As part of ongoing efforts to align technology across the three Pan-European infrastructures for the Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities, representatives from Cessda, CLARIN, and DARIAH held a workshop on “Software Sustainability: Quality and Re-usability”, previously announced here, in Berlin on October 9/10th.
With participants from Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and The Netherlands representing developers, users, service operators and IT managers, the talks and discussions covered a wide range of topics related to software sustainability. Speakers presented work already accomplished as part of the tasks the infrastructures have undertaken in their efforts to become operational. Among these are the DARIAH-NL Software Quality Guidelines and the Cessda Software Maturity Model, which both define evaluation criteria for software products. Their approaches differ, in that the former focuses on explicit implementation guidelines, while the latter, modelled on NASA’s Reuse Readiness Levels, describes a generalised framework for evaluating a given software product. While criteria are also an important part of the DARIAH-DE Service Life Cycle, its focus is on describing processes and necessary considerations when taking software from initial design through development and testing to production use.
The overall problems these approaches try to address are similar to the challenges the software industry is facing: training, quality management, and dealing with an ever-growing technical debt are challenges that need to be addressed and re-evaluated on a constant basis.