Technical Team/Minutes/2019-03-19

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March 19, 2019


  • Kate Stewart
  • Gary O'Neall
  • Matthew Crawford
  • Jack Manbeck
  • Philippe Ombredanne

Update from LF Leadership Summit

  • Discussed license namespace and repository proposals
    • Agreed to divide the problem into separate namespaces and repositories
    • 3 use cases:
      • “Private” namespace for license ID’s used within the same company
      • “Public” namespaces for external repositories of open source licenses which may eventually move into the listed licenses
      • “NonOSS” ability to create license references for licenses that do not meet the criteria for open source licenses and may never be added to the SPDX license list
    • Proposal from leadership summit was to allow 2 namespaces
      • A DNS based namespace which must have a DNS registered domain name behind it. These namespaces would not need to be registered in any repository (but could be)
      • A free format namespace that would need to be registered someplace to avoid name collisions
    • Syntax for the namespaces were proposed to be:
      • ‘LicenseRef-.[dns-style] where [dns-style] is the naming convention proposed by Mark Atwood
      • ‘LicenseRef—[freeformat] where [freeformat] is text that complies with the LicenseRef syntax
    • Discussion on the syntax
      • General displeasure was expressed on the syntax (confusing, prone to typos)
      • Current constraints on the naming led to this proposal
        • Ability to easily determine if the license ref refers to a namespace and be able to determine which type of namespace it is
        • Parseable by the current tools for LicenseRef (e.g. comply with the syntax for LicenseRef’s specified in the 2.1 spec)
    • Alternative syntaxes were discussed
      • No constraint on the text – if the text isn’t a listed license, it would be considered a namespace
      • Instead of LicenseRef-, preceed the namespaces by something else unique (e.g. ‘@’).
      • Use something other than a . or – after the LicenseRef (e.g. LicenseRef-DNSName-[dns-style])
  • Discussed the Repository options
    • Do we need anyting complex? Can we just have people drop their namespaces into a git repo?
      • Legal team expressed concern about licenses matching licenses on the license list being added and duplicated. This would require some checks and automation to solve efficiently.
    • Kate will follow-up with Mark Atwood to get the written proposal so that we can discuss further next week.

SPDX 2.1.1

  • Jack demonstrated the progress he has made on the PDF document generation
  • Remaining issues include internal links not working and no table of contents
  • Suggestions were made to resolve the issues during the call
  • Jack will incorporate the suggestions continue to make progress on the PDF