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Military Enlists Open Source Community

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the freedom-is-free dept.

Government 131

jmwci1 writes "The US Defense Department is enlisting an open source approach to software development — an about-face for such a historically top-down organization. In recent weeks, the military has launched a collaborative platform called Forge.mil for its developers to share software, systems components and network services. The agency also signed an agreement with the Open Source Software Institute to allow 50 internally developed workforce management applications to be licensed to other government agencies, universities and companies."

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What wants to kill for cash? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738055)

Okay. Who wants to kill for free?

Re:What wants to kill for cash? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740115)

Maybe if we pay these developers 50 workforce management applications then they'll want to give us free labor!

I can't see this ending well. What if someone writes an innovative new missile guidance system based on optimizing ballistic trajectory corrections to increase average-case range? Suddenly you have a dangerous weapon that threatens America's national security to be released to the public, and the army squirrels it away. OSS devs aren't going to like working for the army for no pay.

Re:What wants to kill for cash? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741495)

Your right but more likely it's because CMIS, their first release,

... was revamped in January 2006 using the latest Web-based tools including an Adobe Cold Fusion front-end and a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 back-end.

isn't something like to get OSS geeks too excited.

Why does this story have a red header? (0, Offtopic)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738059)

Why does this story have a red header? I've never seen this before. What's going on?

Re:Why does this story have a red header? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738117)

Why does this story have a red header? I've never seen this before. What's going on?

Better red than dead?

Re:Why does this story have a red header? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738137)

i've seen it a few times, i'm fairly certain that it's something about when an article has just been put on front page and hasn't recieved (m)any +/- votes yet or something... i could be off on that tho...

Re:Why does this story have a red header? (4, Funny)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738237)

Its red because its a new post, with no comments.
It WAS that is.

Until you de-redified it.

It means.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738437)

  1. It's a RED HOT story and YOU should read it!
  2. It pertains to the communist military.
  3. It pertains to Satan.
  4. it pertains to Santa Claus and Christmas.
  5. A woman's menstrual cycle.
  6. Blood.
  7. It's cherry flavored.

Re:It means.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738683)

I knew it. Communist Satan Claus is a woman! Bloody Cherry!

Re:Why does this story have a red header? (0, Offtopic)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738521)

Subscribers are used to seeing the red header... it indicates a story that's ready to go but hasn't been released. /. policy seems to be it's better to give a "free preview" to the non-subscribers than to make the subscribers go without when there's a glitch.

I Dunno (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738079)

This could end badly. Here's all these geeks working hard at coding, only to be interrupted by one of their own doing a mock-Python "Stop the skit! This is much too silly." and then everyone doing the "military fairy" song.

The Pentagon may not survive.

Re:I Dunno (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738301)

Look on the bright side. Now that the new administration has banned 'not *quite* torture', they'll need something to get the alleged nutjobs to confess.

Obscure geek Python parodies would surely crack even the most hardened Talib.

Re:I Dunno (1)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738653)

I think you've forgotten that joke warfare was banned by a special session of the Geneva Conventions.

Re:I Dunno (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738775)

Haven't we already decided these terrorists are not enemy combatants? In which case, let the jokes fly!

Wish this was there 3 years ago (4, Informative)

vivin (671928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738587)

I wish they had this three years ago. I worked on the ULLS-G system, which is a software system for unit-level logistics. It was written in ADA and ran in DOS. It was a horribly non-intuitive system. Trying to do anything with it took ages. There wasn't any sort of batch feature to batch up commands or reports.

The software used the SAGE database format and I was able to find an ODBC driver for it. Using that, I was able to write Perl scripts that could read and write to the database and do things a whole lot faster. I mean, things that took 2 hours to do (manually), took less than a second now. I was also able to tie things into Excel for extremely accurate and fast reporting. Something that none of the units there were able to do.

I was actually supposed to do any of this, because only authorized personnel are allowed to modify the software (reason being they didn't want anyone to mess things up). However, my commander and the BMO (Battalion Maintenance Officer) kinda let me do what I wanted to do because I was providing results.

Now they have a new system in place that's a whole lot better. Something with an Oracle backend. Not sure what the front-end is actually built on. Looks like access, but might not be it.

