Our ambition is to collect, preserve, and share all software that is publicly available in source code form. On this foundation, a wealth of applications can be built, ranging from cultural heritage to industry and research.
Software is an essential part of our lives. Given that any software component may turn out to be essential in the future, we do not make distinctions and collect all software that is publicly available in source code form.
We recognize that there is significant value in selecting among all this software some collections of particular interest, and we will encourage the construction of curated archives on top of Software Heritage.
We keep track of the origin of software we archive and store its full development history: this precious meta-information will be carefully harvested and structured for future use.
Software is fragile and we are unfortunately starting to lose it. We preserve software, because it contains our technical and scientific knowledge. We preserve software because it is the means of accessing all of our knowledge.
For this to be sustainable, a vast collective effort is needed. We will release as free/open source software all the software we write for the needs of Software Heritage and openly describe our technical architecture and processes.
We will encourage the emergence of an open network of peers and mirrors that will share with us the responsibility of maintaining available several copies of all the software we collect.
We are building the largest archive of software source code ever assembled. We will index, organize, make referenceable and accessible all of this precious heritage.
We will provide unique identifiers, intrinsically bound to the software components. This will ensure that a resilient web of knowledge can be built on top of the Software Heritage archive.
Software Heritage will foster the emergence of a variety of services, ranging from documentation to classification, from search to distribution, to release all the potential of this Library of Alexandria of Software.
Software Heritage will provide solid, common foundations to serve the different needs of heritage preservation, science, and industry.
Software is an important part of human production. It is also a key enabler for salvaging our entire digital heritage.
We collect, preserve, and make accessible source code for the benefits of present and future generations.
Science relies more and more on software. To guarantee scientific reproducibility we need to preserve it.
Amassing source code at this scale will be challenging, but will also enable the next generation of software studies.
Software is present in all industrial processes and products.
The universal source code archive we are building will help industry with provenance tracking, long-term archival, and software bill of materials.
We realize that our goals are ambitious. To deliver on them we have already made some firm design decisions in terms of openness, replication, and how Software Heritage content will be indexed.