No Forking, Says DoD Open Source Report

David Perera | FierceGovernmentIT | May 22, 2011

A new Defense Department-sponsored document urges the department to adopt more open source technology development.

The May 16 report, sponsored by officials from the assistant secretary of defense (networks & information integration) and the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, touts open source development as a way to increase innovation, agility and application security even in an environment of constrained resources.

Open source technology development "squeezes financial waste out of the equation by reducing lock-in and increasing competition," the report says, whose principal author is John Scott, a contractor who leads the DoD's open technology development initiative.

"Imagine if only the manufacturer of a rifle were allowed to clean, fix, modify or upgrade that rifle. The military often finds itself in this position with taxpayer funded, contractor developed software: One contractor with a monopoly on the knowledge of a military software system and control of the software source code," the report states.