May 2, 2012

History of Open Source in Government

History of open source in government

It is difficult to imagine the Federal government moving in one well-coordinated direction on any matter, and so it has been with the adoption of open source software. Some agencies were early adopters, especially the academic and research communities. As it did in universities, open source adoption in the US government originated in research settings, where sharing and collaboration were already part of the culture of pedagogy. In this way, the government had been using and creating open source software even before it was called "open source." Other agencies and departments have been more conservative, for a variety of reasons, and are only just now bringing open source software into their operations. With this in mind, the history of open source in the US Government is best understood as a series of individual stories that have collectively lead to the pervasive adoption of open source we see today.

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