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Open-Source Developers Set Out Software Road Map for 2020

By Computerworld

December 3, 2008

A group of open source software advocates have published "2020 FLOSS Roadmap," a report that establishes a road map for the software industry through 2020. The report, released at the 2008  Open World Forum conference in Paris, makes several predictions about the role that free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) will play by 2020.

The report predicts that FLOSS will become mainstream by 2020, and will contribute to a reduction in the digital divide. The report also predicts that social networks will rely on ubiquitous, open cloud-computing services, and will enable people to interact with friends, businesses, and governments. CIOs worried about vendor lock-in will strongly support the use of FLOSS, which will be at the core of green data centers and other business models with low ecological impacts, the report says.

However, obtaining widespread acceptance of open source software will require significant action, the report notes. Governments will have to favor open source standards and services, which will require a stable and neutral legal context that establishes a clear definition of open standards and services and how they can be made and implemented, the report says. A clear legal framework also could help prevent the proliferation of software licenses.

Investors should fund research efforts looking to develop strategic FLOSS technologies, and governments and businesses need to establish academic and professional training programs to educate a new generation of software developers.

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