Anytay, at the time I really wanted to provide the scripts and software that I had written to other people in the military - either people who had my MOS or at the very least, the developers, so that they could improve the software.

I haven't had that much of an opportunity to work with the new software. Also, I'm getting done with my contract in December (end to 9 years of service). But I think there are a bunch of nerds and geeks like me hiding out in the military and I'm sure they have some pretty good suggestions to improve the software that the military uses.

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738599)

Should have mentioned. The reason this would have helped 3 years ago is that I was in Iraq at the time, which is where I extensively used the ULLS-G system.

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738989)

Oh my gawd.. the memories.. standard issue Zenith 286 with ULLS and Multimate.

Make it stop! Make the bad man stop, mommy!

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740047)

The software was unreadable and outdated, so you rewrote it in perl?

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740611)

Worse, he probably improved it immensely, both in efficiency (obviously and as he states) and in readability. Shudder. ULLS-g was truly horrid.

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741819)

I wouldn't say perl's inefficient

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

Vreejack (68778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740085)

Oh. My. God.

STILL using Ada because it is specified in the contracts by default and no one has the sense to ask for anything else. Fifteen years ago our contractor had to send people to school to learn it in order to support the contract. Still using MS-DOS probably for the same reason. I worked on a little training system that ran on PC's and I made sure the DOS licenses were were stored under the floor boards so that they would never get lost. We had to have them in case we ever got inspected and Lord knows there was no way at that time to obtain MS-DOS 5.1 any more. I didn't know Perl existed (maybe it didn't) so I wrote string-handling utilities in C++ in my spare time.

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741197)

I was teaching computer science at the Air Force Academy a few years back (2004). The Ada zealots were well and firmly entrenched in the Computer Science department, and now occupy its top echelons. I suspect they're still using it as the primary teaching language (though to their credit, they appear to have completely expunged any mention of the programming languages used in these courses).

That said, there is a certain logic in using Ada in an academic setting as well as those requiring high reliability (like a missile's guidance system or an aircraft flight control system). It is rigidly typed, it's not prone to single character errors (the way C-based languages are) and its compilers (the GNU one we were using at least) produced well optimized executables. This made it reasonable use as a teaching language to the cadets as their errors were usually ones of logic, rather than logical errors induced by syntactic oddities. These same characteristics are useful in mission critical applications.

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741219)

"(though to their credit, they appear to have completely expunged any mention of the programming languages used in these courses)"

By which I meant their course descriptions posted to the web, not the courses themselves... that would be silly.

Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742279)

A honest question: what is, in your opinion, wrong with Ada?
I never learned Ada myself but everything I heard about it was pretty good.

Why not (1)

pierson007 (1542309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738097)

Why not get the comprehensive mindset from the community as a whole. Some of the most secure and stable platforms are open source.

How dare they? (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738131)

Bloody open-sores communists. Don't they know that military contractors have a god given right to profit?

Re:How dare they? (5, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738307)

No Joke. In 2001 the US Marine Corps disbanded the 4067 MOS. While we used to have Marines, in uniform, writing code for a wide assortment of tasks (from menial office apps to classified COM vaults and even some flight system work in ADA), we moved to consultants.

Replacing a $14,400/year Corporal with a $120,000 civilian. One who doesn't have to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

-Rick

Re:How dare they? (4, Funny)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738815)

What does mil-spec code look like? Do you have to put //SIR! after every semicolon?

Re:How dare they? (2, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739577)

What does mil-spec code look like?

Since ADA was the language created for military code, mil-spec code looks a lot like an ADA program. Design by contract, for one thing.

Re:How dare they? (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741213)

Since ADA was the language created for military code, mil-spec code looks a lot like an ADA program. Design by contract, for one thing.

GDSS-2 [af.mil] is written in VB6.

Re:How dare they? (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741323)

A lot of projects from the late 90's were VB6, at least in the Marine Corps. We had 3 options:

ADA - great for guidance systems, horrendous for UIs.
VB5/6 - great for UI and business apps, sucks for pretty much everything though.
Lotus Notes - sucks himilaian goat shit through a straw.

-Rick

Re:How dare they? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742103)

GDSS2 is pretty much all business app / presentation of data from other sources. Heavy on the GUI. So yes, VB made a great choice really.

