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MARKOS: Global, integrated and searchable open-source software

Ever wished for an integrated, searchable view of globally available open-source software structure and projects, and which also checks the licensing compatibility? The EU-funded MARKOS project – standing for 'the MARKet for Open-Source: an intelligent virtual open-source marketplace' – is developing a system that provides just that.

The world’s open-source market is growing from the bottom up. Open-source software (OSS) for infrastructure has reached a degree of maturity: examples include Linux, MySQL, JBoss, Apache or Eclipse. Now emerging are open-source applications for business transactions – such as ECM, ERP, CRM – and business intelligence, such as offerings from companies like Jaspersoft and Talend. We have also seen the growth of open-source services offered by open-source software vendors and free software companies alike, in areas such as cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS), social platforms and big data. Markos is developing a system that focuses on the analysis of software structure and dependencies. In particular it analyses the relationships between software components provided across different projects, giving an integrated view of Open Sourceopen-source software at a global scale. In Europe today, most of the private sector uses OSS, taking advantage of a faster time-to-market, the ability to re-use and customise source code, and lower acquisition costs that reduce the “total cost of ownership” compared to commercial software. But how can developers best navigate the changing OSS marketplace? Backstage with MARKOS: Behind the MARKOS project lies the idea of a community of individuals collaborating on the development of software projects for the greater good, with the ultimate goal of increasing code quality and lowering production costs. OSS developers are motivated by many things, but favouring features over quality is not among them. For many developers, peer review and acclaim is important, so it’s likely they’ll aim to build software that is admired, and thus understandable code is an asset. But developing good code can be a challenge. To help developers leverage OSS, and hence to build better code through collaboration and reuse, MARKOS is prototyping an interactive application and linked data API that analyses the relationships between OSS components across different projects. The system will provide an integrated view of OSS projects available on the web, together with semantic query features, with a focus on the functional, structural and licensing aspects of software code. What can it do? Open-source itself, the MARKOS system provides information about the relationships between software components released by different OSS projects, giving an integrated view of the available OSS at a global scale. It is expected to facilitate the global development of OSS by allowing users to: - search for open-source projects and software components, - check the compatibility of software licences, and - obtain information about software relationships. It also finds and displays legal issues cause by license incompatibilities, provides explanations for these issues, and supports developers in the search for solutions to their technical and licensing problems. Building with the best: Other services, such as OpenHub.net focus mainly on people and activities, and allow limited code search functionalities. MARKOS, on the other hand, offers semantic querying and browsing to navigate the structure of the software code at a higher level of abstraction, allowing a deeper technical understanding. The MARKOS demonstrator is in its final development phase, and will be released this year. It provides the following features: • Indexing and analysis of OSS projects available on web forges such as Apache, SourceForge and GitHub. • Easy searching for specific components based on their properties and relationships with other components, using more than the usual properties, such as language, operating system, licensing requirements, etc. • Browsing and navigating of source code and dependencies across projects; for example, to find implementations of interfaces and APIs, to find examples of uses in other projects, or to discover the provenance of a library. And more to come! Stay in touch! Website: www.markosproject.eu

Keywords

Open source, license analyses, APIs, • Indexing and analysis of OSS projects, code and dependencies

Countries

Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom