diciembre 16, 2021

Meeting at UNESCO to celebrate five years of Software Heritage

© Inria / Photo B. Fourrier

This year 2021 we celebrate five years of continuous and passionate dedication to the Software Heritage mission, which we announced to the world on June 30th 2016: to collect, preserve and share all the available source code, for the benefit of society as a whole. 

A growing international community gets together for the 5 years anniversary

On November 30th 2021, we were delighted to gather together at UNESCO’s headquarters  representatives from over 30 organizations  in the expanding network that supports our mission, to celebrate this anniversary in a landmark event. There were  the sponsors that followed up on Inria’s initial full support and UNESCO representatives involved in the precious collaboration on the vision and the policy issues. Representatives from the Sloan and NLNet foundations joined remotely, and could see the key expert contributors that got funded thanks to their grants. Most of our ambassadors, and various organizations and individuals that share our vision were present.

We can say that this day marks the birth of the Sofware Heritage International Conference. It was the opportunity to take stock of the achievements and status of the archive, and to highlight the relevance of Software Heritage’s mission in the context of today’s dynamic digital innovation landscape.

The key milestones in the evolution of Software Heritage since the public announcement in 2016 are recalled in the  «5 years of Software Heritage in 5 minutes» video, shown below, that was developed specially for this occasion.


A rich program that covers the multiple facets of Software Heritage

In the morning, a plenary session took place, focusing on three major dimensions of relevance to the Software Heritage archive:

  • A perspective on the relevance of software source code for Open Science, following the vote of the UNESCO recommendations during the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference, with keynotes from the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and the European Open Science Cloud;
  • The importance of software source code preservation for cultural heritage and digital skills education, with the unveiling of the Software Stories project.
  • Testimonials about the relevance of Open Source and of the Software Heritage infrastructure for Industry and Public Administrations.

Unesco – Paris | © Inria / Photo B. Fourrier

On this occasion, the Inria-Unesco Framework Agreement on the preservation and sharing of software source codes has been renewed and extended, recalling the landmark outputs of this rich collaborations, ranging from the Paris Call on Software Source Code to the publication of the Software Heritage acquisition process – SWHAP – for rescuing landmark legacy software, and the just-unveiled Software Stories project.

In the afternoon, the Software Heritage sponsors stayed at UNESCO for the annual meeting, while the Software Heritage team met with ambassadors and experts at Inria, in Paris. Everybody met later on at UNESCO for the social dinner, a great opportunity to bind together the community in an informal setting after a long day of intense collaboration.

This event was also the occasion to welcome our latest partner committed to the mission of Software Heritage, CEA, which is the first diamond sponsor, a wonderful anniversary gift!

More to come!

This day was rich in exchanges, collaboration and ideas, and we will publish separate blog posts dedicated to each of the many aspects touched upon.

You can already find a summary of this plenary meeting, with quotes from the speakers, on this dedicated page on the UNESCO website.

And we recommend to check out the Software Stories demo.

Did you know that you can help?

Software Heritage is the largest publicly available archive of software source code in the world: in November 2021, it contains more than 11 billion unique source files collected from more than 168 million projects, including Debian, GitHub, GitLab, Gitorious, GoogleCode, GNU, Python Package Index and more. The Software Heritage archive is an unprecedented corpus of precious technical knowledge that we are preserving for future generations.

If you want to be part of this great adventure and help us to build the source code’s library of Alexandria, you are welcome to jump onboard: take a look at the different sponsorship program possibilities, check out the 3 job offers published so far and be part of the team or take part in the fundraising campaign and help us reach our goal of having 100 donations by 31 December

And of course, spread the word!

diciembre 16, 2021