The philosophy of Open Source is popular among the programmers community. Many of us use OS products in their daily work (eg: Eclipse, Apache, Tomcat) as well as in everyday life (eg: Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org). Since its construction the European Digital Library – Europeana has been financed mainly from EU funds, so it rose a question whether its sources would be widely available. Europeana Annual Report for the year 2010 has answered affirmatively 🙂
Openness towards the Open Source community is conducted through two portals: EuropeanaLabs and delving (previous Open Europeana). The main objective of EuropeanaLabs is to create joint development area for Europeana group of projects. EuropeanaLabs website contains among others links to source code of Europeana (released on the latest version of OS license – EUPL) and the technical documentation associated with the project, for example:
All those pages are publicly available.
However, strictly dedicated portal for Open Source community is delving. Its purpose is to encourage OS community to participate in building Europeana portal, which is why we find there:
- a git repository where you can commit fixes or new features,
- a wiki page with the required information (currently under construction),
- an e-mail group for contact between delving software developers.
More details on how to join the development of Europeana and the differences between EuropeanaLabs and delving can be found here.
The Europeana annual report also lists reasons for described behaviour: transparency and the sharing of work outcomes that fall clearly in the form of European Union initiatives. Time will tell whether the openness towards Open Source community will bring Europeana tangible benefits. Today is the beginning of the road and we can only guess. But I hope that this initiative will end successfully and Europeana will also include a code of developers, which are not affiliated with projects around the Europeana.