[darcs-users] RDF metadata for patch files

Trent W. Buck trentbuck at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 02:34:41 UTC 2009

Currently we have a patch file format that contains an author string
(usually an email address) and the date when the patch was recorded.

Given a work (e.g. a file) within a Darcs repo, it is currently a pain
in the arse to determine who the author and copyright holder of that
work is, and how it is licensed.

I had to do the same thing for an SVG file the other day, and I was
reminded that SVG files created by Inkscape typically include RDF
metadata.  This (can) tell the readers unambiguously, in a
machine-readable format, who the copyright holder is and how the file is
licensed.  This approach is also used by the Creative Commons.

I'd like to propose (long term) adopting either RDF or some equivalent
that allows end users to say on a per-patch file "I wrote this work, I
have copyright on it, and I license you to use it per the following
contract (e.g. GPL-2+)".

There would be facility so that an end user can declare their preferred
license, and a repository can declare its preferred license, and Darcs
would warn the user if they were incompatible.  For example, if I want
to use CDDL for my works, but the Darcs repository is GPL-2'd, it would
complain when I tried to do a "darcs record" unless I added to the
command line --license gpl-2+ or whatever.


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