Inter-ministerial Digital Directorate and Etalab update the list of free software recommended by the state. There are 287.
Who says new year, says new recommendations. As every year, the Interministerial Base of Free Software (SILL) updates its advice for administrations wishing to abandon certain proprietary programs. 2022 is no exception to this rule and additional proposals – dozens – have been added in recent months
Document, dated August 5 and shared by Twitter account code.gouv.fr (Etalab and DINUM’s “Free Software” Center (Interministerial Digital Division), including several new features since the beginning of the year, in addition to programs that are recommended, such as Firefox, Gimp, Chromium, Debian, Drupal, Filezilla, Discourse or Apache.
New arrivals this year include Cleopatra (a certificate manager for cryptographic operations), Blender (a modeling software), Raspberry Pi OS (the operating system for the Raspberry Pi), Bitwarden (a word manager password), and the web development tools, Symfony, PHPUnit, like AngularJS.
If SILL is intended as a guide for public services to choose free software, the selection process also takes into account their needs and their feedback. In this respect, contributions are diverse: partners such as Pôle Emploi, the Ministry of Culture, IGN, CEA and universities have contributed to SILL.
In the past, SILL benefited from an annual update. Now it is working on the fly. ” It is continuously updated by working groups and published by Etalab in a web version. “, in this regard DINUM indicated in May 2021. There is now a dedicated site, which can be consulted at any time to see if there have been new entries since the last time.
An openness to free software for ten years
2012 was a first turning point in the openness of the state regarding free software. SILL was born in the wake of the Ayrault Circular, which set out guidelines and recommendations for its use. He suggested ” Very positive experience “, facilities” Long practice of its use and to help Skill development. »
Four years later, an article in the Digital Republic Act supported this trajectory, asking services that they ” Encourage the use of free software and open formats when developing, purchasing or using these information systems in whole or in part », in parallel with proprietary software.
This development was viewed favorably by the Court of Auditors. He noted in 2018 that this category of software ” Expands pooling opportunities beyond the realm’s sole sphere “, ” Amplifies digital modernization of the state ” ” Free development sharing now appears to be a powerful factor in efficiency and impact “, he added.
This facility is recognized by DINUM. Free software is verifiable (its source code is accessible to everyone), controllable (which makes it possible to see if there are malicious activities) and adaptable (you can create a branch to add missing functions). In short, everything is transparent and everyone can use it, without real restrictions.
DINUM does not dispute these assets. But it does not envisage the abandonment of proprietary software, which also has logic – if it is said that the price of free software is lower than a proprietary tool, it is nevertheless necessary to consider the cost of training employees and possible resistance on his part. A conversion to other software.
Consequently, SILL is primarily a guide to supporting public services. It is not necessarily a question of replacing everything in an ideological way. In this regard, DINUM recalled that “ The state’s approach favors holistic efficiency, beyond any dogmatism, allowing it to choose between different solutions, free, expressive or mixed. »