Open source started as a marketing program for free software back in 1998. Starting as a controversial and disruptive idea, it has moved through the stages of acceptance to become the dominant idea in creating software systems. Why did it start and what was the timeline? Why did open source work so well? What’s next?
The ambition of the Software Heritage project is to collect, preserve, and share the entire body of free software that is published on the Internet in source code form, together with its development history. Since its public announcement in 2016, the project has assembled the largest collection of freely available software source code for about 5 billion unique source code files and 1 billion commits, coming from more than 80 million projects. Initially focused on the collection and preservation goals - which were at the time urgent, due to the recurrent disappearances of development forges - Software Heritage has since rolled out several mechanisms to peruse its archive, making progress on the sharing goal. In this talk, we will review the status of the Software Heritage project, emphasizing how users and developers can, today, benefit from the availability of a great public library of source code.