The National ICT Australia (NICTA) research organization has launched the OpenNICTA portal, which will allow people to view and download software developed and licensed by NICTA. OpenNICTA will serve a major role in the organization's effort to gain international attention and collaboration, says NICTA's Gernot Heiser. "Open source software is impossible to ignore and it is an important way for people to collaborate," Heiser says. OpenNICTA will offer access to 11 NICTA-developed open source releases initially, with the total number rapidly expanding during the next year. Heiser says he would like to see other research organizations follow NICTA's lead and formalize processes for releasing software to the open source community. He says research organizations have been releasing software back to the open source community for years, but the releases are generally done in an ad-hoc fashion and below the radar of authorities and the public. NICTA now has a formal process of determining if a project should be released as open source. "This procedure is something we can improve on," Heiser says. "At the moment, our hurdles are still on the high side, but it is natural that people are cautious initially."
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