October 29, 2009, 7:37 am
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration, the Deputy CIO of the Department of Defense, has authored a memo for the Department of Defense that outlines the technical and logistical advantages of adopting open source software within the military. It includes a guidance document that aims to clarify how and when open source software can be deployed and selected.
We have been following the DoD's growing open source enthusiasm for several years. One of the most visible early examples is the DoD's Open Technology Development roadmap, which was published in 2006 and articulated the need for the government to stop treating software code as a physical product. It encouraged broader adoption of open standards and open source, citing advantages like cost reduction and increased operational agility. In 2008, the National Defense Authorization Act included language that, for the first time, that instructed the DoD to favor open source software in certain areas like unmanned aerial vehicle development. Earlier this year, the DoD launched its very open source project hosting repository and collaboration site, called Forge.mil.