DoD launches SourceForge-alike

February 2, 2009 | 14:13

Tags: #cathedral #dod #military #os #sourceforge #us

Companies: #department-of-defense #open-source

The US Department of Defense has founded its own version of SourceForge to help co-ordinate its contributions to open source software.

As reported this weekend over on CNet, the new site – Forge.mil – has been created as the US military's version of popular open source site SourceForge.net.

Where the site differs from its more public-oriented cousin is in data security: the code repository requires two-factor authentication via smart cards in order to meet DoD security requirements, and prevent naughty types from inserting code in military projects.

For those worried that the DoD might be looking to take from the open source community without giving anything back, fear not: although edit and upload access is only available to those with the high security clearance, all code on the site is “required to maintain 'public' view access” and code maintainers will be “encouraged to allow contributions from all interested parties,” whether or not they come from a recognised military partner. Indeed, the project aims to allow third parties who contribute quality code to become “authorised committers”, once “they have shown that they have valuable contributions to make.

Although the site only hosts three software projects at the moment, it's clear that the Department of Defense is hoping to grow the system rapidly. The current Software Forge is the first of the Forge.mil stable to be trialled, with Project Forge, Standards Forge, Certification Forge, and Test Forge due in the near future.

Hoping to see some interesting projects come out of the Department of Defense, or is the US military just looking for a cheap way to improve its IT infrastructure without really contributing anything useful to the open source community? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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