Re: update on only/or later etc.
David A. Wheeler
Jilayne Lovejoy <opensource@...>:
Do NOT add a identifier or operator, etc. for the found-license-text-only scenario where you don’t know if the intent of the copyright holder was “only or “or later” and are thus left to interpret clause 9This "resolution" doesn't solve the problem.
Since tools are not yet sentient, tools often *cannot* determine if "or later" was intended. Yet "don't know" makes a tool useless, and it *did* see a copy of a license, so the tool *will* report something. Tools will probably report "GPL-2.0-only" when they only see the GPL-2.0. As a result, soon "GPL-2.0-only" will not IN PRACTICE mean "only GPL-2.0".
I'm fine with "GPL-2.0-only" and special-casing "GPL-2.0+", but we *STILL* need a way to indicate "GPL-2.0 at least and I don't know if later versions are okay".
People depend on automated tools, and automated tools often CAN'T figure out the "or later" question. There are a million ways to indicate "I don't know if a later version is okay", e.g., "AT LEAST" or "?" suffix, MAYBE operation, etc. But if SPDX can't represent this common case, then people will overload *other* expressions with this alternative meaning, meaning that the "only" soon won't have that meaning.
--- David A. Wheeler