> tend to check only major public repos, and that couldn't establish that
> an OSI Approved licence isn't used, only that it wasn't grepped for 
> in major public repos, because that is just _not_ a proxy for 'public
> availability and discoverability' (your term), hence not sufficient.

Not necessarily sufficient.  Academically, sure, but with the specific OSI list, it may or may not be sufficient.  The broken-record point is to narrow the discussion to licenses that are not “trivially” (my term) found, to better understand (and document) license use, and help drive future decisions that will get made regardless.

>> What I would expect is all but a handful are really trivial, and then
>> a more productive conversation (and more rigorous discovery) could be
>> made with those few.
> Again, implicitly this dismisses codebases not currently present in major
> public repos for whatever reason, or, further to Thorsten's point, with
> licence grants only in the Cyrillic or Greek or Devangari alphabets, etc.

Nothing is being dismissed, implicitly or otherwise.  On the contrary, I suggested that should lead to more productive conversation on those licenses.

I’d rather engage in constructive discussion, not to assume they aren’t used, but to better know how they are / were used and take steps from there.  Naysaying without an alternative is not constructive.  Doing nothing is not constructive either, imho, and that is perhaps where we disagree.


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