using Visual Basic in open source projects

Pablo Dotro pdotro at
Mon Jul 21 20:44:24 UTC 2008


I am aware that this is very probably an off topic subject, I will 
gladly accept any suggestions as to where to properly ask this question ;-)
I work as technician at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (University of 
Buenos Aires, in Argentina), in charge of IT services for the Physics 
Dept. teaching labs (at the Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, 
We are about to start a project that includes developing a ton of data 
adquisiton and data anlysis software to replace some very old utilities 
that were traditionally used in some of the regular experiments the 
students perform.
They are currently written in QuickBasic for DOS, in a mix-up of sample 
code from equipment manufacturers and old student and staff 
contributions accumulated along the years. Since most original authors 
are uncredited, and some of the code is in really bad shape, we are 
"clearing the board" and starting again from ground zero.
One of the premises of the project is that we are to chose the "most 
open" licensing scheme we can find.
Now most of our coding experience is in Visual Basic 6, and we have very 
little experience in creating open source software.

We are using the standard controls shipped with VB6, and some freely 
available (in binary form) ActiveX controls. Is it still possible to 
release our code under a free and open source license, even when it 
depends on the use of third party libraries and controls that are closed 
source? anyone has experience in doing this?
I understand that I need to get a lawyer for proper legal advise, but I 
would like to start with at least some information before being able to 
convince our management to get proper legal counsel involved in this.
Thanks in advance,

Pablo M. Dotro
pdotro at
Encargado de Servicios Informáticos
Laboratorios de Enseñanza
D. Física - FCEyN - UBA 

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