8. Make source code open
Make all new source code open by default.
Why it’s in the Standard
It’s important to share your source code so others with a similar need can reuse it.
Open source helps to:
- reduce costs for your project and others’
- avoid lock-in
- stop duplication
- increase transparency
- add benefits, from improvements by other developers
How you can meet the Standard
Final code will not be produced in Alpha stage, however you should still be thinking about how you can share what you create. During the Alpha stage, you’ll need to:
- show that you have considered a plan to release it under a licence that is suitable for your service
- consider publishing the source code on a platform with wide adoption in the open source community, such as GitHub.
- how you are making new source code open and reusable, for example, storing in repositories, releasing code under licence, using APIs
- you have provided a plan or guidance for contributors
- how you’re handling updates and bug fixes to the code
Guidance related to this criteria
- GOV.UK Service Manual — Testing your service
- 18F Testing Cookbook
- GitHub and Government
- Government GitHub Community
- Wikipedia — Comparison of free and open-source software licences
- Digital Transformation Agency Blog — Making source code open
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