OSCAL 2022 (Open Source Conference Albania)

Software Heritage, the global OSS archive
2022-06-18, 10:30–10:55, Main room

Software Heritage is the global archive of software source code, and is supported by UNESCO in cooperation with INRIA. Software source code represents a unique asset for human knowledge in recent history. It is therefore crucial to work together collectively so that the knowledge embedded in software source code is properly preserved, valued and shared with all.


Software is an essential part of our lives. Given that any software component may turn out to be essential in the future we collect all software that is publicly available in source code form. We recognize that there is significant value in selecting among all this software some collections of particular interest, and we will encourage the construction of curated archives on top of Software Heritage.
Software is fragile and we are unfortunately starting to lose it. We preserve software, because it contains our technical and scientific knowledge, and is the mean for accessing all of our knowledge. For this to be sustainable, a vast collective effort is needed: we will encourage the emergence of an open network of peers and mirrors that will share the responsibility of maintaining several copies of all the software we collect.
We are building the largest archive of software source code ever assembled. We will index, organize, create a reference and make accessible all this heritage, also providing unique identifiers, intrinsically bound to the software components. This will ensure that a resilient web of knowledge can be built on top of the Software Heritage archive.
Last, but not least, Software Heritage will foster the emergence of a variety of services, ranging from documentation to classification, from search to distribution, to release all the potential of this Library of Alexandria of Software.