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

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Thu May 9 18:12:35 UTC 2019

Hi Paolo,

I am CEO of Open Research Institute, a non-profit which is working on
sharing technology development as Open Source. We recently completed our
501(c)3, which means contributions are tax-exempt in the US.

FPGA synthesis is interesting, as the Open Hardware community is actively
developing an Open Source FPGA toolset. We'd be interested in looking at
your software and potentially soliciting grants (from other funding
sources, not you) to port the work to a web interface. You can do anything
with HTML5 canvas these days, and it's OS-independent in a way that most
GUI toolkits never achieve.

I'd be happy to talk with you offline, and under NDA if necessary.



On Thu, May 9, 2019 at 9:56 AM Paolo Palazzari <paolo.palazzari at gmail.com>

> 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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