License utilization metrics (was Re: [linux-elitists] RMS is at it again)
Sat Dec 2 12:37:00 PST 2000
on Fri, Dec 01, 2000 at 11:01:32PM -0800, Heather (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
> > on Fri, Dec 01, 2000 at 03:11:41PM -0800, Heather (email@example.com) wrote:
> > > As a curiosity: Anyone have a database somewhere of apps by license?
> > SourceForge does:
> > http://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat=13
> > ...drill down and you'll find that this is a software map browser by
> > license category.
> Hmm. I'll probably read it a bit during LISA.
> > However, my experience in crawling through /usr/doc/*/copyright a few
> > weeks back was that there is a strongly pronounced lack of consistancy
> > about how project copyrights are reported. Anything from a
> > straightforward presentation to a detailed list of contact attempts with
> > original authors and/or transcripts of conversations or email.
> > It would be useful to tie this data to the popularity test though....
> Interesting, how would we graph that?
The intent would be to come up with a license-use metric. There are
several statistics which are interesting and meaningful, though of
varying diffuculty in measurement:
- Use of licenses in software projects -- available through
SourceForge or by ananlysis of Debian copyright files.
- Installations of software by license -- combine above data with a
popularity contest. This is what I was pointing at in my comments
above. The metric would be something like "installed utilization":
software[license] * installs
...or possibly a recency of installed utilization, where we look at
software under licenses used within some time period, e.g.: 1 day,
1 week, 1 month, or however the Debian popularity contest measures
- Swapping of software -- an audit of software by sources -- what
original projects have contributed to what derived works. This
points directly to the significance of code-sharing in GPL.
Unfortunatly, a full measure would require significant code
forensics. A simpler metric might be to look at use of L/GPL'd
libraries in various projects, though this misses much of the
alledged direct benefits of a copyleft license.
Karsten M. Self <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
Evangelist, Zelerate, Inc. http://www.zelerate.org
What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand? There is no K5 cabal
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