When we think of heritage, we often imagine sculptures, stone tablets, archaeological sites or in general something old and historical; but what is now commonplace in our culture is our future cultural heritage. Technology grows exponentially since the last century, with software a big part of it. We create and understand the software in source code and is part of our societal fabric. Some software is no longer in use, due to the fast pace of technological growth, and any information it contains is inaccessible.
Software Heritage collects, catalogues and makes accessible the source code of a software. They created a publicly available online archive that provides access to source code registered.
Their approach is built on availability, ensuring the source code is preserved, stored and accessible; traceability, giving a unique identifier for reference; uniformity, all items are accessed through the same uniform API. Software Heritage’s code is free/open-source software allowed to be used and modified by anyone.
Their actions include:
Save code now
Anyone can submit code to the Software Heritage archive the process is online and simple. The submitted code registers as a request which is then reviewed and marked as accepted, rejected or pending offering updates on its progress via the submitted save requests list.
The Software Heritage Acquisition Process (SWHAP)
Protects and preserves landmark legacy source code, aka code that while no longer in use served a significant purpose in the past such as the Apollo Guidance Computer. SWHAP to collect and curate this type of code needs to identify all physical storage media, versions and copies, authors and their bibliography such as articles, technical reports, the development process, books and more related. The guide for this process is “The software Heritage acquisition process” (2019 attached updates at SWHAP webpage).
Save and reference research software
Creators can archive research software artifacts and include specified references, afterwards Software Heritage adds the information to the repository. Ensuring best preservation and access to their work for the future. (The outline of the required steps can be found here and on the attached guide)
Software Heritage is a needed initiative that both preserves information and allows entree to related information that could otherwise be inaccessible. Furthermore, their work signifies a magnificent way of looking at the world and understand how heritage comes to be. Whether you are a coder or have friends that are, check out their page or join their community to do your part ensuring our heritage.
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