Re:How dare they? (3, Insightful)

finity (535067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738883)

I get the impression that you think this is an awful shame. Do you think we need programmers that take an oath to support and defend the Constitution? Do you think programmers need to maintain the high standards of fitness required by the Marines? I guarantee you that wearing a uniform makes it harder to code (it's much easier in flip flops and shorts).

It's unlikely that those civilians are actually paid $120k, but you're right that they make more than $14k. I think that (in many cases) it's an awful shame to have folks working in an office who are willing and able to run out into a field in the middle of nowhere and setup comms.

Militaries are built to go out and accomplish a mission. Pay somebody else to stay home and accomplish it.

Re:How dare they? (2, Informative)

EbeneezerSquid (1446685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739041)

True, The Civilian is probably not making $120,000.

However, the Defense Contractor that hired him for $80,000 is getting $120,000 for doing so (and providing his health insurance and, well, that's about it.)

Do Programmers HAVE to sign and swear in order to program? no.

However, considering the quality of some of the software that the military has to use, it would be VERY useful to have trained programmers rotating into and out of positions where they are using it in the field, and than updating and maintaining the software. We are presently forced to maintain a piece of Search and Rescue software for tracking downed (civilian) pilots that, if every piece of network infrastructure works perfectly, manages to stay stable and usable less than 90% of the time. In an industry where four 9s is considered standard, a piece of lifesaving software with only one is unacceptable - and they can't even open bidding for it's replacement for another year.

And as a Air Force Network Administrator who continually has to struggle to pass his Physical Readiness Test, I have no pity about your preference for coding in your shorts and flip-flops

Re:How dare they? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739989)

So a principle of open source coding allows the DOD to do one thing particularly well, review the code of likely job applicants. Obviously should you submit high quality code, as they likely shift to a 50:50 split (internal:external) coding, they will look to employ you directly

This also allows for coding inputs of allied countries and even some not so allied countries. Dual benefit there is, the are establishing friendlier and more open and communicative ties with other countries (repair some of the damage done by the previous administration) and their military as well as of course establishing a database overseas coders.

This demonstrates a shift in current thinking from the military basically acting as a source of inflated profits for a handful of corrupt corporations to serving the country upon a sound and cost efficient basis.

Re:How dare they? (1)

BarefootClown (267581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740821)

In an industry where four 9s is considered standard

...when operating in clean, air-conditioned, access-controlled server rooms.

Don't misunderstand me; both of my parents were military (now retired). I'm not suggesting that we ought to accept lesser reliability, merely stating that reliability is a *lot* harder when the systems have to work in desert heat and sand, arctic cold and snow, portably-generated power, and enemy action (including direct mechanical harm--bombing--and jamming or other electrical attacks).

To put it another way: I can score many-nines on the one-way pistol range, but I suspect I'd drop precipitously on the two-way range.

Re:How dare they? (4, Insightful)

Ocker3 (1232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739133)

I disagree. Having coders who have an afinity with and an understanding of the actual roles and duties of the people they're coding for can be very useful. And as to being oath-taking Marines, they are arguably quite motivated to make sure that no details are leaked and that systems are secure, as opposed to the vulnerable contractor systems that leaked that JSF data recently.

Re:How dare they? (1)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739343)

Hell yeah. That's the very reason why the Marine Corps still has it's own air wing.

Re:How dare they? (2, Interesting)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739303)

It is a damn shame. I was on the other side of the fence and I can tell you, it's a lot harder to get something done when you've got to ask/beg a civilian to do something for you. He doesn't care what the 1stSgt told you to do, he's not in the chain of command.

Or even worse, the civilian in charge of our local network was a high ranking civilian. He actually had more on-base clout than our regiment's CO. It took *months* to get network jacks opened, forget about adding new devices. Buying an fscking printer took four months to install (network jacks are restricted by mac address). Of course, I got around this, but that's not the point. :-)

On the other hand, if it was handled by the Marines you more than likely can call and get a brother on the phone who'll help you out.

Re:How dare they? (2, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739367)

Do you think we need programmers that take an oath to support and defend the Constitution?

Next time someone runs into a critical fault in a COM shack in the south Pacific, see what the response time is getting a civilian in Virginia out of bed, into the office, and working on the problem as opposed to having a trained and proficient Marine on site to fix the issue.

