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  1. Moodle
  2. MDL-17542

html2text appears to be incompatible with the GPL

    Details

    • Type: Bug
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: Major
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • Affects Version/s: 1.6.8, 1.7.6, 1.8.7, 1.9.3
    • Fix Version/s: 1.8.9, 1.9.5
    • Component/s: Libraries
    • Labels:
      None

      Description

      This library was reported in http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=507947

      The license for html2text is not included in the code, but rather on the website of the author:

      http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/jslibs/termsOfUse.html

      The most problematic bit of html2text's license is the requirement to get written permission to distribute:

      "However, if you want to include the scripts [...] in bundled or distributed scripts/software (such as Opera or Dashboard widgets, or the Formativ Academic Timetable), you should contact me first and obtain my express written permission."

      Then, there is a bit of discrimination for commercial sites through the addition of an "advertising clause":

      "Commercial/profit-making public websites:

      You should put a note saying that the script was provided for free by http://www.howtocreate.co.uk.

      You put a plain text (ie. not script) link to my site on your policy page or other appropriate page, to help me with my search engine rankings."

      The Debian developer who filed the bug suggested that we take a look at replacing this library with the one I have attached here. It's got the same name but is under the GPLv2+.

      Based on a quick 1.9 grep, that file is only used in lib/weblib.php:html_to_text(), which in turn is only used in format_text_email() of the same library file.

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              Hide
              skodak Petr Skoda added a comment -

              thanks, going to review it later this week

              Show
              skodak Petr Skoda added a comment - thanks, going to review it later this week
              Hide
              stronk7 Eloy Lafuente (stronk7) added a comment -

              Assigning to Petr

              Show
              stronk7 Eloy Lafuente (stronk7) added a comment - Assigning to Petr
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              Here's a patch which replaces the html2text library with the attached GPL one.

              The output is slightly different and we could help with more testing with different HTML inputs.

              However, I will need to commit this to the Debian package today as it is considered a release-critical issue for Debian.

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - Here's a patch which replaces the html2text library with the attached GPL one. The output is slightly different and we could help with more testing with different HTML inputs. However, I will need to commit this to the Debian package today as it is considered a release-critical issue for Debian.
              Hide
              dougiamas Martin Dougiamas added a comment -

              I'm cool with the patch going into Lenny.

              It can also go into HEAD for further testing (but not 1.9.x yet).

              Show
              dougiamas Martin Dougiamas added a comment - I'm cool with the patch going into Lenny. It can also go into HEAD for further testing (but not 1.9.x yet).
              Hide
              dougiamas Martin Dougiamas added a comment -

              Passing to Dongsheng to run some performance comparisons (that's the main thing I'm worried about).

              Show
              dougiamas Martin Dougiamas added a comment - Passing to Dongsheng to run some performance comparisons (that's the main thing I'm worried about).
              Hide
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment -

              The new one is faster to process <p></p>
              New: 0.0113739967346
              Old: 0.183360099792
              (500 p tags)

              but slower to process <img and <table>
              New: 0.755731105804
              Old: 0.208492994308
              (500 tables, 500 imgs and 500 a tags)

              Show
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment - The new one is faster to process <p></p> New: 0.0113739967346 Old: 0.183360099792 (500 p tags) but slower to process <img and <table> New: 0.755731105804 Old: 0.208492994308 (500 tables, 500 imgs and 500 a tags)
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              > 500 a tags

              There is a setting to disable the processing of links (create a list of URLs at the end I think). Perhaps we should disable that to make it faster?

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - > 500 a tags There is a setting to disable the processing of links (create a list of URLs at the end I think). Perhaps we should disable that to make it faster?
              Hide
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment -

              Hi, Francois
              Another test on links only:
              New: 0.126650094986
              Old: 0.449314832687

              Actually, the new lib faster in everything except <img, the funnest thing is the new lib directly ignore img tags, should we make it support process img tags?

              Show
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment - Hi, Francois Another test on links only: New: 0.126650094986 Old: 0.449314832687 Actually, the new lib faster in everything except <img, the funnest thing is the new lib directly ignore img tags, should we make it support process img tags?
              Hide
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment -

              I modified this file, now, the new lib wins on all tests

              Show
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment - I modified this file, now, the new lib wins on all tests
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              Hi Dongsheng,

              Here's a new version of the file. There are a few code changes, but the most important one is a security fix for possible code execution (see bottom of http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=508909 for the details).

