Department of Labor

Shared source code platform across government

Offer a web site with source code control systems that are up and running, and encourage the agency heads to allow the staff at statistical and scientific agencies to use those systems (e.g. subversion and git).

 

Then software developed by government developers which they are WILLING to share, and can get AUTHORIZATION to share, can in fact be shared and hopefully blossom into cross-agency teamwork and huge savings in effort and time.

 

The idea is not new but we need a platform to do it. GSA's apps.gov is a good place to set it up and verify user identities.

 

Once the platform exists, developer-innovators in the agencies have one less barrier to sharing code. They still have to convince their top managers to allow it, but they don't have to convince them to invest agency time/money into setting up the system, which is an alien sort of thing for those managers to authorize. (what's source control? are you saying outside users should touch our computer systems?)

 

I think specifically of users at the statistics agencies as discussed in the paper at

https://statipedia.org/wiki/images/8/81/Statipedia_Meyer_Buszuwski_FCSM_Jan2010.pdf.

It's helpful to understand that the statistics agencies are partly software companies. They develop software intensely and on a routine basis, and official statistics are calculated through that software, and a hundred times as much software is used within those agencies for research, test, configuration, reformatting, web posting, etc.

Some of this is great stuff and potentially reusable.

 

The same issues arises for the scientific agencies as stated in this proposal here:

http://saveaward2010.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Allow-government-scientists-to-share-source-code/63469-9432

 

We also need a wiki across these agencies: http://saveaward2010.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Shared-source-code-platform-for-number-crunchers-in-government/66386-9432#

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Idea No. 14822