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Eionet's software

EEA has decided to release as much as possible of its Eionet software as Open Source using open standards such as OpenDocument. This is a logical followup to our previous decision of using Open Source technology as much as possible in Eionet.

Code reuse! Most of the software is developed locally by each ETC and NFP and sofar we have not benefitted from code reuse. By creating one central repository of the source code we aim to advance reuse.

Freedom! To promote real competition for the tendering of development. We want to achieve a situation, where the potential tenderers will have all the information and tools they need to a) estimate the cost of the development and b) develop the product without being dependent on any previous developers for the organisation.

To protect our investments in the event that the software vendor goes out of business or loses interest in maintaining the product.

Peer review has always been good scientific practice. It is the foundation of our society. By going Open Source we introduce these practices into software.

Links

Development Standards

The Open Source paradigm raises some issues for contractors about foreign involvement, milestone issues, product warranty etc. We have created a Software standards of Eionet document for these questions.

Website Design Guidelines

It is important that the users recognize an Eionet site by first glance thereby making the information gain the trustworthiness that is associated with Eionet.

The design guidelines specify these elements. Additionally there are specifications of HTML, CSS and techniques such as semantically correct markup, usability, accessibility and multilinguality.

Websites intended to be part of the EEA website (under .eea.europa.eu domain) must follow EEA design and template, please see the EEA Template Service.

Background Material

We have a Powerpoint presentation on Eionet Tools and Philosophy and a presentation from April 2001 titled Experiences with Open Source.

Frank Hecker has written a lengthly paper on Setting Up Shop in Open-Source software. It describes several business models, why someone would choose the Open-Source strategy and how to do it in practical terms.