The Virtual Forges are hosted by OSOR but have the look and feel of local development and repository websites. They will offer the public administration the facilities they need, but will give the appearance that the project’s website is hosted by the public administration itself. The infrastructure is provided by OSOR and all the projects hosted by the Virtual Forge are also visible on the ‘main’ OSOR.eu website, thus giving them Europe-wide visibility.
Launched in July 2009, OSOR hopes the new feature will prove popular since the Virtual Forges offer customisable websites, the high availability of the OSOR servers and no worries about the technical management or necessary disk space.
The Virtual Forges were originally developed by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. The university in Madrid,Spain, is one of the actors involved with building and maintaining OSOR.
The Virtual Forges are intended for public administrations which develop many open source projects or provide services similar to those of OSOR.eu but on a national/ regional level.
The Virtual Forge is one of the two new features on OSOR. Since 1 July 2009, the site has been also supplying information on the software development projects taking place on OSOR.eu or one of the collaborating National Repositories, Using the service visitors can search more than 1 700 projects of interest to public administrations. These are hosted on a number of repositories (‘forges’) across Europe.
The search engine uses the European Commission’s machine translation service to make them searchable across all languages while presenting the project descriptions in English.
In addition to a general description of each project, the site also shows development metrics, for instance how many codes were committed over the last week or how many developers are involved to help public administrations evaluate better the activity and quality of a given application.
Editorial published in Synergy 13 - December 2009