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This is a milestone day for SPDX, the release of Version 2.0. This release is a great step forward and greatly expands the utility and applicability of the spec

SPDX 2.0 brings with it a number of features, but the ability to represent relationships and hierarchy is the biggest enhancement. We starting planning in earnest for this capability and 2.0 in 2012, but actually had considered building hierarchy into the original 1.0 work. Early on decided it was too big a chunk to bite off as a first step, though we always knew it would eventually be a requirement. Version 2.0 makes this all a reality. And, in parallel with Version 2.0 comes a version of the license list leveraging the elegant new syntax for license expressions.

A number of companies have gotten great value from both the SPDX 1.X and the SPDX License List without which the project would have fizzled years ago. There’s an apt old joke: “God created the heavens and earth in seven days…but he didn’t have an installed base to worry about.” We did have to worry about the SPDX early adopters. Kudos to the technical team for deftly balancing the needs of existing users with the aspirations and requirement a brave new spec. In the end, the capabilities of SPDX have been immensely expanded, but it  its language remains 90% common with the previous version and 1.2 docs remain compatible with the new version.

Surely there will be incremental improvements going forward, but 2.0 is the biggie and addresses the needs of the majority. Time to cross the chasm!