VTT has introduced an open source web site and published its first open source application. This is how VTT seeks to promote software development both nationally and internationally, and in the future more such applications will follow.
VTT publishes the software for use and for further development under its own open source code licence. In VTT's research and development projects, various demonstration and tool software are created. This kind of software is often more or less incomplete, but one could find them to be applicable with minor modifications. VTT sees rational in releasing programs that are not complete commercial products but can nevertheless be of benefit to many parties.
"Openness in software means that the user is independent of the software supplier. The quality of open source software is often superior and the development is faster thanks to thousands of programmers solving potential problems rapidly. The security of software is likely to be better too, since the code is public and can be checked by anyone," says Esko Wessman, chairman of the Finnish Linux User Group (association of Finnish Linux users).
Good examples of open source software include such well-known projects as Linux, Apache and OpenOffice.org. According to Wessman, VTT is trailblazer in open source licensing with a license that is well defined and transparent when compared to others.
As its first open source software, VTT published a user-friendly network-testing tool Nipper (Neat Internet Protocol Packet Editor). Nipper is Java based tool that can be used in many ways for testing networks, protocols and networking applications. Nipper was originally developed in a programmable network research project. As Nipper was found practical tool more generally and not limited to programmable network testing, it was selected to be the pilot software in the VTT open source project.
"The VTT approach is one of the most reasonable ways to getting started with open source. The rules of the game are clear, the software is a good and safe basic tool that can be further developed. This software may even start profit-making business." Wessman continues.
Open source software has already become a competitive alternative for organisations and enterprises both in Finland and globally. Openness is also playing an important role in increasing the range of software with Finnish language support.
VTT's Open Source page:
VTT Information Technology
Sami Pönkänen, Project Manager
Tel. (09) 456 7232
Finnish Linux User Group
Esko Wessman, Chairman
Tel. 040 731 6361
© VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland 2004