open source software discussion in Gov, to include: – Free, libre, open source software – Creation of OSS by the gov – open standards
Developers, Citizen and government collaboration: let’s work it out.
October 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm #113127
Over the last couple years, many of us involved with open source in government have had discussions about what it means for citizen coders
to become involved in state, local and federal efforts. There are all
kinds of legal, ethical, and logistics questions that haven’t been
answered. Everyone seems to be solving them individually, but it’s not
well-coordinated. This means that agencies who want to engage developers
are wasting valuable time trying to figure out the “right way” to work
with the public.
The domain is large and already bearing fruit; I think we’re all enthusiastic about CivicCommons, CrisisCommons, and a host of public service oriented application development contests in many major cities.
On the other side, the Federal government is putting its toe deeper in the Open Source waters, recently making agreements with SourceForge
and other web-based developer services. The GSA has announced its
intention to launch “forge.gov”, inspired by forge.mil. The VA is
exploring how to open source their VistA electronic health record
system. The list goes on.
It seems now is a good time to bring together the disparate voices, various citizen coders and stakeholders in both online and in person
venues to determine what we expect from the Federal Government. We
anticipate a series of open workshops and online discussions leading to
a more engaged developer community, articulation of what the Federal
Government needs from us and what we’ll need in return. We’ll want to
turn some of these ideas into practice during a code-a-thon if we find
it makes sense as a result of our discussions.
Why should you care: the government literally spends billions of dollars a year on creating new software and source code. As we’ve seen
with code bases made available to the public (VA Vista, FalconView,
CaBIG, NASA WorldWind, etc.), pushing them to be open has huge benefits
both for the government and citizen developer.
We’ll kick off this effort at the upcoming GOSCON 2010 Conference in Portland, Oregon, October 27-28th. We’ll have our first discussion
at 8:00pm Oct. 28th and continue dialogue throughout the
conference. Other folks have also approached about the potential of
continuing the discussion in Washington DC in November/December.
Join the online discussion now:
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