Always indicating license versions (was: Re: [150207] trunk/dports/perl/p5-net-cidr-lite/Portfile)

Daniel J. Luke dluke at
Sat Jul 16 16:09:28 PDT 2016

On Jul 15, 2016, at 11:21 PM, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at> wrote:
>> so you're really just advocating that we remove the un-versioned license shortcut totally?
> For licenses that have versions, I suppose yes, I am advocating that we always specify the version.


> I'm just suggesting we make a policy change in how we indicate licenses, so that we can differentiate two currently indifferentiable situations.

I think we still have those two situations (submitter enters incorrect license information, or not) - but maybe this specific subset (submitter assumes un-versioned means "I don't know") would go away.

>> Maybe lint --nitpick should emit a warning on unversioned licenses (for the ones that have versions?)
> As I said, we do not currently distinguish the two cases. Under our current policy, if someone were to write "GPL-1+", someone else would likely come along and change that to "GPL" because that is currently considered to be equivalent and canonical. My proposal is that we change our policy, so that we could then do any number of things, including adjusting `port lint` in the way you suggest. Sounds like you are in favor of such a policy change.

Honestly, I think the current way we specify license is easy to understand and I prefer it - but I also feel like my personal opinion isn't that important.

If we can make a policy change that reduces error, then I'm in favor. Alternatively, I'd also be in favor of making sure our documentation is good so that maintainers (and submitters) all know how to correctly set the license line in a portfile.

> It is indeed the human reviewer of whom I'm thinking here. I agree the problem is that new contributors don't realize the mistake they're making here. New contributors usually make many mistakes in the portfiles they submit and it's up to reviewers to catch them and educate. This license problem is somewhat unique however because if the port says "license GPL" it *could* be correct, but it's probably a mistake. If we change our policy, then I will *know* that "license GPL" is a mistake because it does not specify a version.

Sure - and we can encode it so lint complains and it gets fixed even if a human misses the error (automated review is awesome) :)

Daniel J. Luke

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