Open Source Observatory


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In the June issue

Getting the message across

When calling for openness in government - and especially in the context of ICT - open source advocates often urge the public sharing of source code. This helps to give insight into how, for example, personal data is stored and used. Publishing source code with an open source licence, another highly recommended step, provides access to all on an equal basis.

In the past few months, this call has been heard. Across the EU, governments trying to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic are sharing their contact tracing apps as open source. This is the outcome of a recent debate over the openness and governance of this technology in smartphone apps. It seems Decentralised Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing protocol is being more used when compared to Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing protocol. The decentralised approach and openness serve a prelude to open source.

To see even more examples of the increasing recognition of openness, visit the Commission's Digital Response to COVID-19 page on Joinup, the platform which also hosts the OSOR Open Source Observatory. Digital Response to COVID-19 shows a growing number of solutions being shared as open source.

OSOR further confirms this trend towards openness. Read, for example, our report on schools in Romania that are working with Code for Romania, an NGO promoting open data, openness and the use of civic technology. Or check out these two updates: IO App, Italy's one-stop-shop for eGovernment services, and SILL, a well-curated list of recommended open source applications in France, both of which indicate the maturity of open source in Italy and France.

By aggregating these examples, OSOR encourages other public services to take a cue from their peers, open up, and increase their use of free and open source software. At the same time, aiming to help sustaining these open source initiatives, OSOR organised a webinar on the sustainability of open source communities in the public sector last week. Thanks again to all the participants who shared their thoughts on OSOR's draft Sustainability Guidelines for open source communities! Insightful takeaways stemmed from the discussions, e.g., the importance of giving back to the community behind the open source software, the role of private sector contributions, and the governance of open source communities in the public sector.

Latest News
Contributions to open source software used as a proxy to measure Artificial Intelligence developments

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a study on ‘Identifying and measuring developments in artificial intelligence’ in May 2020. The paper assesses global software advancements on Artificial Intelligence (AI) by measuring the number of contributions made to AI open source software on GitHub.

Lessons learned from Turkey’s Eyüpsultan switch to open source

Public services preparing to increase their use of free and open source software, especially on PC workstations, should take a cue from the municipality of Eyüpsultan in Turkey. In 2015, Eyüpsultan began a two-year switch to open source desktops. It succeeded because the IT administrators made sure the desktops looked very similar. “The reaction we got on the first day was amazing, it makes me smile even now,” says Hüseyin Güç, leader of the GNU/Pardus Linux Team.

Code for Romania tailors game elements to software for young visually and hearing impaired students

Open source software developers working for Code for Romania are planning to use elements from computer games to build educational software for school children with deafblindness and multisensory impairments. First code development will start early next month, and the first tests of alpha versions are planned for August or September.

The French government’s inter-ministerial catalogue of open-source software (SILL) gets its own dedicated open source website

Published annually since 2013, the French Inter-ministerial Catalogue of Open Source Software (Socle Interministériel de Logiciels Libres, SILL) is a list of recommended open source software for French public administrations. Previously only available as a PDF document, the 2020 edition is also available as a web version developed as an open source software.

Key takeaways from the OSOR webinar on sustainable OSS communities

The key purpose of the webinar was to present and receive feedback on OSOR’s draft Guidelines for Sustainable Open Source Software Communities in the Public Sector. Additionally, participants had the chance to hear from Nephtis Brandsma, product owner at Groningen municipality, and Fritjof Knier, CFO of Integreat, about their journeys toward being part of sustainable public sector open source software communities.

Latest OSS country factsheets
OSS factsheet - Austria

Want to know more on the use of open source software in Austria's public administration? This report and factsheet will help you to gain an overview of policies and existing legal frameworks throughout the country as well as open source software initiatives.

OSS factsheet - Romania

Want to know more on the use of open source software in Romania's public administration? This report and factsheet will help you to gain an overview of policies and existing legal frameworks throughout the country as well as open source software initiatives

Latest Software
RNDT metadata converter
Developed by the Agenzia per l'Italia Digitale, the RNDT metadata converter is a reusable solution allowing to request an OGC CSW (Catalog Service for the Web) and transfer the metadata records through a XSLT script.
SSI eIDAS Bridge reference implementation
The SSI eIDAS bridge is a pilot focusing on providing a cross-border identity solution compliant with the eIDAS trust framework. It opens a new way of implementing the eGovernment’s once-only principle. The eIDAS bridge refers to the component that will interconnect the SSI core solution to the eIDAS trust framework.
Interoperability Test Bed
The Interoperability Test Bed is a service offered by the European Commission’s DIGIT to facilitate the conformance testing of IT systems. It offers an intuitive web user interface that allows administrators to define their project’s overall testing setup as well as users to connect and run tests. The lastest additions to the Testbed are a GraphQL validation service and a GeoJSON validation service!
Upcoming Events

The OW2’online20 event is the annual event of the OW2 community. This year’s edition is exceptionally held online due to current travel restrictions. The online event will offer a series of online presentations and a live chat with the speakers. The OSOR team will participate in the event to present the work on open source policy country intelligence reports.

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Date 17/06/2020 - 18/06/2020
OpenExpo Europe 2020

OpenExpo Europe is one of the disclosure windows in Technological Innovation, Digital Transformation and Open Source. Created seven years ago, the four-day event aims to promote the open source ecosystem and generate networking.

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Date 17/06/2020 - 21/06/2020
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