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From "robert burrell donkin" <>
Subject Re: Rat tool, Apache header and different file types
Date Thu, 28 Sep 2006 20:21:52 GMT
On 9/28/06, Martijn Dashorst <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I just ran the tool on the Wicket 1.2.2 distribution, just to see how
> we stack up and how much we need to change our release.
> I came up with some questions when I read report that came out of the
> tool, and would like to see what the policy is on these matters.

good - RAT isn't very clever nor is it anyware near finished. its
results do need interpretation.

>  - the tool flags all HTML documents, even generated JavaDoc.

yeh - RAT classifies on suffix ATM. probably want to recognize
javadocs as generated and treat them separately.

> Should we not provide the javadoc in our distribution?

of course you should provide javadocs :-)

the only question is whether some tweaks to the build or some
documents may be necessary.

javadocs are generated and therefore not source. since they are not
source there is no requirement to have license headers. so, whether to
include headers or not is something wicket needs to decide. personally
speaking, i prefer to incorporate copyright notices and license
headers but AIUI most prefer not to.

>  - our framework has some HTML markup, properties, CSS and JS
> javascript files that are part of the product.

these are source. so should probably have license headers.

>  - our source directories have the package.html javadoc file

this is source. so should probably have license headers.

>  - the source files for our generated documentation are part of the
> distribution, so people that download the distribution can build the
> whole distribution themselves. This contains xml, fml (maven faq
> document), and txt files (apt).

these are source. so probably should have license headers.

> Especially the apt format doesn't work
> together with comments.

comments work fine with xml and fml. i'm surprised that apt doesn't
allow comments. perhaps jason or brett might be able to jump in

> My question is, should all these files get the ASL headers?

this is definitely the easiest approach

> This would
> be a hard hit for the embedded JavaScript, CSS and HTML files. These
> will be served to clients using the Wicket framework, and the header
> will add to their download size. Is there an Apache policy for these
> files?

it is likely that (with work) the list of files that are worried about
could be reduced somewhat.

it is probably that many of those files are not copyrightable and do
not need license headers.

note as well that the policy talks about source but does not define
it. opinions differ on what should be considered sourced and what
binary. FWIW my own personal working definition is that any document
that cannot reasonably have a license file attached without
compromising it's function should be considered binary.

it is also possible that the policy itself might be refined. it's not
set in stone and changes from time to time.

but these approaches take energy. if you don't want to include license
headers in these files then you need to raise this on legal-discuss
and resolve these issues to cliff's satisfaction. it would be very
helpful (from the perspective of auditing) if documents which had been
determined not to require licenses were noted in a README (or

> I took the liberty of looking at the Struts 2 release, and they don't
> have license headers in the aforementioned files.

i haven't examined that release but i can say that existing projects
don't always get everything exactly right...

- robert

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