KDE Frameworks 5.74.0 released

Adriaan de Groot groot at kde.org
Thu Sep 17 11:02:02 BST 2020

On Sunday, 13 September 2020 13:16:47 CEST Andreas Müller wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 1:33 PM David Faure <faure at kde.org> wrote:
> > 12th September 2020. KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks
> > 5.74.0.
> Not mentioned here: Many (All?) licenses are now according to REUSE
> policy [1]. Reading that did not help me much so my questions here:
> For example syntax-highlighting 5.73 was clearly stated as MIT. With
> 5.74.0 it is - have not the slightest idea.

In v5.73.0, there is a top-level file called COPYING, which contains the MIT 
license (and a weird reference to "above copyright notice", which notice is 
missing from the file).

The data included with the library (XML files), however, is variously LGPL, 
GPL, .. I didn't dive into it exactly. In other words, while the *code* is 
MIT, the whole thing might not be (please ask a lawyer, and look closely at 
exactly what you are combining).

In v5.74.0, there is no top-level file anymore. So you don't get a single 
message "this is MIT" -- which is confusing, maybe, except that the message 
was factually misleading in v5.73.0. The LICENSES/ directory tells you what 
licenses are used, across the whole repository, but not what-goes-where.

With grep, you now have a single [*], unambiguous, way of finding out what 
licenses apply to the code: `grep -r SPDX-License-Identifier src/`

That's easier than guessing the applicable license from the text blobs and the 
myriad spellings of each license.

So the (perhaps unfortunate) conclusion is, in licensing, "it's complicated" 
and the previously unambiguous assertion "MIT" was not, in fact, unambiguous 
or entirely true.


[*] For greater coverage `reuse spdx` will give you a report on each file with 
additional information, known as an SPDX bill of materials. `reuse lint` will 
tell you this:

* Files with copyright information: 147 / 1508
* Files with license information: 72 / 1508

So for this repo, there's a ways to go still.
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