European Open Source Haystacks

The EU now provides a search tool to find applications among the 1751 open source development projects hosted on ten federated forges managed by Austrian, French, Italian and Spanish public administrations.

The new search engine basically relies on an automatic translation service, translating projects’ descriptions in English.

Open source projects for public administrations are typically designed by SMEs to be compliant with local laws and customs.  The authors work on a local or regional basis, national at best, therefore the programs usually have no multi-language support.

Talking with Szabolcs Szekacs, OSOR project officer at IDABC, I expressed the opinion that an open source code search engine would raise more interest.

Unisys OSOR Technical Manager said that all federated forges use GForge made “relatively simple to access all of the projects”.


FLOSSMetrics can extract interesting pieces of information just from projects hosted on GForge (and SourceForge) platforms, a synergy that should definitely be considered to further enhance OSOR functionalities. All in all people looking for projects need a method to assess open source projects’ quality before investing time and effort to exploit them.

The European Information Society DG has a dedicated website aimed at raising awareness and understanding of free and open source software, a good starting point to share useful information on activities conducted within European initiatives with the objective of FLOSS.

Michel Lacroix – European Commission, DG Information Society, unit D3, Software & Service Architectures and Infrastructures – is supposed to be the right person to talk to to give some feedback, as suggested by the contacts page.

I mailed him just before the summer, and I look forward to speak with him about actions and objectives around open source dissemination.