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The need of libre software research in Europe

by xavier last modified 2009-05-02 15:54

The European Commission, by means of the Framework Programme, is funding several research projects on libre software. In the sixth edition of this Programme, 25.13 million Euros has been dedicated to fund these research projects. Is this investment worthy? Can libre software help to development of Europe?

Excerpts of: The need of libre software research in Europe, CEPIS Upgrade, Dec 2007 - By: Israel Herraiz, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain - Rafael Rodríguez Galván and Manuel Palomo Duarte, University of Cádiz, Spain.

This article exposes reasons that justify the research on libre software in Europe, and how these research projects can foster the social and economic development. We publish excerpts presenting the main research projects and their goals. This summary provides an overview of the projects being funded under the 6th framework program:

  • Qualipso

This is the largest research project on libre software that has been funded by the European Commission. The main goal of Qualipso intends to define and implement the technologies, processes and policies to facilitate the development and use of libre software components, with the same level of trust traditionally offered by proprietary software.

  • TOSSAD

TOSSAD is a coordinated action that intends to diffuse libre software in the public and private sectors, and tries to create a consortium for this purpose. It will try to identify synergies in order to foster innovation by adopting libre software.

  • SELF

This project is similar to TOSSAD, but it is more focused on educational resources. The main idea is to take advantage of libre software features (availability of resources, provider independence, low cost of licenses, etc) in the educational sector.

  • FLOSSWorld

This project studied the situation of libre software in the different world regions: Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Latin America. The main goal was to make sure that Europe leads research on open source in the world, as well as identify the situation about libre software development, industry, standards, interoperability and e-government in the different world regions.

  • FLOSSMetrics

This project is collecting metrics and information about a large set of libre software projects (in the order of thousands). The goal is to create a database that could be used by third parties, such as researches, companies and even libre software projects themselves. This project is trying to coordinate with other projects from the 6FP, that need to collect metrics for their particular purposes (for instance, there is a close collaboration with the QUALOSS project).   www.flossmetrics.org

  • QUALOSS

The main goal of QUALOSS is to create an evaluation model for the quality of libre software projects. For this purpose, several publicly available data sources are being used. This project will study 50 different software projects, and will try to reuse as much as possible the information and databases provided by FLOSSMetrics.   www.qualoss.org

  • SQO-OSS

This project is trying to develop a model for the evaluation of the quality of libre software, by means of empirical methods. They use the public data sources of some libre software projects. Among these sources, we may find source code version control repositories, mailing list archives, bug tracking systems, source code, etc. Its main aim is very close to QUALOSS.

  • TEAM

This project is developing a knowledge sharing environment, based on libre software. The final system will be released as libre software as well.

  • EDOS

Libre software distributions (such as Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, etc) faces many common problems. Most of the problems are related to dependencies among the different packages of the distribution. Still nowadays is common to break a running system by installing an upgrade of the packages, because of dependencies issues. Furthermore, the development and maintenance of those distributions is becoming more and more complex because of the growing interactions among packages (these interactions grow with the square of the number of packages). In order to address these problems, this project tried to provide tools to manage packages installation and distributions maintenance.

  • CALIBRE

This project tried to be a meeting point between secondary sector companies, this is, among companies that do not develop software but whose businesses crucially depend on software. As a result of this project, an industrial forum was created, called CALIBRATION, which many European companies belong to (Philips, Telefónica and Vodafone among others).

  • PYPY

With the goal of porting Python (a well known programming language) to more platforms, making it more flexible to be adapted to new systems, this project is creating a new implementation of Python. An interesting point of this project is that they are using agile methods in the software development tasks, and the consortium is organized following the schemes of a libre software community. All the development process is being monitoring, with the goal of making research the impact of agile software development in the development process.

More: http://www.zeapartners.org/articles/floss2008

Source

http://www.zeapartners.org/articles/eu-research2007