Re: Update on project: Validate license cross references

Smith Tanjong Agbor

Hi everyone,

This is a follow-up email on my previous email titled: Update on project: Validate license cross references

Your contributions are welcome.


Le dim. 12 juil. 2020 à 19:34, Smith Tanjong Agbor <stanjongagbor@...> a écrit :
Hi everyone,

After discussing with mentors: Steve and Gary; we thought it wise to seek everyone's opinion on two topics:

1. Change back the isMatch field to Boolean(true/false)
In the previous email thread on this project; Michael Kaelbling suggested that the "isMatch" field value be changed from boolean to text; and the said value should contain the results of the comparison(between the license text in the xml and that in each of the crossref urls). He suggested that values could be:
  • verbatim
  • noassertion – if no test result is available (for invalid links perhaps)
  • todo – no match attempted
  • “” – no match asserted
  • verbatim2 – matches with \r == \r\n == \n
  • verbatim3 – matches “ignoring whitespace differences” reflowed text
  • verbatim4 – matches ignoring decoration (comments, flower-boxes)
  • template – matches template verbatim (see ppalaga’s comment)
  • et cetera as they become available
One of the issues we identified concerning this approach was
a. The above results are not mutually exclusive. Given that they are not mutually exclusive, we might be compelled to store those text values in a list.
ex: isMatch: [verbatim2, verbatim4, etc]
That said, we thought; do we need all that information? Aren't we over-engineering?

b. Is such detailed information necessary? Parsing this will entail knowing all possible values, and any update on this values will require updating the projects that parse this information.

So, we would like to know your thought process on this, and if storing this information is of utmost importance.


2. Html formatting of the details on the crossrefs
The progress I made on the project also concerned the html template(that is used to generate the spdx website) to display the license crossrefs details.
Here is the 0BSD license on the website(
and Here is the updated license I have locally, with the crossref details:

So the questions that popped up were the following:
  • Do we need all this information displayed on the website?
  • Do we need the isWayBackLink parameter(wayback links can be identified visually already)
  • If the url is not valid, we should not make the url clickable(remove the link as an anchor tag)
  • Can we use an accordion to display url details?
  • Could we use icons to indicate truth values of fields?

So, design experts' ideas are welcome on this topic.

These were the two main topics that require your intervention and contributions.


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