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LicensesKit

A simple way to list third-party licenses in your iOS apps

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Apache License, Version 2.0

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LicensesKit

Making giving credit where credit is due much easier than before.

If you've ever worked on an app that uses any third-party libraries (which is everyone), then you probably know that it's courteous (and sometimes mandatory, depending on the library) to add the library's license to an "acknowledgements" page in your app. And those pages are often tedious to put together and, especially, update. With LicensesKit, your troubles are over!

LicensesKit is Flexible.

A lot of the popular license-displaying libraries (namely VTAcknowledgementsViewController and TRZSlideLicenseViewController) only have support for if all of your libraries are in CocoaPods. While the automation of aggregating all the licenses is nice, it doesn't help if, say, you use Google's API client, which if don't want an outdated pod, you would just use the SVN from the project site.

With LicensesKit you can just aggregate basic information about the libraries you use in a JSON file that you include in your app bundle (learn more about specifics below), or add them in code if you prefer. This abstracts and simplifies things for you as the developer because you do not need to worry about where the library is coming from, all you need is to just list it.

LicensesKit in action

LicensesKit in action

Installation

Use CocoaPods (0.36+):

pod 'LicensesKit'

Usage

Basic usage of this library involves creating a LicensesViewController object, adding the libraries included in your app, and pushing the view controller onscreen.

Adding 'Notices'

A notice is an object containing information about the library being used and its license. Namely:

PropertyDescriptionExample
nameThe name of the library"AFNetworking"
urlThe url where the library can be found"https://github.com/AFNetworking/AFNetworking"
copyrightThe copyright information for the library (usually found paired with the license)"Copyright (c) 2013-2014 AFNetworking (http://afnetworking.com/)"
licenseThe license the library usesMITLicense()

As you can tell from above the license is a property of type License, of which this library includes many subclasses for most of the common licenses, adding more often, including:

  • Apache Software License 2.0

  • BSD 3-Clause License

  • Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

  • GNU General Public License 2.0

  • GNU General Public License 3.0

  • GNU Lesser General Public License 2.1

  • ISC License

  • MIT License

  • Mozilla Public License, Version 2.0

    Of course, you can use the CustomLicense class to build your own license if it is not listed above (for example, if a library has their own custom license).

Add notices from JSON

To automate the process of aggregating the licenses together for all the libraries used in your app, you can list all of your libraries and their licenses in a json file included in your app bundle, with a format as such:

{
    "notices": [
        {
            "name": "LicensesKit",
            "url": "https://github.com/mattwyskiel/LicensesKit",
            "copyright": "Copyright (C) 2014 Matthew Wyskiel",
            "license": "Apache Software License 2.0"
        },
        {
            "name": "StringBuilder",
            "url": "https://github.com/mattwyskiel/StringBuilder",
            "copyright": "Copyright (C) 2014 Matthew Wyskiel",
            "license": "Apache Software License 2.0"
        }
    ]
}

The license field's value directly correlates to the name of a license defined either in the library or a custom license you define. In order for the library to be able to use a license you define yourself (either by subclassing License or making a CustomLicense instance), you need to register the license with the LicensesViewController instance's licensesResolver object, like so:

Swift

licensesVC.resolver.registerLicense(customLicense)

Objective-C

[licensesVC.resolver registerLicense:customLicense];

As soon as you have your JSON file together and registered all the custom licenses you need, just use the setNoticesFromJSONFile(filepath:) method on your LicenseViewController instance:

Swift

licensesVC.setNoticesFromJSONFile(filepathForJSONFile)

Objective-C

[licensesVC setNoticesFromJSONFile:filepathForJSONFile];

NOTE: If you add notices from JSON, this overrides all the notices currently set in the LicensesViewController instance. If you want to add notices from code (as described below), do so after any calls to setNoticesFromJSONFile(filepath:).

Adding Notices in Code

To add a notice in code, just make a Notice instance and then call addNotice(notice:) (or addNotices(notices: if you want to add an array of notices at once).

Swift

let notice = Notice(name: "AFNetworking", url: "https://github.com/AFNetworking/AFNetworking", copyright: "Copyright (c) 2013-2014 AFNetworking (http://afnetworking.com/)", license: MITLicense())
licensesVC.addNotice(notice)

Objective-C

Notice *notice = [[Notice alloc] initWithName:@"AFNetworking" url:@"https://github.com/AFNetworking/AFNetworking" copyright:@"Copyright (c) 2013-2014 AFNetworking (http://afnetworking.com/)" license: [[MITLicense alloc] init]];
[licensesVC addNotice:notice];

Customization

Of course, you can optionally customize what the licenses look like when they are displayed in the LicensesViewController instance.

  • Set the cssStyle property to a string of CSS code to override the style of the content shown in the LicensesViewController.
  • Set the pageHeader property to a string of HTML code to add content above the first license displayed.
  • Set the pageFooter property to a string of HTML code to add content below the last license displayed.

Documentation

All public API in this library is documented inline (just quick-look any item for more info). Because of this, documentation is also available on CocoaDocs.

That's it!

It's that simple! I hope you get much use out of this library as well as enjoy using it.

Please, if you find bugs, tell me about them in the Issues or submit pull requests yourself. That would help a ton!

License

LicensesKit is licensed under the Apache Software License 2.0. See the LICENSE file for more details

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