[Moin-user] license docstrings in the code

Jonathan Cooper c_moinmoin at jonc.me.uk
Sun Feb 27 03:46:41 EST 2011

OSS Watch produce useful guidelines on these sorts of topics; see 

For GPL specifically, see the end of http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.txt

It looks like something along the lines of the current scheme is the 
recommended approach.  The licence info could go in a comment rather 
than docstring if prettier docs are desired.

Best wishes,

On 23/02/2011 12:20, Thomas Waldmann wrote:
> A somewhat related topic:
> We have authors and reference to the license as docstring in every
> module, like:
> """
> MoinMoin - wsgi application setup and related code
> Use create_app(config) to create the WSGI application (using Flask).
> @copyright: 2000-2006 by Juergen Hermann<jh at web.de>,
>              2002-2011 MoinMoin:ThomasWaldmann,
>              2008 MoinMoin:FlorianKrupicka,
>              2010 MoinMoin:DiogenesAugusto
> @license: GNU GPL, see COPYING for details.
> """
> (the COPYING license document is also contained in the repo / release
> archives)
> There are some issues with this method:
> a) it is hard to maintain the author list there, the years and (in case
> of a license change) the license reference. Author list tends to be
> incomplete (some contributors don't add themselves) or outdated (code of
> some authors might be removed later, but not author's name). after a
> while one usually does not know any more what exactly is from whom.
> b) we want to automatically create documentation (using sphinx + some
> script) from the source code. The module docstring would give more
> pretty docs if there was not that author/license stuff repeated hundreds
> of times.
> Alternatives:
> a) Have some file AUTHORS (or CONTRIBUTORS?) that lists everybody having
> contributed to the project. Remove all author references from the moin
> module/package docstrings.
> b) Have some file LICENSE that refers to the relevant licenses, like GPL
> v2, GPL v3 and also note something like "unless otherwise noted" to make
> exceptions for contributed / 3rd party code possible.
> c) Refer to these files from MoinMoin package docstring (and only from
> there, once).
> I am no lawyer and no licensing expert - does anybody have a qualified
> opinion about this?
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