Sixth Framework Programme - Priority 2
Information Society Technologies
EDOS: Environment for the Distribution of Open Source software
The Open Source and Free Software movement now touches a very large and growing community of users. The GNU/Linux operating system for instance has an estimated 18 million users worldwide. The number of contributing developers can vary between several hundred and several thousand. Open Source and Free Software has a critical mass of developers to choose from.
This has helped to ensure high quality for open source software, and has given end-users a real alternative to using proprietary software. The Open Source community will continue to grow over the coming years.
However, despite this success, there are important problems in the production of Open Source operating systems on a large scale that will become even more significant as the number of users grows.
Open source distribution editors package and assemble a large number of programs and applications into a single tested distribution, together with a set of tools to install and administer the system.
Two key functions performed by distribution editors are:
- Producing a new version of a distribution: starting from a complete version of the distribution, the editor adds, deletes, reconfigure, and updates packages with respect to the external sources, etc.
- Customizing a distribution for a specific user: this includes adding, deleting, updating and configuring packages.
The challengesTo pursue our goals, we will use formal methods, coming from the academic research groups in the project, to address in a novel way three outstanding problems:
- dependency management among large, heterogeneous collections of software packages
- testing and QA for large, complex software systems
- the efficient distribution of large software systems, using peer-to-peer and distributed data-base technology