Tinkoff Bank, Moscow Exchange and Sberbank to test Russian GitHub

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“Tinkoff bank”, Moscow Exchange and Sberbank structures will test the “Russian GitHub”. The open source software experiment will last until April 1, 2024.

The Ministry of Digital Development has approved a list of 82 participants in the experiment to create a Russian open source software repository – an analogue of the largest web service for hosting IT projects and their joint development GitHub. The list includes federal and regional authorities, large companies, such as Tinkoff Bank, Moscow Exchange, Sberbank structure Sbertech, development companies and individuals. The corresponding order of the Ministry of Digital Development was published on May 31. A spokesman for the ministry noted that the list included both developers and users of open source solutions.

The creation of the repository has been discussed since September 2021, when Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced it. The Russian Foundation for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT) announced its participation in the project in October 2022 (this is regulated by a government decree). On the sidelines of CIPR-2023, Alexander Pavlov, CEO of RFRIT, told TASS that the fund had collected applications, the list should be approved by the Ministry of Digital Development.

The experiment to create a repository started on March 21, 2023 and ends in the second quarter of 2024. The Ministry of Digital Development proposed to transfer 1.3 billion rubles for this. from the Rosinfokominvest fund, Vedomosti wrote in March. According to the federal official, the RFRIT will become the recipient of Rosinfocominvest funds, which will later transfer the funds to ANO Open Code (founders – VK, “Rostelecom”, Innopolis University, T1 group and other structures). ANO will develop terms of reference for creating a repository, a source close to the organization told Vedomosti. Vedomosti sent requests to Open Source and RFRIT.

Companies could apply for the development of individual solutions, explained Alexei Smirnov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Basalt SPO. No specific tasks were set for the participants, he specified. As part of the project, Basalt SPO will “build an operating system for processors based on the Risk-V architecture,” says Smirnov.

A representative of the Moscow Exchange said that, “as an IT company, it actively uses open source code in the development of software and web projects.” “In the current conditions, it is very important to find an opportunity to continue using open source, this makes it possible for the dynamic development of fintech projects,” he continued. According to the interlocutor, the Mosbirzha has developments in software development tools, which it will be ready to share through the repository.

Ozon (a participant in the experiment) supports the development of open source projects and considers this a contribution to the development of IT, says a representative of the marketplace. “We have the opportunity to test the life cycle of making changes through this platform, interaction with domestic developers and another channel for providing technical support,” says Zaur Abasmirzoev, CEO of the Russian web server developer Angie (also participating in the experiment).

Vedomosti sent requests to Tinkoff, Sbertech, T1,Gazprom Neft”, Ministry of Labor. The largest IT companies – VK and “Yandex”- did not begin to apply for participation in the experiment, their representatives refrained from commenting.

Most likely, the goal of the experiment is to develop a mechanism for commercialization of open source and methods for reusing it in other projects, says the CEO of the group “Reksoft» Alexander Egorov. In the interests of state-owned companies, many programs have already been written, blocks of which can be reused with modifications, but this requires a scheme that is convenient for market participants, he says.

In the practice of custom development for government agencies, we are talking about the transfer of exclusive rights to the developed software, explains Petr Shcheglov, director of product marketing at MyOffice. According to him, this means that government agencies become owners of information system components, but they do not have the competencies for their further development, developments cannot be used in other projects, since they are associated with a specific institution and a certain budget item. Therefore, the disclosure of information about the code can give a significant economic effect – it will speed up the modernization of state information systems, simplify the development of modules and components, and lead to budget savings, lists Shcheglov.

Negotiations on the creation of a “domestic GitHub” have been going on for three years, but no way has been devised to motivate developers or program owners to share the code, notes a Vedomosti source in one of the IT companies. According to him, it is necessary to “tokenize” the site, i.e. after a certain number of lines of code or the number of commits (changes and improvements), give a token that can be exchanged for “some goodies” (training, access to another paid program, or just monetization of efforts).

Now there are no mechanisms to support the participants of the national repository, says Irina Abdeeva, a member of the commission for the legal support of the digital economy of the Moscow branch of the Russian Bar Association. In the future, this may look like a priority use of products from the repository by procurement participants under 44-FZ and 223-FZ (govern the purchases of government agencies and state-owned companies. – Vedomosti) and / or subjects of critical information infrastructure, she suggests.

For the success of the experiment, it is important to collect all projects in one place – other developers should easily find the necessary modules, and also be able to send their commits, says Shcheglov. At the same time, it is important that code developers support it, accept changes and fix bugs on a regular basis, Ivan Panchenko, Deputy CEO of Postgres Professional, emphasizes.

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