Do you think programmers need to maintain the high standards of fitness required by the Marines? I guarantee you that wearing a uniform makes it harder to code (it's much easier in flip flops and shorts).

There are benefits and detractors. On the benefit side, coding standards are non-optional. There is room for variety, but if there is one thing you get used to in the Marine Corps, it is standards. Also, as a coder in the MC you get to know your co-workers exceptionally well. Not only do you work on the same projects, but in the event of attack, every Marine is a riffleman first, so you may well be laying supression fire for eachother. And finally, with 1-3 year tours, you are garunteed to have to go through project handoffs, so project plans are kept small, requirements are documented, and life, as far as programming is concerned, is damn good.

Also, while you might find the rigorous PT off putting, man was it nice to be in great shape. A 3 mile jog in 20 minutes flat, 26 pull ups and 100 crunches in 2 mintues... man do I miss those days. I'm growing a damn dunlap here! Luckily, I'm moving to a new office building on Friday and I'll have an on-site Gym again :)

On the down side, the Enlisted Marine Corps is largely consisting of people who either couldn't or didn't want to go to college. So you are quite often surrounded by people with little experience and/or education. To get into the 4067 field you needed a GT score of 110 or higher. People who made it into the 4067 field who had troubles coding were often refered to as "110ers".

It sure wasn't peaches and cream, but it was a pretty kick ass experience for a guy like me who had no dreams of college.

It's unlikely that those civilians are actually paid $120k, but you're right that they make more than $14k.

Correct. They are contractors, their BILL rate was $120,000/year.

I think that (in many cases) it's an awful shame to have folks working in an office who are willing and able to run out into a field in the middle of nowhere and setup comms.

Ahh, you're thinking of the 4066 and IIRC 0366 MOSes. 4066 is network tech, and the 0366 is what we called the "Battery Opperated Grunt". They were deployed with the grunts to do field wire works, field radio maintenance, etc. If you're in a pitched battle, and the radio is crapping out on you, these would be the guys you hope to have in your fire team.

The 4066 MOS I believe was stripped down to bare minimums and changed into the 25xx or 26xx MOS, that was right when I was getting out though, so I can't say for sure. But I believe they were replacing all billets except for a handful of key and politicol positions. The 0366 MOS I believe is still intact, at least it was when I got out. Seems most civilians don't like taking jobs where they get shot at. Go figure.

-Rick

Re:How dare they? (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739721)

Next time someone runs into a critical fault in a COM shack in the south Pacific...

And what, pray tell, does a guy in a COM shack in the South Pacific have to do with defending the Constitution?

Defending the American Empire, yeah. The Constitution... not so much.

Re:How dare they? (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741285)

I'm not one to want to go to war for ANY reason except defending the people and the place that I love. I understand that there are many things that are corrupt about our government, but that is no reason not to defend the right for people like you to say what you like about the military and the government, because it is your right, and people like OP are willing to die so that American's can have that right. Sure it protects the fat-cats in Washington and the CEOs that raped the economy of the world, but it also protects the other ~98% of the population that is innocent (oddly even with the 98% of the wealth that exists in the former). Go defend the constitution yourself by being politically active to help remove those that are corrupt. No good? Run for office.

Re:How dare they? (2, Informative)

EbeneezerSquid (1446685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738909)

Yes, but because the $120,000 civilian is paid out of a different pot of money than the $14,000 corporal, The US Government is actually SAVING Money!

Don't you love how Washington thinks?

Re:How dare they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738945)

Relax, it's most of the same guys who "retired" and took the higher salary to do the same thing they were already doing, for 5 times the cash.

And it's open source code, what you think just because they don't have pull out a gun and shoot whoever they're told to* somehow they're going to be able to sneak some terrible trojans into their apps?

* Sadly, I used to have far more respect for people in uniform than this, but frankly, even the decent folks are tacitly putting up with the downright evil people among you, and in my mind that makes you complicit.

Re:How dare they? (1)

EbeneezerSquid (1446685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739139)

1. IT personnel are rarely armed, with the exception of Mobile Comm in the field, in a hot warzone.

2. Find me a "downright evil" military individual and I will do my damnedest to get him/her out from "among" us, as will my entire chain of command.

a. I want name and rank. "Some guy I heard about" and "This email forwarded to me says" don't count.

