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GitHub repositories now noticeably feature open source license details

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GitHub licenses

GitHub has started displaying open source license details in the online repository overview. The new significant change is designed to let developers know about licensing of repositories right before contributing their efforts towards them.

Until now, license files for GitHub repositories were placed at the bottom, and developers were required to scroll down to read the license details of any particular repository. But the new change brings a shortened license name, linking to the repository’s license, just after the contributor count.

“Adding an open source license to your repository ensures that others can use, copy, modify, and contribute back to your project. It is an important step when creating an open source project,” GitHub product manager Ayman Nadeem wrote in a blog post.

GitHub has used Ruby gem Licensee to compare the listed license files on its website with a short list of known licenses. But in case if your repository has multiple licenses, it will show the license details just as before, on the bottom of the online page. Moreover, you can use the Liceses API to add an open source license to your creation.

The update in license detail listing is initially available on the GitHub site. However, the change will also come preloaded with its upcoming Enterprise 2.8 release.