Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is calling on governments to help preserve source code. The appeal is gaining support from researchers, universities and archives across the world. “The role of software development in all fields of innovation is still largely underrated,” Unesco says.
From the statement entitled “Paris Call - Software Source Code as Heritage“:
“Digital technology has become for many an essential tool for social existence, communication, creation, sharing, and is increasingly indispensable for accessing public services. However, the role of software development is still largely underrated, as is the recognition of software source code as an intellectual effort and as the receptacle and expression of part of our knowledge.”
In a press release, Unesco calls on governments to improve access to source code, and to boost citizens’ skills to fully participate in increasingly digital connected societies.
In 2017, the Paris-based Unesco joined the Software Heritage project launched the year befor by Inria, France’s national computer science institute. The Software Heritage project aims to “collect, index, preserve and make easily accessible the source code of the software that lies at the heart of our culture”.