Software Heritage: a Revolutionary Infrastructure for Open Source


Open Source Software is at the heart of our digital society and embodies a growing part of our technical and organisational knowledge, and this raises many questions: How to comply with the obligations of Open Source licenses? How to be sure that the source code of a key module we use will be still there when we need it in the future? Do we really know what source code we are using, and where it comes from? How can we address cybersecurity if we do not know? How do we share this information across the software supply chain?

Answering these questions and answering them well is quite a challenge. In this presentation, you will discover Software Heritage, an open non-profit initiative, in partnership with UNESCO, and supported by major IT players, and how the revolutionary infrastructure it is building changes the way we address these issues.

With 10 billion unique source files from 150 million repositories, it is the largest archive of source code ever built, and you can already access and use this infrastructure.

We now invite you to help it grow, and take part in its unique undertaking. 


Roberto Di Cosmo is an alumnus of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, with a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pisa. He was associate professor for almost a decade at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. In 1999, he became a Computer Science full professor at University Paris Diderot, where he was head of doctoral studies for Computer Science from 2004 to 2009. A trustee of the IMDEA Software institute, and member of the national committee for Open Science in France, he is currently on leave at INRIA.

His research activity spans theoretical computing, functional programming, parallel and distributed programming, the semantics of programming languages, type systems, rewriting and linear logic, and, more recently, the new scientific problems posed by the general adoption of Free Software, with a particular focus on static analysis of large software collections. He has published over 20 international journals articles and 50 international conference articles.
In 2008, he has created and coordinated the European research project Mancoosi, that had a budget of 4.4Me and brought together 10 partners to improve the quality of package-based open source software systems.

Following the evolution of our society under the impact of IT with great interest, he is a long term Free Software advocate, contributing to its adoption since 1998 with the best-seller Hijacking the world, seminars, articles and software. He created in October 2007 the Free Software thematic group of Systematic, that helped fund over 50 Open Source research and development collaborative projects for a consolidated budget of over 200Me. From 2010 to 2018, he was director of IRILL, a research structure dedicated to Free and Open Source Software quality.

He created in 2015, and now directs Software Heritage, an initiative to build the universal archive of all the source code publicly available, in partnership with UNESCO.