Just thought I'd bring this up while it's fresh in my mind.  A few of us 
in DuraSpace got into a license header discussion, and it made me 
re-discover our current DSpace license header situation.

Most of our codebase still uses the policy of including the entire 
license as a header in a source file.  For example:

However, I've noticed that several of our newer projects (including 2.0 
work) use a shortened license header (which links off to a full license 
available elsewhere).  For example, in dspace-services we see:

In a quick comparison across the DuraSpace projects, we realized that 
Fedora uses a much small (less likely to change) comment at the top of 
its code.  Here's Fedora's standard header:

  * The contents of this file are subject to the license and copyright
  * terms detailed in the license directory at the root of the source
  * tree (also available online at

That sort of small header is nice as it requires less frequent 
modifications.  You'll notice it doesn't even contain the copyright 
statement, which tends to include changing years, and sometimes even a 
changing organization name -- e.g. much of our java code still says 
"Copyright DSpace Foundation", when it should now obviously say "DuraSpace".

To this end, DuraSpace would like to recommend changing to a shorter, 
standard license header at the top of each source code file.  We mocked 
up a "standard" DuraSpace license header to be:

  * The contents of this file are subject to the license and copyright
  * detailed in the LICENSE and NOTICE files at the root of the source
  * tree and available online at
  *     http://<project>.org/license/

(NOTE: None of our DSpace licensing or copyright info is changing, 
obviously. We're just trying to standardize our headers a bit better, 
and cleanup old out-of-date headers in our codebase.)

Should we (DSpace developers) approve this idea, this would mean three 
things for DSpace:
(1) We would slowly work to replace our existing license headers with 
this new standard license header.  (Or, if possible, do a giant bulk 
replace of our existing headers for the 1.7.0 release)
(2) We would move our current DSpace LICENSE file to our root of our 
source tree, and add a corresponding NOTICE file which details the 
latest DSpace copyright info  (and update Maven references as needed)
(3) I would work to get our DSpace license & copyright info also 
displayed publicly at '' (as that URL 
currently doesn't exist)

Again -- this is just a recommendation we are putting forward for 

I'll also add this as a discussion topic for our next Developers Meeting 
(Weds, June 16 at 20:00UTC in #duraspace IRC).  So, if you will be able 
to attend that meeting, you are welcome to hold your comments until then.

In the meantime, feel free to comment on this idea in this thread on 
dspace-devel, or send me an email with your thoughts.

Thanks all!

- Tim

Tim Donohue
Technical Lead for DSpace Project

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