Italy now has its own Internet repository for the development of Open Source software for public administrations. Luigi Nicolais, the minister for Innovations in Public Administration, launched the website for the project titled Ambiente di Sviluppo Cooperativo, Atmosphere of Cooperative Development, on May 16.
Nicolais says the use of Open Source software helps to reduce costs and opens up the IT market. "Such software is easy to adapt to our requirements and easy to share."
The use of Open Source software is part of Italy's e-government strategy, explained the minister. "It is therefore necessary to create a place where companies and public authorities can work together to make Open Source software sustainable."
The development website is be hosted by Cnipa, the centre for Information Technology in Public Administration, in Rome. Cnipa is using the Open Source software GForge for hosting the development projects. This application allows developers to manage several versions of their program as well as the documentation, be able to publicise news on their projects and track issues. The repository will be open to everyone, as long as the submitted development projects use an Open Source license.
According to Cnipa's president, Livio Zoffoli, Italy's public authorities are increasingly turning to Open Source software. In 2005 some 54 per cent of Italian government institutions used this type of software. Last year, this had increased to 67 per cent. "The market for this kind of applications is considered mature."
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- Ambiente di Sviluppo Cooperativo (in Italian)