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Questions regarding licensing issues


Dear all,

this is a repeat of an email to licensing@fsf.org; unfortunately I didn't get any response from there.

I'm the author of a high-level synthesis tool (sort of hardware compiler) that is about to be commercialized. The tool will be available under a non-GPL compatible license.

I have a few questions to make sure that I will not violate the GPL,v3:

1. My tool is structured as follows:
- A frontend that translates GIMPLE dumps to my own N-Address Code (NAC) textual representation.
- A module that generates CDFGs (expressed as Graphviz graphs) from NAC translation units.
- A backend that generates a hardware description in the VHDL language.


These are three different/separate tools (distinct executables).

1. Is it possible to use this scheme and not violate the GPL,v3 for GCC? If I use GIMPLE dumps generated by "-fdump-tree-all" I think there is a violation (correct me if not). Thus this module should be FLOSS/GPL'ed, right?

2. Does this apply to plugins?

I think that in Runtime Library Exception FAQ ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gcc-exception-3.1-faq.html ) you forbid the use of external use of textual forms of GCC's internal representation(s). Actually this is detailed in the answer to: "Why is compiler intermediate representation excluded from the definition of "Target Code?"

I have thought of a way to adhere to the GPL,v3: AFAICS it is legal to develop a NAC backend for GCC, as an abstract machine target. The backend would of course be open-sourced under GPL,v3. Then it would be used to generate the corresponding assembly program, which would be then fed to the proprietary software. The rest of the process is similar to having proprietary software binaries generated by GCC.

Am I correct?


Best regards, Nikolaos Kavvadias



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