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Open Apps: Open Source released as Open Data

Olcoz's picture
Submitted by Olcoz on Wed, 2012-06-06 19:44

We are finishing a decree project to enable openness and reuse of applications developed for Basque Government's Public Sector (If you would like to know a little bit more about it you can check the opinion published at Free Software Foundation Blog, for example,http://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2012/06/04/common-sense-in-the-basque-coun...). We plan to publish or release these Open Applications (Open Apps) into Public Domain following Open Data mechanisms. To do so we are working on identifying needed Metadata and we have started from standardization proposals currently under development at IEEE and JoinUP, supported by CENATIC.
I am planning to attend next Digital Agenda Assembly and I would like to have the opportunity to introduce the approach of this Decree for Openness and Reuse of Applications and the advantages it will create for Public and Private Sectors.
I would also like to share preliminary thoughts/ideas about how to manage the resulting big amount of information that will appear as soon as Open Apps will be realeased into the Public Directory and how to manage such a Big Data in order to improve their reusability and their influence in order to start also thinking of a Design for Reuse mathodology to be applied on it in a neas future.

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rsantos_tlf's picture
Submitted by rsantos_tlf on Fri, 2012-06-08 01:00

El debate de repositorios, directorios y portales para mostrar lo Open está más vivo que nunca http://pip.blog.euskadi.net/?p=2734 y en él ya se ha llegado a un grado de madurez tal que está en el momento adecuado para que la UE normalice su uso en todos los estados miembros.

Me parece interesante que la UE se plantee en la Agenda Digital Europea mecanismos para liberar aplicaciones bajo EUPL pero creo que es importante extender esta licencia para que abarque Open Data (ya se lo propuse en el blog de Mrs Neelie Kroes pero no sé si le ha llegado http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/neelie-kroes/single-data-licence/#comment-1128 ) y para que se mejoren sus mecanismos de protección contra el Cloud con la clausula Affero. Este debate al respecto sué muy interesante http://pip.blog.euskadi.net/?p=2839

Pero creo que lo más importante es que la obligación de desarrollar en abierto va a transformar el sector TI para hacerlo una verdadera Industria, y no una artesanía como lo es hoy dia. El desarrollo en abierto de software libre para el desarrollo de las competencias propias del sector público supone lograr que el sector de las TI deberá usar metodologías comunes y conocidas, que las medidas de calidad serán transparentes y que los estándares son abiertos. Esto implica que las empresas podrán especializarse en componentes concretos y ser reconocidas y contratadas por su expertise y no por la dependencia que han logrado en sus clientes.
Supone que la formación de profesionales se puede también se puede especializar y sobre todo supone que el ciclo de innovacion-producción-explotación no está viciado por el secreto del código y los instrumentos para producirlo sino que entra en el circulo virtuoso de la reutilización, revisión entre pares y ciclo de amortización por aprovechamiento.

Es algo que se expuso en los debates:
http://pip.blog.euskadi.net/?p=2734
http://pip.blog.euskadi.net/?p=2978
Y que creo que sería muy útil para los grupos de trabajo de la DAA (aunque no sé en que grupo está la dominación mundial ;-).

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Olcoz's picture
Submitted by Olcoz on Fri, 2012-06-08 09:53

There is also another specific thread devoted to the need of a "Single Open Data License"
http://daa.ec.europa.eu/content/single-opendata-license-all-eu-great-act..., propose by Marc Garriga. I've already mentioned the proposal that I did by february about extending EUPL to cover also Data and you already did a proposal about it. Maybe next week this could be one of the points to be discussed in the Data Group of this Digital Agenda Assembly, isn't it?

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rsantos_tlf's picture
Submitted by rsantos_tlf on Fri, 2012-06-08 10:35

Thank Serafín, exactly this is the proposal I made to Neelie Kroes:
http://daa.ec.europa.eu/content/single-opendata-license-all-eu-great-act...

This is the EUPL patch http://goo.gl/t7HL4

The Spanish version contains comments on specific changes http://goo.gl/v8Ldm

This is an important issue because the EUPL has managed to harmonize the software release process of the European institutions and member countries. Use the EUPL to leverage that data is getting traction and synergies in vision Open that should lead us to the restructuring of public sector processes to be more effective and appropriate to the needs of society (citizens and businesses in particular) for what which must obviously be open, transparent and participatory.
The European Commission can make a big push with a straightforward, inexpensive and fast: Take a EUPL 1.2 that covers data and protect the liberties of software in the environment "cloud" with a clause like "Affero."

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Olcoz's picture
Submitted by Olcoz on Fri, 2012-06-08 10:55

Great! I agree with you, Roberto. In fact, I think this license issue should be one of the main points to be discussed during the Digital Agenda Assembly on 21st. So, the results of the discussion could be presented to Neelie Kroes by 22nd in Brussels too, isn't it?

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lolox's picture
Submitted by lolox on Fri, 2012-06-08 07:44

Very simple but a big step for IT local industry. Congratulations on behalf of CENATIC. We will be by your side supporting every action!! You Serafin rocks!. And by the way, it's absolutely suitable for every country in Europe.

