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License Awareness

Highly Reusable Software

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How LIDESC detects and reports licensing conflicts

LIDESC does not read or interpret the text of licenses. Instead, LIDESC reports incompatibilities and conflicts based on lists of symbolic tags created by humans reading and interpreting licenses. Typically each license will have a number of symbolic tags, each indicating a particular requirement imposed by the license.

For example, a license which requires a notice in advertising would have
as one of its symbolic tags. Tags are stored in a license description file (.lh file extension), which is a file separate from the license text (.txt file extension.)

The license description files can also define a list of tags which would be in conflict with the license text if a combined work was created. One of the operational modes of LIDESC will iterate a list of licenses and check for any conflicts of symbolic tags.

Special license description files can specify unacceptable tags based on local criteria. Since there is also a unique symbolic tag for each license, you can use that tag to specify that certain licenses are in conflict by human interpretation, even if there is no defined tag which is in conflict. (See the Summary of features in the command-line version for an overview and instructions.)

Online demonstration of symbolic tag reporting

To summarize the requirements and see the symbolic tags of an existing license use the form at How LIDESC identifies licensing of a file

A publicly available CGI form[1] is a questionnaire to select the standard symbolic tags which describe a particular software license. This is the complete list of standard tags. Submitting the form shows a list of similar licenses, and compatibility with established definitions of Free Software, Open Source Software, closed source software, and the GPL. (The command line version has many more features for reporting compatibility.)

For an explanation of how we created the names for tags, see Creating additional symbolic tags

Next subject: Extending LIDESC
See also: Summary of features in the command-line version
Up to: LIDESC: Librock License Awareness System


Librock LIDESC. Software License Analyzer and Compatibility Reporter
Copyright 2001-2002, Forrest J. Cavalier III, Mib Software
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