November 6, 2003

OSSI Releases eGovernment Web Services Platform

Hattiesburg, MS - November 5, 2003 - The Open Source Software Institute
(OSSI) announced the release and availability of Project Leopard (Phase
1), the core component of its eGovernment web services platform based
on LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python).  

LAMP serves as a foundation upon which powerful and scalable web-based
programs can be developed and implemented in an open-source environment.

Project Leopard is a web services application framework that provides
fast, efficient access and implementation of LAMP technology for
eGovernment programs. Phase 1 release of Project Leopard is now
available for free download and evaluation at
http://leopard.sourceforge.net.

OSSI also announced the formation of the Open Government
Interoperability Standard (OGIS) working group. The OGI Standard will
serve as the policy guideline for modules and applications developed
using the Leopard program.

Working group members include representatives from government, academic
and corporate sectors.

"Our mission is to promote open-source solutions within the government
and schools," said OSSI director John Weathersby.  "We've found
that state and local government agencies are searching for applications
that are affordable, manageable, scalable and provide interoperability.
LAMP applications meet these needs and Leopard makes it easy, fast and
cost effective."

OSSI (www.oss-institute.org)is a non-profit organization that promotes
the development and implementation of open-source software solutions
within Federal, State and local government agencies and academic
entities.

"Project Leopard allows system administrators to download and install
LAMP and associated applications in minutes instead of days,"
Weathersby said.  

"The Phase 1 release of Leopard represents a foundation. We have begun
adopting and developing modules for Leopard that address the needs that
face government agencies," Weathersby continued. "The initial modules
focus on databases and interoperability of government software. Other
commercial open-source developers and service providers have agreed to
adopt and implement Leopard into their new and existing programs
developed for government clients."

Modules and applications developed by OSSI will be made available to
government agencies through the OSSI website.  On-line and call-in
support for Leopard modules will also be available at
www.ossi-support.org.

Leopard was the brainchild of open-source advocate, Tom Adelstein. He
originally targeted the project for state and local governments. The
project has found a strong following among academics, federal agencies
and commercial enterprises as well.

"In these tough economic times, organizations look for ways to cut
costs and increase productivity," Adelstein said. "Adopting open-source
programs like Project Leopard is not only a fiscally sound strategy,
but it reduces red tape by eliminating proprietary licensing schemes
and increases efficiency by allowing organizations like government
agencies to standardize and interoperate.

"We received an enormous number of inquiries on Project Leopard and are
confident that people will find the initial release works very well. As
an open-source program, we encourage anyone to adopt and use the
Leopard program to meet your needs," he continued. "That's the beauty
of open-source. Put it out there and watch it grow."

The Leopard development team is lead by Matthew Schick, a programmer
and system administrator at the School of Computer Science at the
University of Southern Mississippi (USM). OSSI is an affiliate of USM
and maintains offices on the USM main campus in Hattiesburg, MS.

"We were able to use several existing open-source technologies in the
building and maintenance of the Leopard environment," Schick said.
 

"The Gentoo Portage package management system was used to build all the
required software with a minimum of bloat, which in turn maximizes the
efficiency of the environment as a whole," Schick said. "The Python
language was chosen as the standard for all system programs due to its
speed and extensibility. PHP and Perl are included for ease of web
application development, with web page serving provided by Apache."

About Open Source Software Institute
The Open Source Software Institute is a non-profit organization
comprised of industry, government and academic representatives whose
mission is to promote the development and implementation of open-source
software solutions within Federal, State and local government agencies
and academic entities. For additional information visit OSSI's website
at www.oss-institute.org.

About Project Leopard
Project Leopard (LAMP eGovernment OpenSource Project Augmented
Relational Database) offers state and local governments a free and
open-source, web-enabled system for use in quickly setting up public
information and government-to-government web sites.

Project Leopard utilizes Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python
(LAMP) to build generic eGovernment web delivery systems. Project
Leopard is sponsored and maintained by the Open Source Software
Institute and is available for free download at
http://leopard.sourceforge.net.

Link: oss-institute.org

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