The inter-ministerial digital management and Etalab update the list of free software recommended by the state. I’m 287.
Who says new year, says new recommendations. As every year, the Free Software Interministerial Base (SILL) updates its suggestions for administrations wishing to abandon certain proprietary programs. 2022 is no exception to this rule, and more proposals have been added in recent months – a few dozen.
The document, dated 5 August and shared by Twitter account code.gouv.fr (the “free software” center of Etalab and DINUM (interministerial digital department), includes several new features since the beginning of the year, as well as programs that continue to be recommended, such as Firefox, Gimp, Chromium, Debian, Drupal, FileZilla, Discourse or Apache.
Among the new features coming this year are Kleopatra (a certificate manager for cryptographic operations), Blender (a modeling software), Raspberry Pi OS (the operating system of the Raspberry Pi), Bitwarden (a word manager password) and web development tools, such as Symfony, PHPUnit, AngularJS.
If the SILL is intended as a guide for public services to orient themselves in the choice of free software, the selection work also takes into account their needs and feedback. In this regard, the contributions are varied: partners such as Pôle Emploi, the Ministry of Culture, IGN, CEA and universities have contributed to the SILL.
In the past, the SILL has benefited from an annual update. Now it’s done on the fly. ” It is continuously updated by the working groups and published by Etalab in a web version. “, Indicated on this topic the DINUM in May 2021. From now on there is a dedicated site, which can be consulted at any time to see if there have been new entries since the last time.
An opening to free software for ten years
2012 is a first turning point in the opening up of the state towards free software. The SILL was born in the wake of the Ayrault circular, which sets the guidelines and advice for use. He offers ” many positive experiences “, benefits” of a long practice of its use “And helps to” skills development. “
Four years later, an article of the law for a Digital Republic supported this trajectory, asking the services that ” encourage the use of free software and open formats when developing, purchasing or using, in whole or in part, these information systems », In parallel with proprietary software.
This development is viewed favorably by the Court of Auditors. He stressed in 2018 that this category of software ” extends the scope of pooling beyond the exclusive sphere of the state “,” amplifies the digital modernization of the state “.” Sharing free developments now appears to be a powerful factor of efficiency and influence “, she added.
These advantages are recognized by DINUM. Free software is verifiable (its source code is accessible to everyone), controllable (which allows you to see if there are malicious operations) and adaptable (you can create a branch to add missing functions). In short, everything is transparent and everyone can use it, without real constraints.
DINUM does not dispute these advantages. But it does not foresee the abandonment of proprietary software, which also has arguments – if we say that free software costs less than a proprietary tool, we must still consider the expense for staff training and a possible resistance on its part to a transition. to another software.
Consequently, the SILL is above all a guide to support public services. It is not necessarily a question of replacing everything in an ideological way. In this regard, DINUM recalled that ” the approach of the state favors overall efficiency, beyond any dogmatism, to allow it to choose between the different solutions, free, editorial or mixed. “