On 9 October 2019, the Etalab mission launched the code.etalab.gouv.fr website, which references and gives access to the list of software source codes published by French public administrations. French public administrations are encouraged to publish the source codes of the software used.
Why this website?
The website is part of an initiative launched by DINSIC to encourage the State to be more involved with the development of Open Source Software. Public administrations must publish the source codes of the software they developed or have contracted to third parties. In France, source codes of software used within public administrations are considered administrative documents by law, and thus, subject to the same obligations as databases.
How and by whom?
The data collection of the codes is carried out by a software developed by Antoine Augusti from Etalab. Logically, the software is included in the list of source codes on the data.gouv.fr website. Bastien Guerry, the open source software expert at DINSIC, developed the website that provides access to the data.
If you can't find your source code?
French administrations that do not find their software in this inventory are invited to report it, either by opening a ticket on the site or by sending an email. To help them, Etalab has even written a legal guide in order for them to determine whether their source code falls under the obligation of open source publication.
Archived by Software Heritage
To ensure a better sustainability of these software, the source codes that appear on the site code.etalab.gouv.fr are also referenced by Software Heritage, which has the ambition to build the universal archive of Open Source Software. To date, 99% of the resources listed by code.etalab.gouv.fr are already included.