[License-discuss] Open Sourcing a SW with the GUI based on proprietary libraries

Paolo Palazzari paolo.palazzari at gmail.com
Thu May 9 16:55:22 UTC 2019

After several years of development, we decided to stop the development of
the SW we were working on. Now, because of the quality of the SW, we would
like to distribute it as open source, creating a community around it to
further develop and maintain the SW. As we are new to the Open Source, we
are facing an impasse and we do not understand if there is a way to
overcome the problem: our SW, which is a complex High Level Synthesis tool
for FPGA, uses, for the GUI, a third party proprietary library: the GUI is
not the core of the SW, but using the SW without the GUI is very difficult.
In the beginning, we thought to distribute as open source all the code we
wrote,  distributing the object code of the GUI (so the user should not
rebuild the GUI by himself). Reading the various open source licenses, we
had the impression that this is not possible as all the source code
necessary to build the executables should be made available. Is this
correct? Is there a way to Open Source software where the GUI is based on a
proprietary library?
I thank you for your attention.

Paolo Palazzari
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