Sorrel: an IDE Plugin for Managing Licenses and Detecting License Incompatibilities

Dmitry Pogrebnoy, Ivan Kuznetsov, Yaroslav Golubev, Vladislav Tankov, and Timofey Bryksin

September, 2021. Published in the proceedings of ICSME'21. 🏆 Best Tool Demo Award 🏆

Abstract. Software development is a complex process that includes many different tasks besides just writing code. One of the aspects of software engineering is selecting and managing licenses for the given project. In this paper, we present Sorrel - a plugin for managing licenses and detecting potential incompatibilities for IntelliJ IDEA, a popular Java IDE. The plugin scans the project in search of information about the project license and the licenses of its libraries. If the project does not yet have a license, the plugin provides the developer with recommendations for choosing the most suitable open license, and if there is a license, it informs the programmer about potential licensing violations. The tool makes it easier for developers to choose a proper license for a project and avoid most of the licensing errors - all inside the familiar IDE editor.

The plugin and its source code are available online on GitHub: https://github.com/JetBrains-Research/sorrel. A demonstration video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doUeAwPjcPE.

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