DoD launches open-source initiative

WASHINGTON. The Department of Defense (DoD) has announced its launch of "," an open-source effort that enables software developers around the globe to collaborate on unclassified code written by federal employees in support of DoD projects. DoD is partnering with GitHub, an open-source platform, to experiment with promoting increased collaboration between federal employees and private-sector software developers on software projects built within the DoD.

Th project, spearheaded by the Defense Digital Service (DDS), is regarded by the as a direct way to tap into a worldwide community of developers to collectively speed up and strengthen the government's software-development process. In exchange, DoD program code hosted on GitHub will be open and available for individuals to reuse and repurpose for personal and public projects. The concepts of open-source and so-called free software (a term used to mean software freedom, not free of cost) -- while regarded as best practice in industry and an integral part of modern software development -- are yet to be widely adopted within the DoD. With, DoD believes that it can access a previously untapped depth and breadth of technical skill while offering for free public use software tools created by the government.

Another objective for, according to the DoD, is to create a network of peers between the federal government and the developer community to encourage participation, share knowledge, and make connections in support of DoD programs that ultimately service U.S. national security.

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