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Basque government unveils open source repository to facilitate reuse

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The government of Basque Country, one of Spain's autonomous regions, has unveiled last week Friday its repository of open source software, openapps.euskadi.net. Making its software solutions publicly available should encourage other public administrations to re-use them, and collaborate in development.

Openapps.euskadi.net is using 'an open data-like publishing mechanism', comments one of the IT staffers involved. "We'll provide the code as it is, without filtering."

The site includes a catalogue of third-party open source applications, linking to six other open source repositories, including the ones from Joinup, Cenatic, the Spanish and the Catalan government. The site lets users search for solutions in any of these sites. Other repositories will be added to this catalogue over time.

A second category of software applications, focusing on re-use, will be added to the website soon.

Ontology
The repository is one concrete result of a Basque Country Act that was adopted this summer. The law says that all software applications written for or by the country's public administrations will by default be shared as open source. "Our open apps re-use process is a systematic part of this decree", says one of the Basque government open source developers.

The development of the decree was approved as an Order of the Counsellor of Home Affairs, Justice and Public Administration of September 25th. Attached to it is an ontology of open assets. This includes three repositories; the Open Apps Catalogue, the Catalogue of Other Open Apps and the catalogue of Open Apps re-use processes.

"So, all our processes are part of the catalogue. Logically, we even make the platform's source code available. We built it using PHP and Drupal, and we're nearly done with a plug-in to export meta data descriptions of the three catalogues using the W3C's RDF concepts. That should make our repository interoperable with others that use the ADMS.sw or DCAT, to describe software and semantic assets."

The Basque repository explains users of the site have the freedom to study, improve, customise and redistribute the source code of the applications. The preferred licence for Basque Country applications is the European Union's open source licence, EUPL. Documentation should be made available preferably under the Creative Commons Attribution Share licence (CC-by-SA).

More information:
Basque Government open source repository
English introduction to the Basque Government open source repository