Held on November 30th 2021 at the UNESCO headquarters and at the Inria research center.
Software is all around us: it powers our industry, fuels innovation, supports scientific research and lies at the heart of our societies.
The Software Heritage project, launched in 2016 by Inria (France), aims at collecting, preserving, and making readily available the source code of all software ever written, building an essential infrastructure at the service of cultural heritage, digital development, science, industry, and society as a whole.
On April 3rd, 2017, a landmark partnership agreement was signed between UNESCO and Inria to establish a framework for collaboration on preserving the knowledge embedded in software source code, and making it widely available, centered around the ongoing development of the Software Heritage archive.
On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the project, this event is an opportunity to take stock of the achievements and status of the project, and to highlight the relevance of its mission in the context of today’s dynamic digital innovation landscape.
Five-years of Software Heritage in five minutes
The morning event is a plenary session at the UNESCO headquarters.
The afternoon event is a community meetup at the Inria research center between the Software Heritage team and all the contributors, collaborators and ambassadors.
To watch the full playlist of the plenary and community meetup click here.
9.30 Plenary session
During the plenary session, three major dimensions of relevance to the Software Heritage archive were discussed:
Open science: presenting the Open Science recommendation adopted during the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference, the French second national plan on Open science and the actions of the Europeen Open Science cloud association
Preservation, Culture and Education: the role for culture preservation and digital skills education
Announcing the Software Stories application prototype
Innovation for industry and administration with two panels
Peggy Oti-Boateng, Director, Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building, Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO, presented the UNESCO recommendation on Open Science, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 41st session, in November 2021.
Software Heritage in collaboration with the sciencestories.io team and the University of Pisa are introducing a new way to showcase software, that can be accessible to a wide range of software enthusiasts without any technical background, the Software Story. The Software Stories web application is an interface where different elements about a software can be visualized, like a digital software museum. Read more in the blog-post or in the final 2021 report.
The Software Stories project is supported by UNESCO. Watch the video here:
Jose Benito Gonzalez Lopez, CERN presented EOSC Software Infrastructures for Research Software and the SIRS report, which was published in December 2020.
“The Task Force on Scholarly Infrastructures of Research Software, as part of the Architecture WG of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Executive Board, has established a set of recommendations to allow EOSC to include software, next to other research outputs like publications and data, in the realm of its research artifacts. This work is built upon a survey and documentation of a representative panel of current operational infrastructures across Europe, comparing their scopes and approaches. This report summarises the state of the art, identifies best practices, as well as open problems, and paves the way for federating the different approaches in view of supporting the software pillar of EOSC.”
Alain Monteil, IES-Inria and Yannick Barborini, CCSD presented at the community meetup the collaboration between SWH, IES-Inria and the CCSD to provide a curated workflow for submitting research software deposits into HAL and Software Heritage.
A project is far more than the raw code that is used in its low-level software. A project’s full data lineage, also includes instructions on how to build the software, how to get the data, how to convert the outputs of some software to intputs of others, and finally how to produce plots, tables and reported numbers that blend into the high-level narrative of the project which puts its results into a larger context of human knowledge (as a report, paper or webpage for example). In other words, if we view a project’s full data lineage (also known as pipeline or workflow) as a single “software”, the SoftwareHeritage infrastructure can be used to also archive full workflows.
Maneage (MANaging data linEAGE) is a framwork that is based on this view to a project’s workflow. Rather than depending on external software for isolating the environment (like Docker or Signularity), or package management (like Conda or GNU Guix), or workflow (like Jupyter), or a separate paper-builder (like Overleaf), Maneage maintains all of these components as a single project that is fully in plain-text and under version control (with Git). Projects start by branching-off of the ‘maneage’ branch and adding their customizations. Through the robust archival features of Software Heritage (e.g., the SWHID), it is then possible to link readers directly to the source (of code or text, at various phases of its history), or let them re-build or edit/improve/test the results as Git commits after publication for followup projects. The Git commit of the project (as well as its SWHID can also be included in the abstract upon publication. For more on Maneage, as well as demonstrations of SWHID links in a published paper, see https://doi.org/10.1109/MCSE.2021.3072860
Carlo Montangero (Pisa University) presented at the community meetup the Software Heritage Acquisition Process (SWHAP) and specifically the SWHAP Pisa Enactor (SWHAPPE). For more information you can visit https://www.softwareheritage.org/swhap