3. The term is "Unlawful order". It doesn't matter who tells you to, shooting someone that is not shooting back is most definitely one of them.

I do have to agree, I can't stand the people that retire and yet don't clean out their desk because they are back the next week in civvies. No matter how much I may like the individual, I cannot stand the practice, as it encourages the most inefficient "downsizing" imaginable.

Re:How dare they? (3, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739447)

I knew one person I considered evil while I was in the Marine Corps.

He got the big chicken dinner.

Turns out, he's from my home town and I've managed to bump into him entirely too many times over the last 8 years.

I knew a fair number of dicks, epen flexers, power trippers, hazers, and douche bags. But every one of them was absolutely dedicated to country and corps and would put it all on the line for a Marine in trouble.

-Rick

Re:How dare they? (5, Interesting)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740207)

Replacing a $14,400/year Corporal with a $120,000 civilian. One who doesn't have to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

On one Air Force base that I was stationed, it was very common for a company (usually Lockheed Martin) to "convince" the military that a certain position would be better served by a civilian contractor. It was just mere coincidence that the military person currently occupying that job just happened to be within early retirement age and that, even more coincidentally, he would be the one hired by the contractor to fill the civilian position after the military position was closed.

Eventually, entire portions of the base were run by civilians (civil engineering, the supply chain, avionics shops, test equipment maintenance, and vehicle management and maintenance are only a few that I recall off the top of my head) and the only military members that were left were those that legally couldn't be replaced by a contractor because they would be needed if the unit were to deploy anywhere.

I don't think most Slashdotters realize how big/powerful/corrupt the entire defense contracting industry really is.

Re:How dare they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27740737)

Lets be fair here.

One who doesn't have to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

Civil Service personnel swear an oath to defend the Constitution. I think your confusing Federal government employees with contractors. Contractors dont swear an oath.

Re:How dare they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27743431)

A corporal only costs $14,400 a year? You don't train him, house him and his family, feed him and his family, provide him and his family with free full medical, BX/Commissary privileges, pension, VA benefits, free gym, golf course, pool, 30 days leave a year plus holidays and other days off, and everything else?

News flash - $120,000 is a bargain.

Re:How dare they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27743675)

Faulty assumption: a corporal does not cost $14,400.

You train him, you feed and house him and his family and provide them medical care, you give them privileges to the BX and commissary and golf course and gym and pool and DOD-owned parks, campgrounds, resorts, etc., a pension, lots of vacation and holidays.

$120,000 is a bargain.

uS trolls will all turn into open source angels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27740261)

you are what you deserve to be.
Deal with it.
So sad that you are what you are.
you can change.

Repost anyone? (4, Informative)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738193)

This story is almost as cool as it was when it was posted 2 months ago! [slashdot.org]

Re:Repost anyone? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738771)

Yeah, but since the military have published (on about this scale) GPLed and BSDed source code for decades, was it news even then?

Military Enlists Open Source Community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738197)

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

New Mascot (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738209)

Why is it that every time I hear about the Military and Open Source, I have visions of Tux wearing a green helmet, holding an M16, and baring a grin with a fat cigar?

Re:New Mascot (2)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738333)

Because there is a widely proliferated (heh-heh) image that is more or less exactly what you describe. It was popular as a background on the "security" distributions. It's interesting that now I can't seem to find it.

In other news, there is also this [wikimedia.org] -- which I have also seen many times.

Dupe? (0, Redundant)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738219)

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/01/1259203 [slashdot.org]

Still, it's open source and the DoD - what's not to like?

Re:Dupe? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738559)

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/01/1259203

Still, it's open source and the DoD - what's not to like?

Dupe!! [slashdot.org]

Re:Dupe? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739523)

In fairness, they posted a minute apart.

If his browser works like the one I use then there is a 2 minute wait when you click preview and another 2 minute wait when you click submit.

Re:Dupe? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739659)

You've gotta point. However, I seriously seriously seriously doubt this guy checked the other posts before declaring it a dupe.

I will concede, though, that I'm being unfair to him in particular.

Re:Dupe? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740973)

No. Your post was actually funny. I was more calling out the person who down-modded him.

