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From Ate Douma <>
Subject Re: Licence headers in template files
Date Mon, 06 Feb 2012 19:41:44 GMT
On 02/06/2012 07:18 PM, Ross Gardler wrote:
> Sent from my mobile device, please forgive errors and brevity.
> On Feb 6, 2012 5:26 PM, "Greg Stein"<>  wrote:
>> On Feb 6, 2012 11:41 AM, "sebb"<>  wrote:
>>> ...
>>> Perhaps the answer to "Why is a licensing header necessary?"
>>> is relevant here.
>>> The README file is generally not going to be modified - or seen in
>>> isolation - so it's not so necessary for the end user to know its
>>> license from the file itself.
>>> However, the template files are specifically designed for
>>> modification, and are likely to be seen without the LICENSE file, so
>>> IMO the enduser should see the AL header as part of the file.
>> That would be my thinking, too.
> Not in this specific case, I think.
> The original template files are not modified directly, neither are the
> output files. Modifications are by token replacement in the simplest form
> or by creating a completely new template to override the original (at which
> point the user can define their own licence).

Ross: maybe the analogy with the two ways you can define embedded comments on 
JSP files might make sense here.

In JSP files, which also can be seen as a template solution, including the 
support for including (embedding) output from a JSP fragment in a larger JSP 
page, you can use two type of comments:

a) standard XML type comments, e.g. <!-- a runtime visible comment --!>
The comments are retained and will eventually show up in the rendered output. 
They are good for example for (visual) debugging purposes.

b) JSP native comments, e.g. <%-- a build time only comment --%>
These comments are automatically stripped out from the output produced by the 
JSP, so are purely needed and used for development purposes.

Typically you'll see in most ASF (and other) projects using JSPs the latter type 
being use for the license header.

I would suggest a similar solution for the Wookie templates: that way the 
developers do receive a proper notice of the license for use, modification, and 
copying, while not cluttering the generated output.

And you make it easy for downstream users/developers to make the choice 
themselves if they want a include their own license or copyright statement 
visible in the generated output, or not.

While the current templates might be relatively trivial and indeed not have much 
of creative content, it will also be very easy to create one which does. Which 
might happen sooner or later, and than you're back to this question anyway. And 
you'll constantly keep making this decision.

Using an automatically stripped comment format the whole problem simply 
vanishes, you just always add the license header inside such a comment.


> If the user generates their widgets from these templates the files we are
> talking about will be included in larger files, which do contain license
> headers. Final outputs will therefore always have an Apache header, there
> may be user specified headers surrounding their own contributions.
> The final outputs should never be edited, it's the widget definitions (the
> tokens referred to above) that get edited.
> Ross

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