Joinup Open Source News Service - February 2016

Published on: 03/02/2016

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The OSOR Newsletter keeps you updated on Europe's public sector's use of free and open source software solutions.

Have an enjoyable read — and visit us at Open Source Observatory!

Compiling laws

In France, the National Assembly (Parliament's Lower House) has wised up on computers. In January, the Assemblée sent to the Senate (the Upper House) for approval a draft law that equates software source code developed by or for public administrations to public information.

In short, if anybody wants it, France's public sector source code should be made available.

The politicians took this cue from France's Commission d'accès aux documents administratifs. CADA, France's authority for freedom of information requests, last spring ruled that software source code is information. And just like other public administrative documents, it should be publicly accessible.

Possibly, the Assembly thought it needed to help the country's civil servants with transposing the European Union's Public Sector Information Directive (PSI Directive).

This legal act, first adopted in 2003 and updated in 2013, sets out rules for the reuse of existing documents held by public sector bodies of the Member States. The text also instructs the Member States to smooth the way to let companies and citizens use and reuse this information.

Inauspiciously, recital 9 of the Directive reads: "The definition of ‘document’ is not intended to cover computer programmes."

Of course, Members of Parliament know that recitals merely introduce the legislation; they are not the actual enacting terms.

Have the French Parliamentarians, with a bit of help of the Conseil National du Numérique, a government ICT advisory body, come to realise that software source code and computer programmes are different things? Source code is a series of computer instructions, written by humans. This needs a compiler (or an interpreter) to turn it into instructions that can be executed in a computer - a computer program.

Perhaps their reasoning is not at all surprising. After all, debugging and compiling code, that's what lawmakers do.


Latest News | View all news articles

European Parliament repeats call for open source

France Assembly encourages use of free software

For the second time in just three months, the European Parliament has called on the European Commission to to increase the share of free and open source software. The French Parliament has approved a draft law for a Digital Republic, which encourages the use of free software by the country's public administrations.
Read More Read More
Open source at largest of German pension fund [Germany]
South Tyrol open source school project to spur teachers [Italy]
Galicia shares training kit on open source for NGOs [Spain]
European data portals implement EC’s DCAT validator [European Union]
Oviedo reuses Madrid's citizens participation tool [Spain]
Open source healthcare system adds 3 more hospitals [United Kingdom]
Latvia’s authorities meet open technologists [Latvia]
Open Source Initiative approves Quebec licence [Canada]
Portugal’s open source move ‘slower than expected’ [Portugal]
France Parliament: source code should be made public [France]
‘France should give priority to free software’ [France]
Galicia shares Abalar ICT educational system [Spain]
UK spies publish NoSQL database system as open source [United Kingdom]


Solutions of the month | View earlier 'solutions of the month'

MOA ID 3.0.2

EIRA 0.9.0

A tool combined with citizen cards, to identify and authenticate users securely. European Interoperability Reference Architecture. Uses Archimate to express the architecture metamodel.
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Latest software | View all interoperability solutions

Big file exchange system Common application building block Asynchronous module
For transfer of large files (up to 10 GB) in a simple, secure and reliable way. For enquiries to data sources when synchronous access is impossible.
Common application building block TRAY Common application building block Security Platform
System for standardized execution of data enquiries. System for standardized management of users and their rights.


Latest Studies | View all studies

France’s Rhône-Alpes region prioritises free software

Andalusia provides messaging services for 4 euro (!) per user per year

The digital strategy of the French region of Rhône-Alpes includes the use of free software, interoperability, open formats and open data, following a decision by the regional council. The Regional Government of Andalusia in Spain has been using mail systems based on open source software since 2001. The main driver was cost.
Read More Read More


Upcoming Events | View all events

LGMA Open For Business 2016

DjangoCon Europe 2016

The Local Government Management Agency annual open government conference. DjangoCon Europe's seventh edition focusses on Django and Python.
02 March Dublin, Ireland 30 March - 03 April Budapest, Hungary
Read more Read more
Coliberator 2016 04 - 05 June, Bucharest, Romania
Open Source Conference London 2016 06 July, London, UK
Typo3Camp 2016 08 - 10 July, Berlin, Germany
Foss4G 2016 24 - 26 August, Bonn, Germany


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The Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) is part of the Joinup collaborative platform. Joinup is created by the European Commission and funded by the European Union via the Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations (ISA) Programme. OSOR and Joinup help e-Government professionals share their experience with interoperability solutions and support them to find, choose, re-use, develop, and implement open source software and semantic interoperability assets.

Feel free to forward this newsletter to any other interested persons, and to send us your comments and suggestions. We welcome your contributions and we invite you to send in news items, announcements for events and other stories related to free and open source software and of interest to public administrations to the email address mentioned below. Moreover, if you belong to a public authority or a public sector organisation and would be interested in being the subject of a case study for best practices regarding open source software, please contact us here.

© 2016 by European Union
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.
The views expressed are not an official position of the European Union.



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