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Code Repository

In addition to posting datasets and web services, Agencies should also be posting code and documentation. As with a data policy of "By default, all data should be made available, unless there are compelling reasons why not, e.g. sensitivity" so to should be the case with GOTS code. A large number of parallel development efforts by contractors and agency staff alike are underway across many agencies, often replicating similar efforts. To realize economies of scale and foster collaboration, there should be a centralized Federal initiative to promote sharing and reuse of code and documentation across agencies, similar to a SourceForge approach. Agencies could maintain such code repositories, with a common API that allows a single point of entry to search across all agencies.

The intent would be to facilitate code sharing where developed using government funding, e.g. GOTS code developed under contract to an agency, code developed via grants and so on. Private sector individuals making their own investments in innovative code would not need to participate but could do so on a voluntary, opt-in basis - proprietary code and COTS software code that was not developed through federal funding would not need to be posted.


Submitted by 5 years ago

Comments (9)

  1. While I like this idea, don't know if it would fall under the responsibility of data.gov. May be better as part of the apps.gov initiative.

    5 years ago
  2. While it is not a "repository," the CIOC's ET.gov site can be used to identify emerging technology components and specifications, including software programming code, of potential interest to .gov and .mil agencies. http://et.gov/

    Stage 2 of the ET.gov process is about building communities of practice (CoPs) around the components and specifications and pointing to the sites/services CoPs are using to collaborate around them. http://et.gov/stage2.htm

    5 years ago
  3. The flipside to this argument is that it could discourage innovation. Private entities building data exploration or interaction tools need to be encouraged and rewarded for doing so - posting their source code makes it much tougher to monetize their investment. That said, an opt-in repository that resulted in some peer pressure to share code might work well.

    5 years ago
  4. David Smith Idea Submitter

    Matt, as a private sector technologist, I certainly appreciate and agree with the notion that one would not want to stifle innovation. I certainly would not expect individuals who have invested their own effort on their own nickel to be required to contribute their code. I was mainly focused on a reasonable expectation that any directly federally-funded development efforts would be shared - not anything and everything to necessarily be shared. And by sharing, that also can stimulate and foster innovation, as one developer can then build upon and leverage the efforts of the next, it can reduce development cycles to make it easier to innovate through reuse of code, and so on.

    5 years ago
  5. David, we're on the same page. Abs. agreed that federally funded efforts should be shared...the code is FOI-able anyways, might as well make it easier to get other than via paperwork weaponry.

    5 years ago
  6. Does the datagov plan to adopt OData protocol extension to AtomPub so that it can provide features to extract find, extract, and automatically map GIS ready data?

    See http://www.odata.org/.

    They seem to have a good API for dataset consumption and contributions.

    It would be nice to have all governments use the same API so that the public can easily incorporate the data wherever they need it.

    4 years ago
  7. Victor, when AIIM's StratML Committee gets to Part 3 of the StratML standard, we'll be looking for all the help we can get to ensure that the geospatial elements are well-specified to enable referencing of organizations, goals, objectives, and stakeholders, as appropriate. http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#Part3

    4 years ago
  8. I agree that it is wasteful to have "A large number of parallel development efforts by contractors and agency staff".

    I think that the innovation problem could be solved with this concept to incentivize collaboration described here, regarding a Center for Government Interoperability: http://gov-ideas.com/cfgio.htm

    Alex Glaros

    4 years ago
  9. I think this is a good idea

    4 years ago

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