With software stories currently dominating the patent litigation landscape, open source development projects have been looking like an increasingly attractive alternative. But while the technology model is primarily associated with private sector upstarts, the Defense Information Systems Agency may be looking to expand its open source research and development capabilities as well.
The military's open source code library, forge.mil, was established in 2009 to promote continuous collaboration and innovation that could deliver a competitive advantage to troops on the battlefield. Unfortunately, according to FierceGovernmentIT, mismatched goals and policies have turned the web platform into a veritable "ghost town."
To help foster greater engagement from developers, DISA officials are investigating a potential partnership with web hosting service GitHub that could facilitate the integration of social utilities that pave the way for deeper, more intuitive collaborations. According to the news source, the agency is also discussing a revised registration protocol that would involve simply keeping track of a developer's IP address rather than requiring an access card provisioned by the Department of Defense.
According to O'Reilly Radar, renewed defense sector interest is further validation for the value of open source development projects. After occupying niche status in the technology industry for most of its existence, the open source movement is becoming mainstream as others gravitate toward the transparent, open exchanges of innovation that it promotes.