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From Jukka Zitting <jukka.zitt...@gmail.com>
Subject Licensing of test files (Was: [VOTE] Release of POI 3.5-beta5)
Date Tue, 24 Feb 2009 13:50:12 GMT

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 12:24 PM, Nick Burch <nick@torchbox.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Feb 2009, Yegor Kozlov wrote:
>> Another potential issue are our test files. Many of them were uploaded in
>> Bugzilla and then included in svn.
> I'm tempted to say we ask around at apachecon, and find out what other
> projects do wrt test files. Once we have an idea of what everyone else does,
> bring those back to the list, and we can pick an outcome

I've recently worked on this same issue with the PDFBox project in the
Apache Incubator. PDFBox has a number of test files that have been
submitted as examples in the issue tracker with little concern over
the copyright or licensing status. See
https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/PDFBOX-391 and
http://markmail.org/message/cuyylr6zqs4fwdiz for more background.

The situation is a bit better for Apache POI, at least for any test
files contributed after POI switched to ALv2, as the section 5 of the
license gives a good baseline interpretation for the licensing of
contributed files. So if a file has been submitted through Bugzilla
and contains no obviously troublesome content, then it's probably fine

However, many users don't really care about licensing that much, and
can just submit any documents that they are having problems with. For
example PDFBox contains the entire JavaMail specification and an IRS
tax guide as test files.

To best way to deal with such cases is to check the licensing status
already before the file is added to svn. If a user submits a test
document that looks like something that they may not have sufficient
rights to allow us to redistribute the file as a part of POI, then
it's best to ask for clarification or an alternative test file if

It would also be a good idea to review the test files we already have
in svn. Any files with an unclear licensing status are probably better
dropped from official releases. In PDFBox we've decided to create a
separate test package that contains all the troublesome test files.
This package will not be officially released or even kept in Apache
svn. But we will make it informally available to committers and other
interested developers for use as a part of the PDFBox test suite until
better test cases are created. Perhaps a similar approach would work
also for POI in case such troublesome test files are found.

>> - programmatically insert the ASF license, for example, in the Comments
>> OLE property. Create an utility to audit test files before release.
> My slight worry is that for the files where the bug report relates to iffy
> ole2 blocks / properties / etc, that'll break/fix them

Yeah, it's probably not a good idea to modify the test files.


Jukka Zitting

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