Possible reasons new licenses aren't submitted (was Re: Minutes from July 12 SPDX General Meeting)


Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn@...>
 

Philip Odence wrote at 11:52 (EDT) on Thursday:
Suprisingly after all the recent discussion on the General Meerting
list about expanding the list, no one has submitted any more licenses.
FWIW, I looked at this possibility briefly. Upon reading
http://spdx.org/wiki/spdx-license-list-process-requesting-new-licenses-be-added
I came to the conclusion that I couldn't easily submit any of the
licenses I was thinking of, such as GCC's license, which is effectively
GPLv3-or-later-with-GCC-RTLv3.1-or-later.

Mainly, it's tough to meet submission requirement (3). There's no URL
for that license. GCC RTL 3.1 has one URL, GPLv3 has another, but
what's the URL for the combo with appropriate -or-laters? There is
none.

This sort of goes to the heart of the problem with how the SPDX license
list is structured. SPDX's goal is ostensibly to document the "real
world" license uses. But, licenses occurring in the real world aren't
just by themselves, especially in key infrastructure programs like GCC.
They occur in these nuanced ways. The SPDX list itself clearly
envisioned this fact, as things like "GPL-2.0-with-autoconf-exception"
already appear. But, those existing listings fail to account for how
the exceptions actually are used in real world programs, as discussed in
the threads over the last month.

Thus, if I were to formally propose GCC's license, it'd have to be part
of a broader proposal I'd have to also propose removal of
GPL-2.0-with-GCC-exception from the list, and I didn't see any
instructions on SPDX's site on how to propose a comprehensive change
like that.

Finally, the (admittedly more of a pet-peeve) last straw that led me to
give up was I saw that I had to download and open a zip file
(http://spdx.org/system/files/spdx_license_list_v1.16.zip ) just to grab
a text version of the list, and that to make the submission, I had to
fill out a spreadsheet (
http://spdx.org/system/files/spdx_licenselist-new-licenses.ods ) rather
than just use text editor to edit a file. I much appreciate that ODS
format is used, of course, but most of us old-school Free Software
licensing people don't use spreadsheet programs very often, even Free
Software ones, and certainly not merely to submit text and URLs.

Again, I renew my offer to assist anyone who wants to undertake the task
to write an SPDX file for GCC (or indeed for *any* FSF or Conservancy
package), but the barriers above made me sure I didn't want to take a
proactive role here.
--
-- bkuhn

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