EC: Time For Europe To Share Open Source Secrets

Open SourceRegulationSoftware

The European Commission wants more government departments to share open source project code and learnings

The head of an European Commission programme to encourage more cooperation between European governments on open source claims the scheme has more than doubled the project its supports since its inception.

Speaking at a conference on open source in government, held in the Hungarian capital Budapest, Szabolcs Székács, who heads up the recently launched European Commission Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR), said that the portal has more than doubled the number of open source projects it is supporting since launching last October. “We have gone from around 30 projects when we launched last October to around 60 now,” said Székács

According to Székács, the OSOR project provides a way for government IT departments across Europe to share code and other information on open source projects and realise the financial savings that can result from replicating work already done in other states. “The EU believes this (OSOR) is one of the best ways to develop strong open source projects in the public sector,” he said.

Addressing the audience of mainly Hungarian government IT professionals, Székács said that the OSOR would provide a framework for not only cross-border IT sharing on open source projects but also internally within member states themselves.”This is an opportunity to join together and develop software – however it’s always difficult to say who will develop it first and then share it with others,” he said.

The European Commission is presenting OSOR as something equivalent to the Sourceforge open source repository but mainly aimed at the public sector in Europe. “OSOR provides a platform and support for cross-border collaboration on IT-solutions for public administrations. Modelled after well-known sites such as SourceForge that host developers communities around projects, the European FLOSS repository hosts European financed applications but is also open to host eGovernment applications, in general,” the EC said in a statement.

OSOR is part of wider initiative launched in 2005 known as the Interoperable Delivery of pan-European eGovernment Services to Public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens (IDABC) which aims to promote European eGovernment projects in general, according to the EC.

The Hungarian government IT event also included speakers such as Florian Schiessl, part of the iconic Munich LiMux desktop Linux migration. The event was sponsored by OSOR and vendors including Red Hat and Hungarian open source consultancy ULX.