Fixing project licenses using the suggested Ubuntu packages portlet

On Sunday I did an experiment to see how quickly I could provide the license information for old projects owned by the Registry Admins. There were 768 projects that I had the power to fix. Locating the license information is hard if you only know the upstream project. The copyright file in debian source package has all the license info, but I do not always know the source package (if there is one). There is a new feature on edge that suggests the Ubuntu package, and that makes this task much easier.

Reviewing a project takes 15 seconds. Linking the project to an Ubuntu package, providing a license, and reviewing the project takes 4 minutes. Some projects that are already linked to a package can be done in 1 minute. It may take 10 minutes if Launchpad suggests many source packages. I need to view the latest version number of each suggested source package in Lucid, and search http://packages.ubuntu.com/ to verify the version and description match the project and candidate package. I disabled a few projects because there was already a registered project with license information, and already linked to a package–I assume the project I was looking at was named differently from the package, so users re-registered it.

It will take me about 3 weeks to fix the remaining projects. That will still leave 4000 projects in Launchpad that are missing license information. I need to think of a strategy to get those fixed.