              Can you please run your script against this one as well?

              Cheers,
              Francois

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - Hi Dongsheng, Here's a new version of the file. There are a few code changes, but the most important one is a security fix for possible code execution (see bottom of http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=508909 for the details). Can you please run your script against this one as well? Cheers, Francois
              Hide
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment -

              both OOP html2text versions are fater than the proceduring html2text,
              new version is a bit slower the the old version, I guess it use more regex in code.

              Old OOP: 0.0414950847626

              New OOP: 0.055447101593

              proceduring: 0.39603304863

              the testing text includes 500 links, images, tables and p tags each.

              Show
              dongsheng Dongsheng Cai added a comment - both OOP html2text versions are fater than the proceduring html2text, new version is a bit slower the the old version, I guess it use more regex in code. Old OOP: 0.0414950847626 New OOP: 0.055447101593 proceduring: 0.39603304863 the testing text includes 500 links, images, tables and p tags each.
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              New patch against 1.9 with the fixed version of html2text.php

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - New patch against 1.9 with the fixed version of html2text.php
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              New patch against 1.8 with the new version of html2text.php

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - New patch against 1.8 with the new version of html2text.php
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              New patch against HEAD with the fixed version of html2text.php

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - New patch against HEAD with the fixed version of html2text.php
              Hide
              aborrow Anthony Borrow added a comment -

              Francois - Since Martin's concern was with performance and the new function was shown to be faster and because of the licensing issues, should we not also apply the changes to 1.9 and 1.8? I came across this file when looking at another issue (MDL-18368). Applying the 1.9 patch cleared up the issue I was experiencing in MDL-18368 so it would resolve licensing, be faster, and less prone to PHP notices. I see no reason not to apply it to 18STABLE and 19STABLE. Peace - Anthony

              Show
              aborrow Anthony Borrow added a comment - Francois - Since Martin's concern was with performance and the new function was shown to be faster and because of the licensing issues, should we not also apply the changes to 1.9 and 1.8? I came across this file when looking at another issue ( MDL-18368 ). Applying the 1.9 patch cleared up the issue I was experiencing in MDL-18368 so it would resolve licensing, be faster, and less prone to PHP notices. I see no reason not to apply it to 18STABLE and 19STABLE. Peace - Anthony
              Hide
              aborrow Anthony Borrow added a comment -

              I am re-opening in the hopes that we can apply this to 1.8 and 1.9 and thus resolve MDL-18368. Thanks for your consideration. Peace - Anthony

              Show
              aborrow Anthony Borrow added a comment - I am re-opening in the hopes that we can apply this to 1.8 and 1.9 and thus resolve MDL-18368 . Thanks for your consideration. Peace - Anthony
              Hide
              aborrow Anthony Borrow added a comment -

              One last thought/question, if the licensing is an issue for Debian will they not want this fixed in the 1.8 Moodle package?

              Show
              aborrow Anthony Borrow added a comment - One last thought/question, if the licensing is an issue for Debian will they not want this fixed in the 1.8 Moodle package?
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              I don't mind applying it to 1.8 and 1.9. There are a few differences in the conversions from HTML to text but as far as I remember, it was a matter of the output being "different" (as opposed to being "wrong").

              The Debian packages all use the new code already.

              Francois

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - I don't mind applying it to 1.8 and 1.9. There are a few differences in the conversions from HTML to text but as far as I remember, it was a matter of the output being "different" (as opposed to being "wrong"). The Debian packages all use the new code already. Francois
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              Committed the fix to 1.8 and 1.9 stable.

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - Committed the fix to 1.8 and 1.9 stable.
              Hide
              skodak Petr Skoda added a comment -

              looks like we have a serious regression, please review the linked bug report, thanks

              Show
              skodak Petr Skoda added a comment - looks like we have a serious regression, please review the linked bug report, thanks
              Hide
              francois Francois Marier added a comment -

              I have committed an updated version of this file to CVS, along with a readme describing its origin.

              Show
              francois Francois Marier added a comment - I have committed an updated version of this file to CVS, along with a readme describing its origin.
              Hide
              tsala Helen Foster added a comment -

              Thanks Francois

              Show
              tsala Helen Foster added a comment - Thanks Francois

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                  Dates

                  • Created:
                    Updated:
                    Resolved:
                    Fix Release Date:
                    13/May/09