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Weekend Project: Get to Know Your Source Code with FOSSology

“If you work with open source software of any kind —
whether at work or as a volunteer — then you understand the
importance of license compliance and keeping track of copyright
ownership. But as a project grows, those tasks can get tricky, even
when everyone is on the same page. That is exactly the problem that
led Hewlett Packard (HP) to create FOSSology, an open source tool
you can use to analyze a source code tree for this type of metadata
and more. This weekend, why not set it up and dig into your source
code — you might be surprised at what you find.

“FOSSology was originally built as an internal tool at HP, to
help engineers follow the large company’s IT governance policies
when working with open source software written elsewhere. Even if
your company or project isn’t as big as HP, any time you blend code
from different authors or want to borrow a routine from another
open source project, it can get tricky to maintain all the rules.
Certain licenses are compatible to combine in one executable, while
others need to be separate processes. If you customize an open
source application for internal use, you may also need to keep
track of authorship — even more so if you send patches
upstream.”


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