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Wednesday, 06 July 2016 10:12

Project aims to store publicly available software

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A French organisation dedicated to computational sciences has started a project to collect, organise, preserve, and make easily accessible the source code of all publicly available software.

Inria has dubbed the project Software Heritage and says it will adopt distributed infrastructure in order to ensure long-term availability and reliability.

The initiative has already collated source code from more than 20 million software projects, a total of 2.5 billion unique source files.

Two early partners of the project are Microsoft, and DANS, an institution of the Royal Academy of the Arts and Sciences and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Inria chief executive Antoine Petit says the decision to create the project was taken more than a year ago. "In order to scale up worldwide, the time has now come to open it up to the widest, national and international contributions."

Software Heritage has invited companies and individuals from around the world to join and help the project.

The goal is to build a modern "library of Alexandria" of software, "a unique reference database of all source code, a tool for new software projects and a research instrument for computer science: a societal, technical and scientific challenge".


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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