A blog for the enterprise open source community
Reduce, reuse, recycle… repositoryMatthew Aslett, June 27, 2008 @ 10:16 am ET
Dana would like to build a “Code Recycling Center” that would enable organizations to offload unwanted code and, presumably, pick up someone else’s unwanted code to create something new and exciting from. Admittedly, the code is unlikely to be mission critical, but then that’s why companies should be recycling it rather than developing their own. The legal and quality issues would need to be handled of course, but as Dana states:
“Corporate development staffs could unload their open source code, in whatever condition it may be in, secure in the knowledge the right home will be found for it. The Code Recycling Center would acknowledge the contribution and then go through the code, passing along what’s relevant to member projects, dumping the junk.”
It wouldn’t be easy of course, but then good ideas seldom are. One thing that is worth noting however is that projects like this, albeit under another name, are already up and running in some government circles.
Whilst on my tour of Europe I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of repository projects up and running across the continent to reuse code and reduce development costs and effort. Examples include Andalusia in Spain, the the Collaborative Development Environment in Italy, the Uitwisselplatform in The Netherlands, and Programverket in Sweden.
Meanwhile, the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) project, which will provide visibility into existing European open source projects where applications and code can be found and reused was launched just days ago.
OSOR will also encourage the reuse of publicly financed open source projects. Although it will at first host EC-funded projects, it will also be open to hosting projects created by individual governments and will promote the work of national repositories.
Examples like this are probably more likely than the single Code Recycling Center Dana envisages, but he is right in that the industry needs to encourage corporations, as well as governments, to get involved in these sort of initiatives.
Of course, when it comes to corporations, if it was considered a charitable donation, with the associated tax breaks, we might get somewhere. (See also Is social responsibility the key to corporate contributions?)
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