[Reuse] Intros and ClearlyDefined

Jeff McAffer Jeff.McAffer at microsoft.com
Tue Feb 12 15:46:16 UTC 2019

Hi All,

Jeff McAffer here. Gabriel connected me up with this list after a discussion at FOSDEM. I run a project called ClearlyDefined (https://clearlydefined.io) as part of the OSI which is aimed at clarifying, amongst other things, the license/compliance related data around open source components. The main goal is to reduce friction and increase engagement around open source. This is, I think, very much inline with the REUSE mission and there are likely some great intersection points.

The short version of the project operation is that we mechanically harvest as much data as we can from the packages and repos out there. This involves running ScanCode, FOSSology, Licensee, and some custom tools to find licenses, copyrights, source location, release date, ... The harvested data is summarized and aggregated to form a "definition" that contains the license-related info in a normalized form.

Since tools are not perfect and data is often missing, we enable people to curate the data by submitting pull requests to a repo on GitHub. These are reviewed and vetted like any other open source contribution, and eventually merged causing the definition to be updated.

>From there we work with the upstream community to either learn where they keep the data we missed or add/correct the data in the project if it was missing/erroneous. That way, future releases of the project are, well, more clearly defined.

It would be great to look at ways we can collaborate to drive our shared goals.


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