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UNESCO and Inria will open universal library of computer programme source codes

Over 4 billion unique source code files are already available from the online archive.

UNESCO and Inria will open universal library of computer programme source codes
We are on a long-term mission, and much remains to be done, says Roberto Di Cosmo. (Image Credit: Twitter)

UNESCO and Inria will open the archive of Softwareheritage.org, a worldwide initiative to create a universal library of computer programme source codes since the dawn of the digital age on June 7.

One year after the signing of a partnership agreement between Inria and UNESCO, the launch event at UNESCO's Headquarters on 7 June (3 to 4.30 pm), will include a demonstration of the website's functions, with the participation of François Sillion, Chief Executive Officer of the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics (Inria).

The Softwareheritage initiative aims to preserve and share the source codes of all software programmes that have been giving life to computers since the middle of last century.

Over 4 billion unique source code files, including their successive iterations and more than 83 million software projects in all fields are already available from the online archive.

UNESCO encourages universal access to information and the preservation of knowledge. The Charter on the Preservation of Digital Heritage, adopted in 2003, states that digital documents include, among a wide range of electronic formats, texts, databases, images, audio-documents and Web pages.

"Softwareheritage.org marks a necessary addition to UNESCO's longstanding heritage work," says Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO. "The project embodies commitments that are at the heart of our mandate: favoring the free flow of information and culture, and fostering intellectual cooperation for peace and development."

Roberto Di Cosmo, Director of the project welcomed the fact that "The opening to the public of the Software Heritage archive is an important milestone: everyone can at last consult and download the contents of the archive we have been building for three years. We are on a long-term mission, and much remains to be done. We need to find and archive all the source codes that are still missing, and add features that will make the archive easy to use for everybody: developers, scientists, historians, and society as a whole. We need new partners, and the support of all to develop the archive further."



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