GSOC/GSOC ProjectIdeas

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Welcome to the 2020 SPDX Google Summer of Code Project Page

See the proposal template if you are interested in submitting a Google Summer of Code proposal.

Should you have questions please do not hesitate to contact one of the mentors directly.



What is SPDX ?

First and foremost we are a community dedicated to solving the issues and problems around Open Source licensing and compliance. The SPDX work group (part of the Linux Foundation) consists of individuals, community members, and representatives from companies, foundations and organizations who use or are considering using the SPDX standard. The work group operates much like a meritocratic, consensus-based community project; that is, anyone with an interest in the project can join the community, contribute to the specification, and participate in the decision-making process. We come from many different backgrounds including open source developers, lawyers, consultants and business professionals, many of who have been involved with license compliance and identification for years.

As part of this effort we have developed a set of collateral that can be used:

Why choose an SPDX Project?

Contributing to one of the SPDX projects below will provide a valuable contribution to developers and/or users of open source software. We believe you will find the projects both technically challenging and rewarding. In essence we believe you will be able to look back one day and I say I was part of that effort.


Getting Involved

Beyond working with your mentor(s) we highly encourage students who select one of these projects to get involved with the SPDX community via our technical working group. Interaction with the technical team is primarily done via its mailing list and on gitter (see resources). There is however a weekly call you could join as well. .

Resources

Proposed 2020 Projects

Mentors: please fill out the following template for any projects you wish to propose.

=== Project Name ===
add overview of project here
====Skills Needed====
what skills should the student have to do the coding exercises
====Background Information====
context for the project and references to be studied
====Available Mentors====
list individuals who are willing to mentor and provide information about the project proposal. 

(The projects from last year can be found on the 2019 Google Summer of Code projects page for SPDX ).

SPDX Workgroup Tooling Projects

These projects are aimed at contributing to the SPDX tools to help reduce the effort to create SPDX documents and increase the accuracy of them.

Implement SPDX License Matching in Python

Implement as much of the SPDX License Matching Guidelines as practical in Python. This could replace the current Java implementation for the Check License SPDX Online license checking tool.

Following is a list of suggested features:

  • Provide an interface which will check text against a license template using the license matching guidelines
  • Provide an interface which will check text and return all matching SPDX listed license ID's
  • Provide an interface which takes 2 license texts as input and returns a boolean indicating if the 2 licenses match per the license matching guidelines
  • When there is not a match, provide a return value making it possible to describe where and why the license does not match

Background Information

  • See the SPDX License Matching Guidelines for a description of the guidelines
  • A technical description of the templates and license matching can be found in Appendix II of the SPDX specification
  • A Java implementation can be found in Github SPDX Tools LicenseCompareHelper.java
  • It's harder than you may think - the template language is a challenge to implement. Performance can be a challenge when matching a single text against hundreds of potential licenses. Reporting back where the missmatch occurs can also be a challenge.

Skills Needed

  • Development skills in the Python
  • Skills in parsing and pattern matching
  • Ability to work with the community in integrating results with other projects

Available Mentors

Rohit Lodha Gary O'Neall

Generate Java SPDX Model Classes from XML XSD file

In SPDX 3.0, we will be generating an XML XSD schema to define the model. This project idea is to use the XSD schema to generate a set of Java classes which represent the complete SPDX model. The generated classes would be used as part of a re-designed Java tool for SPDX.

Skills Needed

  • Java programming skills
  • XML/XSD skills
  • Skills in code generation practices
  • Ability to work with the community in integrating results with other projects

Background Information

  • A proposed XSD for SPDX can be found on github. Note: This is a very early proposal and would likely change significantly.
  • Current Java tools can be found on SPDX Tools github page
  • A rewrite of the Java tools is in progress. The in progress work can be found at the Spdx-Java-Library github page.

Available Mentors

Rohit Lodha Gary O'Neall

Validate License Cross-References

Enhance the SPDX LicenseListPublisher to validate the cross reference / seeAlso URL's for the license. One check would be to validate the link is still valid. This would need to be done in a way that has reasonably good performance (e.g. a long timeout would not work). Another check would be to identify the license text in the linked URL and compare it to the license text for the license itself to make sure they match. If either of these tests fail, a validity attribute should be added to the license output files (e.g. the license JSON files).

Skills Needed

  • Java programming skills
  • XML/XSD skills
  • HTML parsing skills
  • Ability to work with the community in integrating results with other projects

Background Information

The SPDX license list is generated from a git repository of XML files. One of the fields maintained in the XML is the crossRef which is a URL cross reference for the license which may be valid or it may also be a "dead link". The LicenseListPublisher is the tool that generates the web pages and the output formats. The output formats can be found in the SPDX license list data git repository. Issue #60 for the LicenseListPublisher describes a request to include validity attribute.

Over the summer, we may be adding the XML format to the supported output data formats in the license list data repo.

Available Mentors

Gary O'Neall

Improve SPDX Golang tooling

The goal of this GSoC project would be to add support in the SPDX Golang tools for SPDX documents in versions of the SPDX spec other than 2.1, including the upcoming 2.2 spec release which will add JSON, YAML and XML to the supported formats. Other work may include improving the validation and data model used by the Golang tools.

Skills Needed

  • Go programming skills
  • Experience with JSON and YAML (XML a plus)
  • Ability to interpret and implement the SPDX specification and related community documentation
  • Ability to work with the community in integrating results with other projects
  • Willingness to learn about open source licensing and related technical matters

Background Information

The SPDX Golang tools were initially designed to work with SPDX documents in tag-value format, for version 2.1 of the SPDX specification. Currently it does not support earlier versions of the SPDX specification. Also, the upcoming 2.2 spec release, in addition to new data fields, will also add support for SPDX documents in JSON, YAML and XML formats. The Golang tools should (at a minimum) be updated to enable reading and writing in JSON and YAML.

The SPDX Golang tools currently do some validation when reading and parsing SPDX documents, but they do not currently do much validation of the content itself. For example, license fields are represented as strings, but the tools do not currently check to confirm that e.g. the license identifiers are valid SPDX license expressions. Additional validation support to improve this would be beneficial.

Additionally, the data model used internally by the SPDX tools to represent SPDX content is different in some ways from the data model used by other tools (e.g. Java, Python). One goal for this project might be to evaluate the choices made by those other tools, and consider whether the Golang tools' data model should change to align with those.

Available Mentors

Steve Winslow

SPDX Specification Projects

The following projects contribute directly to the creation or validation of the SPDX 2.1 specification.

SPDX Specification Views for legal counsels and developers

The proposal is to see if it possible to deduct large SPDX documents into a small subset SPDX document providing a specific reduced "views" on larger data.

Skills Needed

  • Understanding of compliance needs of legal counsels and developers so we can remove friction to adopt SPDX

Background Information

SPDX documents commonly contain 100s, if not 1000s of entries making it hard for a human to make manual corrections or draw conclusions. No scanner can provide 100% complete data human corrections are usual needed. The aim from this proposal is twofold: 1. Enable developers with a "code view" of tool-generated SPDX document close to the code they work on to enable them to make corrections to the SPDX data. For instance amend SPDX package tag values or model package dependencies not detected by used scanner. 2. Provide legal counsels with a "package and limited file view" to enable legal conclusions

Available Mentors

Steve Winslow Thomas Steenbergen