Final thesis: JavaScript User Interface License Compliance Best Practices

Abstract: In the context of the prevalent use of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), this thesis emphasizes the need to shift license compliance in JavaScript User Interfaces (UIs) from merely “being done, right?” to genuinely “being done right”. It underscores the collective responsibility of software developers, managers, and end users, showing the problem of non-compliance and insufficient attribution in JavaScript UIs and the potential legal implications if obligations are not met. This thesis outlines a set of best practices within two workflows: the creation of a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) and the composition of third-party legal notices. It demonstrates the feasibility of these best practices using the Open Source Software Review Toolkit (ORT) in large projects, while acknowledging its limitations and the need for specialized knowledge. It also considers FOSSology as an alternative tool. Emphasizing the criticality of meeting both ethical and legal obligations, this thesis advocates for the application of the proposed best practices in license compliance for JavaScript UIs. It concludes with the unveiling of SCATool, a web application to simplify and automate the process of ensuring license compliance, highlighting the necessity of rigorous compliance strategies to keep up with today’s dynamically changing FLOSS landscape.

Keywords: Open source, open source license compliance, Javascript

PDF: Master Thesis

Reference: Martin Wagner. JavaScript User Interface License Compliance Best Practices. Master Thesis. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2023.