At the Open World Forum conference held in Paris on October 1 & 2 IDABC organised a special event for public administrations that use or are considering to use open source and open standards.
Entitled ‘The Power of Communities’, IDABC’s Open Source Event 2009 set out to address how European public administrations can best interact with and participate in open source communities.
By definition, communities are multilateral in nature,involving multiple producers (of code, experience,knowledge) and multiple consumers. Due to this very nature, investment in open communities can result in multiplied output.
Following a keynote speech on the economical sustainability of open source software, a number of examples of successful collaboration between public administrations and open source communities were presented and discussed. All the presentations of the event are downloadable from the IDABC website: http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/chapter/6031
“Public administrations using open source software need to learn how to work with and to participate in the communities that develop and maintain such software,” said Karel De Vriendt, head of the unit responsible for the IDABC programme. “The culture of these communities is often very different from that in public administrations.”
Another reason to consider such involvement is that the actions of public administrations need proper justifi cation, commented De Vriendt. “They may feel a moral obligation to give back to the open source development community.But it has to fi t within the mandate of the organisation and it must be a good use of public funds.”
Editorial published in Synergy 13 - December 2009