Open source: Not rocket science

NASA will host forum for software developers

NASA will host an open-source software summit at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Fielf, Calif., at the end the month to bring the leaders in the open-source community together to focus on the challenges facing the community and to establish processes, polices and culture needed to encourage open-source development.

The summit, which will take place March 29-30, features a variety of speakers from the open-source community, including director of Mozilla Labs (the company behind the Firefox browser) Pascal Finette; Dr. Robert Sutor, the vice president of open systems and Linux at IBM; and Brian Steven, a chief technology officer and vice president of engineering at Red Hat, among others.

“Open source brings numerous benefits to NASA software projects, including increased quality, reduced development costs, faster development cycles and reduced barriers for public-private collaboration to commercialize agency technology" Chris Kemp, chief technology officer for IT at NASA, said in a press release.

According to the release, goals for the summit include; establishing a method to support collaboration with the public throughout the development life cycle; exploring NASA's ability to release and develop software under varied open-source licenses; determining whether and to what extent NASA can participate in open-source software governance bodies; and gleaning best practices from private industry and other federal agencies.

The summit will be facilitated by Wayne Moses Burke and Lucas Cioffi of the Open Forum Foundation. Participants in the forum will break off into focus groups to discuss challenges and policy solutions such as open-source licensing, governance, risk assessment and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.


About the Author

Dan Rowinski is a staff reporter covering communications technologies.

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