First software released by U.S. govt. as Open Source?
by Todd Ogasawara
Not to take anything away from the fine work done by DevIS (who I had the pleasure to meet with during a conference last year), but the code may have been beaten by a few months for the title of first Open Source code released by the U.S. government. (Not that who was first is really that important compared to the importance of the DoL/DevIS contribution, by the way!).
According to the About Workforce Connections page, the Workforce Connections code was released on Dec. 25, 2003.
However, on June 6, 2003, the military health group's The Pacific Telehealth & Technology Hui press release said:
An electronic healthcare information system that operates on a Linux platform is now available to hospitals and clinics worldwide in a non-proprietary, open-source version The Pacific Telehealth & Technology Hui (Hui) announced this week the release of the Hui OpenVistaTM software on SourceForge.net, an open-source software development web site.
In any case, who was first is not important in the larger scheme of things. I just wanted to point out that there is at least one other project that was released in 2003. And, with all the work going on in various places, there may be yet another project that was released even earlier :-)
Do you know of any other U.S. Government funded software projects released under an Open Source license? Let us know!
Open source in government
I was writing open source code for the US government a long, long time ago. Everything I wrote belonged to the people of the US since it wasn't classified.
Federal Open Source
Technically, the US Federal Government cannot release open source software because open source needs copyright, and Federal employees cannot copyright their work. All fruits of the Federal Government are de facto in the public domain, and accessible to everyone free of charge (modulo classified/priviledged work, work done by contractors, etc.).
Not first by a long shot
I was working on a project using Web Services and XML for the Library of Congress nearly 3 years ago.