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Submitted by javiermartindz on Fri, 2012-06-08 09:05

As other people said, congratulations to Basque Government's Public Sector and CENATIC. It is very important to support this kind of projects across Europe.

Good work and go on!

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Policybloggers's picture
Submitted by Policybloggers on Fri, 2012-06-08 11:06

This is indeed interesting. We ran an event in Amsterdam called Apps for smart cities www.appsforsmartcities.com based on a manifesto that the city should be a platform - and with emphasis on human rights, disability etc type of apps. I will follow your work with interest and we can collaborate. I am @ajitjaokar (I also run policy bloggers network) see manifesto here http://www.appsforsmartcities.com/?q=manifesto

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EUNATE RAMIREZ DE MIGUEL's picture
Submitted by EUNATE RAMIREZ ... on Fri, 2012-06-08 13:45

From ESLE, we consider to it be fundamental to explicitly back up reusing and code liberating policies from the European Commission. Our information technology business network has the opportunity to increment its economic figures taking off from these type of initiatives that, at the same time, are aligned with sustainability, interoperability and the efficient management of public resources. From the information technology network, which exploits the services found in free technologies, we believe we have the opportunity, though the exploitation of these liberated applications, to generate business, activity and employment. And we have the opportunity to develop these applications to products that can liberate international markets.

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Olcoz's picture
Submitted by Olcoz on Fri, 2012-06-08 15:40

Totally agree with your comment. That's the reason why the issues related about how to publish Open Apps using Open Data mechanisms should be addressed by the Digital Agenda Meeting, isn't it?

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digisus's picture
Submitted by digisus on Fri, 2012-06-08 16:41

Olcoz, I am confused about the "open apps" release idea: Will you release the software under a free/open copyright license (as mentioned in the FSFE article) or do you plan to release it as public domain?

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Olcoz's picture
Submitted by Olcoz on Fri, 2012-06-08 17:04

Hi Digisus, I was not as precise as I had to be. I wanted to say to release into free and public access (not domain in a legal sense) under EUPL license (for the source Code/Data and CC By-SA for the complementary information/documentation). If you want, I could send you an english version of the draft of decree we are almost finishing to process. (If so, let me drop yor email address to do so, thanks!).

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abarrio's picture
Submitted by abarrio on Fri, 2012-06-08 17:06

Great initiative.
Public funds must be used in a way that their final owners (citizens) can access to and use them freely. "Openness" is the only way to reach this principle.

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jcavanillas's picture
Submitted by jcavanillas on Fri, 2012-06-08 18:43

This is a great step forward. If fights proprietary software niches in public customers, while leveraging the economy of the software industry sector. Good for both citizens and companies, good for fair competition, good for software quality and reusability.

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xcastanho's picture
Submitted by xcastanho on Fri, 2012-06-15 09:02

Common sense applied to Public Administration. Any investment made by Public Administrations in Software should be returned to its citizens as Free Software. Other institutions should re-use, publish improvements, etc. in order to increase in efficiency and to avoid useless duplicities...

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gerloff's picture
Submitted by gerloff on Tue, 2012-06-19 11:40

As I explained in an earlier blog post [http://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2012/06/04/common-sense-in-the-basque-coun..., this is a splendid idea, which should be adopted more widely.

The mechanics of releasing public-sector software under Free Software are very simple - certainly much simpler than many other processes that public administrations deal with on a daily basis. The Basque regional government has grasped this in writing this law, and I hope they'll stick with the simplicity when it comes to executing on the new rules.

For other public bodies who would like to follow this positive example, here are the general steps to follow:

1. Make sure you hold the copyright in the code. When contracting out software development, include a contract clause saying that the public body, rather than the developer, will hold the copyright in the software. You're paying to have the product developed, so you should be the one who decides what happens with it. Make this a standard clause in your contract templates. (The alternative is to make it mandatory for the developer to release the code under certain Free Software licenses. But this can be a little more tricky, and why give away flexibility?)

2. Pick a couple of licenses under which you'll release your software. GPLv3 is the gold standard; it secures your investment by making sure that your software will remain free, so that you and others will always be able to use, study, share and improve the program as needed. (For software running on a network server, choose AGPLv3.) The EUPL also makes sense in some circumstances. Allow for some flexibility - depending on the code that your developers are using as input, they might be obliged to use certain licenses. In case things things really complicated, there are qualified lawyers out there who can advise you. FSFE's legal team (legal at fsfeurope dot org) can point you to many of them.

3. Publish. Set up a process how your public body will publish its software. You may have to use it frequently, so make it really easy. There are numerous sites for just this sort of thing - forges like Joinup [http://joinup.ec.europa.eu/], and plenty more at national and regional levels.

That's it. Not too difficult, right?

In my experience, problems with this process are usually rooted in long-standing habits or mindsets, rather than in any actual technical or legal issues. That's why it's important to explain to your organisation what you're doing, and why releasing software matters. Get your staff excited about releasing your software, and you'll have a much easier time of it.

Frequently, those who have already implemented a process like this are quite happy to share their experiences. Just ask.

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