Proposed W3C Test Suite Licenses; Feedback Welcome

Several W3C Working Group participants have requested that W3C change its software license to make it easier for developers to re-use test cases in software development, bugtracking, and other scenarios. We have created a proposal for new licenses: a 3-clause BSD License and a W3C Test Suite License. We welcome public feedback; see the proposal for details.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction.

Licenses for distribution of W3C Test Suites should satisfy two goals:

  1. Enable developers to use test cases easily, and promote software development and bugtracking.
  2. Enable a W3C Working Group to create a branded, “Authoritative W3C Test Suite” to reflect the group consensus process, and to promote interoperability and stability of performance claims.

To achieve these goals, W3C makes available Test Suites under two distinct licenses for two mutually exclusive uses:

  1. a 3-clause BSD License for software development, bugtracking, and other applications that do not require assertions of performance to the public or implied claims of conformance to a W3C Specification.
  2. a W3C Test Suite License for an Authoritative W3C Test Suite or when claims of performance with respect to a specification are required.

The choice of license is up to the licensee for every single use of tests from a W3C Test Suite. It will typically depend on application requirements: the first one allows changes, the second does not.

Read the full proposal. Please send comments by 15 August.