Tuesday, July 9, 2013

PSHDL is now open source

Many PhD students before me tried to generate a living out of their new compiler. Most of them failed, or the compiler never made it to market. One simple reason is that people who have control over how money is spent, are seldom the same as the one that would benefit from an increased productivity. Or at least the feedback loop is too large for a narrow minded person to perceive. And so a lot of really awesome compilers end up not being used. Also the EDA industry is a very conservative one.

I don't want PSHDL to end up in a junk drawer without anyone using it. I want to create a community where people can learn to program FPGAs (and have fun while doing so). For this I decided to make it open source. GPL3 to be more specific. My hope is that this encourages people to use PSHDL without the fear that once they have written everything in PSHDL, the development ceases and they are stuck with a critical bug. I also hope that it encourages people to develop their own generators, annotations and native functions that enhance the functionality of PSHDL.

There is only one thing that I want to avoid and that is a clone of PSHDL with a very similar, but different enough syntax to break existing code. When something is labeled PSHDL, it should be PSHDL as I invented it. Thus I limit the usage of the term PSHDL as Apache does with its license.

So if you want to take a look at the 64000 SLOC that constitute the compiler, go check out the code. Or if you encouter a bug, please file it.

While there is a command line version code that you can use locally, I urge you to rather use the REST service. Either with the new Dart Web ui which currently is considered a beta, or with the sublime plugin that was developed by cryptix.

The very simple reason for recommending the REST service is that the PSHDL compiler has bugs, and I fix them as fast as I can. By using the online service you can be sure to alyways have the latest, and hopefully most bug free version of the compiler.