using Visual Basic in open source projects

Pablo Dotro pdotro at
Tue Jul 22 18:07:58 UTC 2008

Pimm Hogeling wrote:
> Hello Pablo,
> has the following question in it's faq: "Can I write free
> software that uses non-free libraries?", and the answer starts with
> "If you do this, your program won't be fully usable in a free
> environment. If your program depends on a non-free library to do a
> certain job, it cannot do that job in the Free World. If it depends on
> a non-free library to run at all, it cannot be part of a free
> operating system such as GNU; it is entirely off limits to the Free
> World." The rest of the answer can be found here:
> Also, when looking for the "most open" license you should check out
> the X11/MIT license.
> Hope this helps.
> Pimm Hogeling
Hello Pimm,

It helps... as I understand it, it means that my code can be, in
principle, published under a free license, but since it is based on
non-free libraries, it is not possible to bundle it or run it on a
completely free environment.
Visual Basic is pretty much a Windows-only language... VB6 more so,
since like it's predecessors it builds upon a lot of Microsoft libraries
that are not available elesewhere, and depends on many services that I
think are only available in a Windows system. That's in part why I think
this is a tricky issue: what is the best way to release code that is
free and open, and at the same time it depends on libraries that, while
accessible to most Windows users, are not free in the sense of freedom.
Thank you very much for your answer!
Best regards,

Pablo M. Dotro
pdotro at
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