I'm developing software in VB.NET and C#.NET and planning to release their source codes as fully open source. Are these projects "open-source" safe?

My doubts are:

  1. VB.NET and C#.NET are using the .NET framework which is not open source.
  2. The source codes depends on the compiler and the IDE, although there's 100% open source and compatible alternatives provided, it is confirmed to be buggy and incompatible with my project.
  3. My projects were using the Jet 4.0 OLE DB, which is not open source either.
  4. Files like .Designer.vb, Microsoft ResX Schema, the Solution file, or the .vbproj etc that are generated by the Visual Studio

Maybe I didn't have enough knowledge on open-source in the field where the codes released can be mixed with non open-source, or the codes can be released as open source even though developed and generated on a non open-source IDE.

Am I still eligible to hold the "open-source project" title? Can the codes be released as open-source? If so, what kind of open source license that are compatible based on the criteria above?

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    "Open source" is not a title or a certification. Open source simply means the ability to read the source code. It's more about the software license, which dictates the terms by which the source can be used or distributed. – Robert Harvey Apr 15 '14 at 19:10
  • @RobertHarvey thanks for the clearance. open source is not about title, what about the compatibility with open source licenses? Thanks – Fariz Luqman Apr 15 '14 at 19:12
  • What about it? There are several kinds of software licenses. Some of them require that you provide all of the source, not just some of it. Those that do require you to open all of the source sometimes exempt system components like the OS. – Robert Harvey Apr 15 '14 at 19:13
  • @RobertHarvey Are projects like this eligible for using Apache License version 2.0? what else that are compatible, I need to select an open source license which is fully compatible with projects like this. thanks. – Fariz Luqman Apr 15 '14 at 19:17
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    @FarizLuqman: The IDE code is not open source, but the code that you write in an IDE belong to you. It is your work, and you can license it however you please. – Robert Harvey Apr 15 '14 at 19:40

Your code is your own.

Generated code is also your code. While Microsoft may have built the mechanism to output it, it is no more owned by them than a brochure your company prints is owned by HP. Using an IDE to write your code does not make the IDE developers own it.

Note, however, that your code is, more accurately, your employer's if you create it on the job.

On Licensing

Only a lawyer can truly explain exactly what is covered or not in a specific license, but the matters mentioned in your question aren't too difficult.

There are various kinds of licenses. Anything stricter than LGPL will not allow you to reference compiled assemblies that are not under the same (or compatible) license. Anything less, and you can. You may not be able to package proprietary software with your own, depending on the license, but you could still use it.

That should be everything you need to do the rest of the research into the license you want. Mostly, read the terms. They tell you exactly what's allowed.

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  • Thank you for your kind explanation. I now have clearer image to advance on Open Source lane. Thank you – Fariz Luqman Apr 16 '14 at 13:39

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