Re: SPDX Agenda/Minutes

Philip Odence

I have a thought that may help resolve.

In section 2 specify, in addition to the spec version, a license list version. So, to be compliant, an SPDX file MUST (Kate's emphasis) recognize all of the licenses in the license version list. In Kim's example, the SPDX file could be rev'ed to the new version of the list. So the 1/1/11 version of the file would be compatible with SPDX V1.0/License List V1.0 and the 3/1/11 would be compatible with SPDX V1.0/License List V1.1.

If someone was looking at two descriptions of the same package and there was a difference in the licenses, first thing they could do is check to see if both files used the same license list version.

On Sep 8, 2010, at 10:14 PM, <kate.stewart@...> <kate.stewart@...> wrote:

Hi Kim, Daniel,
  Use case I'm worried about is how do we say what MUST be recognized when all the licenses are on the web.   What happens when we don't have a stable base set of "must recognize" to conform.  

 If we make everything on the web, then the use case of including in the spdx file, the full text of ALL licenses discovered (even if they are ones that have a short form) - will conform to the specification.
Comparisons between analysis of the same package will become "interesting".

  Consider package "1" has licenses A, B, C, D in it.   A, B, are on the web site,  C, D aren't.   One analysis tool produces a file with short form of A & B in the spec,  C & D included verbatim.   Another analysis tool produces a file with A, B, C, & D included verbatim.  Both can be said to be SPDX 1.0,  but if you compare both to each other, you may not draw the conclusion that they are talking about the same package.   

  On the other hand, I do understand the concern over not rev'ing the spec too often to conform to license changes.

  What do people think about the following for 1.0?  

  There is a base set of licenses, that MUST be recognized and included as short forms, to conform, and they are captured in Appendix I of the SPEC, as well as being on the web site.   This gives the potential for creating a spec which is all inclusive - full text of licenses recognized as short forms,  which others on the list have indicated a need for.   We include language in the spec, saying these are the ones that MUST be recognized, but others on the website CAN be recognized as well.    When there is critical mass of changes to rev the spec to 2.0;  the set that is on the web site at that time, becomes the MUST be recognized, and additions after that are CAN be recognized.    This avoids the point revision churn for licenses that John's afraid of,  allows an enforcement of a minimum set,  and give a path to add new licenses as they are nominated into the "active set".



--- On Wed, 9/8/10, Kim Weins <kim.weins@...> wrote:

From: Kim Weins <kim.weins@...>
Subject: Re: SPDX Agenda/Minutes
To: "dmg" <dmg@...>, "Philip Odence" <podence@...>
Cc: "spdx@..." <spdx@...>
Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 6:05 PM
I also agree that we should decouple
spec from licenses.  We need a way to
add licenses without having to rev the spec. 
Otherwise we will get lots of
spec revisions or very few license updates.

I know there has been some concern that if the list of
licenses is not
"fixed" with the spec version, you won't know what list of
licenses you need
to be able to "understand" when you get an SPDX file based
on a particular
version of the spec. I'd like to dig into this use case
more, since it seems
to me that any tooling or even manual review processes can
be designed to
just pull the latest and greatest version of licenses from
the website.

The only issue is that you may get an SPDX file that has
something marked as
an "Other" license that is now in the  standard
license repo.  That
shouldn't really be a problem, since all the "Other"
licenses will have full
license text in the SPDX file.

Here's an example:

Company A creates SPDX on 1/1/2011 using latest set of
standard licenses at
that point.  They identify:
File A has Standard License A
File B has Standard License B
File C has Other License C
File D has Other License D

On 2/1/2011, License C is added to standard license repo

Company B reviews SPDX on 3/1/2011
All of the info is still valid -- since License C and D are
in the SPDX
file.  Company B could choose to update the SPDX file
File A has Standard License A
File B has Standard License B
File C now has STANDARD License C
File D has Other License D

Am I missing something here?


On Wed 9/8/10 12:48 PM, "dmg" <dmg@...>

From the minutes:

Our implicit path had tied a fixed license list of
licenses to the
spec rev, but JohnE put forth an impassioned argument
as to why they
should be decouples...

I throw my support behind JohnE proposal. It addresses
many of the
issues I have discussed before.


(hopefully I can make wake up in time for the meeting,
but it is tough
to only have 5 hrs of sleep :)

On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 11:24 AM, Philip Odence
Per discussion late meeting, agendas will be going
out in bodies of emails
and minutes will go out as links to archive at
I'll strive to get minutes out a week in advance,
though I'm behind this
time. Here's where they are posted (note that Kate
is still editing, so they
won't be final until tonight)
Meeting Time: Sept 9, 8am PDT / 10 am CDT / 11am
EDT / 16:00 GMT

Conf call dial-in:
Conference code:  7812589502
Toll-free dial-in number (U.S. and
Canada):  (877) 435-0230
International dial-in number: (253) 336-6732
For those dialing in from other regions, a list of
toll free numbers can be
Note, we will be using a different URL for each
meeting for purposes of
taking attendance. When you login please include
your full name and company
name, so I can just copy/pate into minutes. THX.

Administrative Agenda

Approval of minutes
Outreach and evangelism:

Common Messaging/Presentation ­ PhilO

Industry Venues ­ PhilR

Website ­ PhilO/Martin

Roll Out Plans - KimW/JohnE

Action Items
Note: Drafting related action items are embedded
the Wiki.

€ PhilO/Martin - Update on participation page
where to join (suggestion was
to put link in text, not just at top, consider "I
want to use the spec, vs.
I want to contribute to the spec" in navigation
€ Kate- Transfer document (.pdf) back to WIKI.
€ PhilO- Update standard presentation with
LinuxCon2010 input
€ Kate- Clean up the sharing analysis to what is
€ Kate- Publish the current version number of
the specification in brackets
behind reference
€ Kim/PhilO- Add and element of 'What's in this
for me?" to presentation
€ JeffL (w/Bill/Gary- Update zlib based on new
€ All- Look for new examples to add to site.
€ PhilK- Explore possibility of LF hosting
source for SPDX tools.
€ Gary- Explore other possible hosting options
€ PhilO- Start making minutes available via
€ BillS- Start up RDF sub-group. Solicite

Technical Agenda

SPEC - current status and open areas - Kate
RDF focus group - current status - Bill
Tools - update from Gary, and others.

L. Philip Odence
Vice President of Business Development
Black Duck Software, inc.
265 Winter Street, Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781.810.1819, Mobile: 781.258.9502
podence@... (my blog)

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