Governments must have policies that increase their use of free and open source software solutions, says Professor Dr Wolfgang Finke from the Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena (Germany). In many countries, the use of proprietary software might be unsustainable in the long-term, he says, “either from a technical or from a financial point of view.”
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Communities, continues to release as open source its ICT solutions. To date, Eurostat has shared 102 solutions on the European Commission’s Joinup platform.
The statistical office has been using and sharing open source for more than a decade. Already in 2004 Eurostat’s ICT policy stipulated to consider open source software for all new projects.
Open source tools used by ACES Sintra include content management system Wordpress, combined with the usual LAMP stack: the MySQL database management system, the Apache web server, Linux for the server host and the PHP web development scripting language. The combination is used for the public website, but also for several internal Intranet project and team sites. The organisation implements Wiki websites, mainly for the IT department but also to maintain a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.
What was really needed, Greshake realized, was a social network for DNA, one that would make it easy to upload genetic information and share it with others. “Maybe there are people who are interested in publishing their genetic information on the web to make it available, but those people don’t have the opportunity,” Greshake says he thought at the time.
So, he set out to build an open-source website—OpenSNP—that would be able to pull in genetic information from services like 23andMe, plus any other data users wanted to upload, with ease. He hoped that one day scientists would be able to use it to do world-changing science.
E-commerce giant eBay needs to deal with new usage data — to personalize content and detect fraud, among other things — within seconds. So engineers went and built something to perfectly meet the company’s needs: Pulsar.
The company revealed details about the system for the first time today, and eBay is making it available for anyone to use under an open-source license.
"Open source is a production model. In some cases, it is a distribution model ... . You need a business model for any business that you build, but open source in itself is not that business model. Just like if you have a manufacturing branch and you use robots or you don't use robots. That is a production question, but it is not a business model for the business you are in."
Reuse is one of the main reasons for the development as open source of OpenTele, a Danish e-health telemedicine project. The health sector is crying out for open source ICT solutions, says Mike Kristoffersen, a senior software architect at the Danish Alexandra Institute. “Doctors and hospitals are seriously locked into medical ICT systems, making it difficult to do research, even for small scale projects.”