FOSSology Offers Free Open Source Tracking

Lora Bentley

On Monday, HP began nosing into Black Duck's market, according to this Computerworld UK piece, with the launch of its FOSSology project. The story says the project arose from work done within HP to track the company's own use of open source.


As the project Web site notes:

[W]e needed a tool that would quickly and accurately describe how a given open source project was licensed. Rather than simply collecting a project's advertised license (as given at their website or in their documentation), this tool needed to analyze all of the source code for a given project and intelligently report all of the licenses being used.

Computerworld UK reports the project is licensed under version 2 of the GNU General Public License and is supported by most Linux platforms.


Black Duck Software also offers software compliance tools. Rather than objecting to the presence of another competitor, however, the company welcomes HP into the open source compliance market. Computerworld UK quotes Black Duck CEO Doug Levin as follows:

FOSSology is a nice tool for developers. It will result in software developers being better informed about their use of GPL. That makes it a very worthy tool.

FOSSology developers admit the project is not flawless, the story says. Nonetheless, observers in the space say it's nice for companies to have a choice when it comes to open source tracking. Even if it's not authoritative, the story indicates, FOSSology will help companies get a better picture of how open source is used throughout their respective organizations.

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