Dialog box to accept software licenses / License(s) attribute for methods

dheimandheiman Member, Broadie ✭✭

There are many restrictive open-source licenses that are very specific on type of use (e.g. non-commercial only, etc.).
We would like to be able to include such tools in workflows we release to the public, but are worried about potential legal implications.

It would be really useful for tools with such licenses to force some sort of dialog box on analysis launch at least the first time a user runs a workflow with a restrictive license.

A straightforward implementation of this could be to add a License(s) attribute to methods that when populated forces the user to accept the license(s) before the method can be run.

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  • mnoblemnoble Broad Institute of MIT & HarvardMember, Broadie

    Using a boolean attribute (or config parameter) generalizes beyond a UI dialog box: because the attribute/parameter can also be set programmatically (with API or FISS).

    The default value would be False, signifying that the caller EITHER has not read the license yet OR has not accepted its terms (in either case the method aborts immediately). True signifies that the License terms have been read and/or accepted.

    With this approach a developer can take complete ownership of enforcing License acknowledgement (ACK) for their method. And they can in principle do so "today," without waiting for new features in the FireCloud UI to raise dialog boxes to ACK license agreements (which I presume would take a while to percolate through the priorities list and into implementation).

    Having the FC UI raise a dialog box to help gather the ACK could still be nice to have, though, because it can raise awareness earlier: as soon as the Launch button is pressed, prohibiting submission of the method, or perhaps even prohibiting the Launch button from being pressed (keeping it greyed out) until the attribute/parameter has been set to True.

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