giovedì 14 marzo 2013

Sull'Open Source nelle scelte dell'amministrazione

Per chi scrive codice GitHub, insieme a mamma StackOverflow, è il posto dove andare per ogni incertezza su codice o per imparare dagli altri coder in giro per il pianeta.
Di questi giorni l'interessante articolo sul O'Reilly Radar sul significato di GH oggi come oggi nella governance. Come già in altri punti di questo blog sottolineavo, è una tendenza che è da un lato importante da un punto di vista qualitativo, dall'altro un importante contributo alla trasparenza.
Total government GitHub repositories
Queste le statistiche di crescita del fenomeno: siamo all'alba di una nuova epoca di contributi verso la pubblica amministrazione? I trend di crescita sono quelli tipici da buzzword e da progetto fico e alla moda. Speriamo che tenga.
Riporto qui sotto la parte più interessante dell'articolo:

“We hope [the datasets on GitHub] will be widely used by open source projects, businesses, or non-profits,” wrote Goldstein. “GitHub also allows an on-going collaboration with editing and improving data, unlike the typical portal technology. Because it’s an open source license, data can be hosted on other services, and we’d also like to see applications that could facilitate easier editing of geographic data by non-technical users.”
Headd is also on GitHub in a professional capacity, where he and his colleagues have been publishing code to a City of Philadelphia repository.
“We use [GitHub] to share some of our official city apps,” commented Headd on the same Hacker News thread. “These are usually simple web apps built with tools like Bootstrap and jQuery. We’ll be open sourcing more of these going forward. Not only are we interested in sharing the code for these apps, we’re actively encouraging people to fork, improve and send pull requests.”
Ed ecco il vero punto della questione:
A more modest (although still audacious) goal would be to simply change how government IT is done.
“I’ve often said, the hardest part of being a software developer is training yourself to Google the problem first and see if someone else has already solved it,” said Balter during our interview. “I think we’re going to see government begin to learn that lesson, especially as budgets begin to tighten. It’s a relative ‘app store’ of technology solutions just waiting to be used or improved upon. That’s the first step: rather than going out to a contractor and reinventing the wheel each time, it’s training ourselves that we’re part of a larger ecosystem and to look for prior art. On the flip side, it’s about contributing back to that commons once the problem has been solved. It’s about realizing you’re part of a community. We’re quickly approaching a tipping point where it’s going to be easier for government to work together than alone. All this means that a taxpayer’s dollar can go further, do more with less, and ultimately deliver better citizen services.”
Infine, openness come forma di ottimizzazione...
I think we’re about to see a big uptick in the amount of open source participation, and not just in the traditional sense. Open source can be between business units within an agency. Often the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing between agencies. The problems agencies face are not unique. Often the taxpayer is paying to solve the same problem multiple times. Ultimately, in a collaborative commons with the public, we’re working together to make our government better.”
Insomma a quando i repo delle varie città italiane?