EU funds project to boost open source efficiency

March 11, 2005

Brussels, 10 Mar 2005

As part of an EU drive to make European software development more competitive on the global market, the European Commission is providing 2.2 million euro for a project to build new tools for simplifying complex IT projects based on open- source software like Linux.

The EDOS (environment for the development and distribution of free software) project partners hope to shorten the development cycles and lower the cost for large-scale modular software projects. By promoting open source software, Member States and the European Commission are hoping to counter the outsourcing of software development to third countries.

As the project partners explain, software projects have grown to unforeseen levels of complexity with some recent Linux operations systems comprising thousands of individual packages with decentralised ownerships.

The EDOS project therefore aims to develop better tools in order to integrate those components and keep better track of their internal dependencies and the software versions being used. The project will also move towards a process that promises to provide more storage and computing power and efficiency.

'There is an issue any large project has to deal with at some point, and that is how to manage complex dependencies between parts so as to get an integrated, coherent whole,' says one of the project partners, Roberto Di Cosmo from the University of Paris 7 in France.

Two tools are initially being earmarked for development - au automated software quality testing suite to make testing more efficient and more comprehensive and a distributed peer-to-peer (P2P) application system for sharing software components. This application would help system builders install and integrate software components running across dozens or even thousands of PCs and servers.

Speaking about the testing suite, Anton Anisimov from SOT in Finland explained that 'a comprehensive, effective test framework will save developers, testers and users a lot of time and will save organisations a lot of money. We believe this will be a major contribution to future software development,' he added.

'The concrete results EDOS will bring about will benefit everyone, not just Open Source developers. EDOS brings together some of the field's most prominent players, to solve the problem of complex dependencies before it becomes unmanageable and to improve testing processes. This will result, in the short term, in better software. Ultimately, it will also contribute to Europe's competitive edge in the world market,' concluded project partner Francois Bancilhon, from Mandrakesoft in France.

The project will have a duration of 30 months, and the resulting software will be released under an open source license.

For further information on EDOS, please visit:
http://www.edos-project.org

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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