On February 7th, 2023, the Software Heritage community convened at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, following the 2023 Symposium to exchange ideas. The gathering included team members, ambassadors, grantees, partners, and contributors, who engaged in discussions on the latest evolution of the Software Heritage archive and collaborated on various aspects of its mission. In this blog post, we will provide a recap of the workshop’s highlights and share the insights and perspectives that emerged from this event.
How does it look when you gather the Software Heritage community for a session of collaborative work?
You get insightful discussions and pragmatic results.
The workshop started with a warm welcome from Morane Gruenpeter (see presentation), who shared her personal journey that led her to be part of the Software Heritage team. Morane emphasized the importance of building a universal archive that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their background and skills. She also invited the participants to share with their neighbours their own Software Heritage story and what brought them to the workshop.
Following the introductions, Benoît Chauvet and Nicolas Dandrimont presented the new Gitlab instance, which is part of the Software Heritage infrastructure. They explained the features and benefits of the new platform, which allows for better collaboration and integration with other tools and services.
Then, the workshop moved to the activities…,
…which were divided into four parallel sessions:
- Materials for non-technical audiences: Italo Vignoli, a founding member of The Document Foundation and the LibreOffice project and a Software Heritage ambassador.
- A Software Heritage module for The Carpentries: Joenio Marques da Costa, a research software engineer at LISIS and a Software Heritage ambassador.
- « What if I told you that… »: debunking preconceived ideas on Software Heritage in open science: Sabrina Granger, the Software Heritage Open Science Community Manager & Pierre Poulain, a tenured associate professor at Université de Paris, specializing in bioinformatics and a Software Heritage ambassador.
SWHAP & Software Stories – create the ultimate curator checklist: Elisabetta Mori, a visiting researcher at Software Heritage, and Lunar, an engineer in the Software Heritage team.
This blog post features insights from several Software Heritage ambassadors, sharing their experiences from the symposium and community workshop.
« This is our second participation in the Software Heritage Symposium as ambassadors and it is always an important moment for us because it gives us the opportunity to meet and share with the other ambassadors. It is valuable to strengthen the links of our network and to be able to share our practices. The workshops allow us to address concrete issues and share the questions we may have in our work. None of this would be possible without the great team at Software Heritage, who does a fantastic job and brings a great dynamism to this network. We look forward to next year’s symposium! »
Cécile Arènes and Océane Valencia, Sorbonne University
« It was my first time at the Software Heritage symposium, and I was delighted to meet the fellow ambassadors and to be able to work together to improve our work of enhancement and promotion. The workshops were rich and lively, and seeing the great projects in which our community is invested is motivating.
I hope to have other opportunities to contribute to improve and enrich Software Heritage, and be able to develop the issue of codes and software within my establishment. »
Julien Caugant, Aix-Marseille University
« From my point of view, participating in the symposium and the workshop is a very strong moment in my role as ambassador. This is an opportunity to have the latest information on the project, but also on all the ideas that revolve around it. This is the moment when it is possible to be 100% available to discuss with the other ambassadors and the staff. »
Sandrine Layrisse, University of Bordeaux / CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research)
« The symposium was a great opportunity to get in touch with other Software Heritage Ambassadors and with the whole Software Heritage community. The workshop I led about writing lessons for The Carpentries including Software Heritage topics was productive. The Carpentries is a community dedicated to teaching data science and computational skills to researchers with the goal to improve the quality of science, due to the fact that almost all researchers are using computational tools in many steps of their research activities. In practical ways the workshop about lessons for The Carpentries proposed to include in the Version Control with Git] workshop a small text about Software Heritage Archive, the Pull Request is open on https://github.com/swcarpentry/git-novice/. »
Joenio Marques da Costa, CorTexT Platform, Universite Gustave Eiffel
« It was a pleasure to join the event for the first time as an Ambassador (although this is not my first Software Heritage event – I spoke at the Software Heritage launch event in 2018 and participated in writing the Paris Call. I was struck by the positivity and enthusiasm of so many attendees and look forward to contributing further to the initiative, which is crucial to the safe functioning of democracy in the digital age. »
Simon Phipps, Open Source Initiative
« The symposium was a unique occasion to get insights from the project and to mingle with the rich Software Heritage community. As such, community workshops enabled us to explore certain aspects of the project, in my case, the misconceptions about software archiving. The very notions of software archive, metadata and SWHID are often complex to grasp. Our objective was to clarify them in simple and understandable terms. I look forward to the opportunity to experience this again. »
Pierre Poulain, Paris Cité University
In conclusion, the annual workshop and the Software Heritage Ambassadors program are a vital part of the Software Heritage community. Ambassadors help to promote the use of Software Heritage within their organizations and communities and contribute to raising awareness about the importance of digital preservation. They serve as speakers at conferences and create resources like videos and blog posts to explain the mission of Software Heritage. Additionally, they train end-users to adopt good practices in terms of reproducibility. If you’re interested in becoming a Software Heritage advocate, we welcome you to join us. Remember, source code archival is a cross-domain, cross-expertise concern that affects all of us in the digital age. Together, we can work towards preserving our shared digital heritage for future generations.
We are grateful to the UNESCO organizing team for the space after the Software Heritage Symposium. This event would not have been possible without their generous support and continuous support of Inria and the Inria Foundation.
We are also grateful to the ambassadors who helped in writing this blog post to capture the essence of the activities.
- Production & workshop director:
- Morane Gruenpeter (Software Heritage)
- Community workshop coordinator:
- Sabrina Granger (Software Heritage)
- Communication & Symposium coordinator:
- Marla Da Silva (Software Heritage)
- Community workshop facilitators:
- Italo Vignoli (Software Heritage Ambassador)
- Elisabetta Mori (Archives of IT / Software Heritage)
- Lunar (Software Heritage)
- Joenio Marques da Costa (Software Heritage Ambassador)
- Pierre Poulain (Software Heritage Ambassador)
- Community workshop speakers:
- Benoît Chauvet (Software Heritage)
- Nicolas Dandrimont (Software Heritage)
- Event staff:
- David Douard (Software Heritage)
- Antoine Dumont (Software Heritage)
- Antoine Lambert (Software Heritage)
- Valentin Lorentz (Software Heritage)
- Vincent Sellier (Software Heritage)
- Jayesh Velayudhan (Software Heritage)