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Free and Open Source Software
What is it ?
The origin of the open source software development paradigm goes back to the first days of software development. However, it is only during the past decade or so that free and open source software developments (F/OSS) have become an increasingly visible player on the broader software market. F/OSS has been making inroads in some major segments of the market, including those concerned with open development platforms and server systems.
F/OSS has brought a number of new elements and business behaviours, which are having an impact that sometimes goes beyond the software production sector and touches upon public procurement, education and training, security, liability, research and innovation, competition and even regional development.
F/OSS research activities in the IST research programmes
The Information Society Technologies (IST) research programme implements the research and technology development aspects of free and open source software. Some 20 research projects directly supporting F/OSS are currently under way, all selected for funding during the EU's 5th Framework Programme (1998-2002). They contribute to the development of essential components of a free software infrastructure, and associated development tools or applications.
The FP6 IST workprogramme 2003-2004 refers to F/OSS in the following way "The development of open standards and open source software will be encouraged when appropriate to ensure interoperability of solutions and to further innovation".
The Unit Software Technologies maintains a web site dedicated to free and open source software activities in European Information Society initiatives on Europa at the following address:
Please refer to this web site for further information on European F/OSS related research activities, running projects and news.