Make license/licenses field mandatory

Eric Hodel drbrain at
Wed Oct 19 17:39:31 EDT 2011

On Oct 19, 2011, at 11:33 AM, Jay Feldblum wrote:
>   1. What could do to make it easy for all of its users to do
>   the right thing, and do the right thing by default?
>   2. What should do in that regard?

RubyGems already has a licenses field designed for short names, but RubyGems can't provide any guarantees.

> The wrong thing is for gem authors to upload unlicensed gems or gems with
> unusable licenses to a public gems-sharing website, and for gem users to
> download and use those gems under the default assumption that it's ok (it's
> not, and gem users need to understand that and pay attention to it).

Continuing to argue this point on this mailing list will get you nowhere.  I can't control what gem authors do and I have very limited power to push them in any particular direction.

You are going to need to write up some documents to educate gem authors.  I don't have the time or passion to write up such a document and none of the other committers have shown an interest.  If you wish to see further movement you need to start educating authors.  I can help publicize what you write.

> could guide its users towards uploading only licensed software
> where knows about the license used (e.g. it's a SPDX license
> tag).

Have you not been reading this thread?  We've already agreed to using the SPDX tags, but will not enforce any restriction at this time.

> could also guide its users to knowing about
> the licenses of every gem uploaded to it, by displaying the license name
> (and a link to the license text) on the page for that gem and by permitting
> the rubygems library to expose the license as gem metadata.

I can't speak for Nick, but I believe he has his hands full between his work responsibilities and the existing maintenance burden of running  If you wish to see such features you will need to write them.

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