I replied to your post so that my comment would still make sense if the moderation score changed :)

Military Eggheads did not think put the domain up. (2, Informative)

brasselv (1471265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738263)

Project "forge.mil" is only to be found at the url http://www.disa.mil/forge/ [disa.mil]

The address forge.mil is unavailable as of now.

Either does not exist, or has been taken over by the Chinese/Russians, or it has been slashdotted, or it runs on Windows.

Any of the above, is not a good sign.

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738327)

You are only going to get to that .mil address from within a DoD network I believe. (It's been a while since I was in the AF)

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (2, Insightful)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738387)

Either does not exist, or has been taken over by the Chinese/Russians, or it has been slashdotted, or it runs on Windows.

It's all of the above. However, this is not a bad thing. Here's why:

1) the Russians and Chinese may have access to secrets vital to our national security, but we don't really need to worry because the Russians and Chinese are really only interested in supplementing their GDP with income from US military super-computer bot nets... this is a much more valuable industry than espionage.
2)Since its been slash dotted, we don't need to worry about the Russians and Chinese making money off of our hard-earned fat pipes.
3) Windows means that, when the paper work clears and the generals have OK'd something that they don't quite understand (this will happen in 10-15 years), we can simply email the Russian spy controlling the machine a .exe "pr0nz video!" and get control of our machine back -- thus declaring a victory in the war on Cyber-Terrorism (no, that doesn't mean you get your rights back.)

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739979)

> 1) the Russians and Chinese may have access to secrets vital to our national security

Notice that China is on the radar (so to speak) for our Navy; witness the inclusion of The Great Wall at Sea [militarypr...glists.com] on the Navy reading list [militarypr...glists.com] .

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738389)

There are DNS records for it, so it is supposed to exist.

Re:Military Eggheads did not think (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738393)

FTA

One example of the Defense Department's new community-based approach to software development is Forge.mil, which was made generally available for unclassified use within the department in April.

So, unless you're at a terminal in the DoD, it's probably not gonna work for you.

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (1)

xTMFWahoo (470364) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738557)

Try https://www.forge.mil/ [forge.mil] it works fine. You must have a DOD CAC or ECA certificate to login.

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738591)

https://www.forge.mil will work.

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739547)

Works here.

It redirects to http://www.disa.mil/forge/ [disa.mil] which is working fine

Re:Military Eggheads did not think put the domain (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742855)

Which in turn has a link to the software - http://www.collab.net/products/sfee/demo/ [collab.net]

Looks like SoftwareForge isn't FOSS, but Collabnet's TeamForge (which is fair enough, but disappointing as I wanted to run military open-source software, just to tell my boss that if its good enough for the DoD, its good enough for us!

Kids (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738449)

an about-face for such a historically top-down organization

See the guy in the photo [wikipedia.org] using BRL-CAD to optimize the M1 Abrams battle tank for crushing innocent Iraqi children? He wrote ping, contributed to BIND and other stuff. Go read some RFCs, early ones in particular, and note the number of .mil domains credited and try to imagine how many millions of lines of code made it from those reference implementations into BSD.

The DOD, particularly through DARPA, has been giving away code longer than most of you have been alive. Please, for the love of fuck, stow your naive preconceptions. You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Re:Kids (4, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738817)

You! With the clue! You are to report for immediate groupthink reprogramming!

This goes WAY beyond source code. DoD and DARPA have been giving away technology of all varieties for ages. Radar, guidance systems, tons of computing and communications tech, medical technology. Bitch about the military all ya want...but be honest...stop using everything the military has played key role in building. For starters no computers, no internet, no weather reports, no flying, and certainly no trauma treatment in an ER anywhere...

he wright brothers were bicycle mechanics (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27739295)

the only way they could get going in the business was through military funding, though they hated it.

the fact that the military funds so much creative effort speaks more largely about our society than about the military: that we are only willing to spend money on creative or explorative endeavors if it means finding new and better ways to kill people.

even the interstate highway system had to be sold as a 'defense program' for it to be funded... all of the people screaming about 'big government' and 'wasted taxes' have no problem doing the exact same programs if you call it 'military/defense spending'.

obama should simply rename his health care plan the 'national body defense system', and claim we need free doctors to deal with potential terror attacks. then play shots of 9/11 and firefighters holding children.

if he wants green energy, he should claim it is for national defense , and put it under DARPA, then have 1500 sub contractors in every tiny town in every congressinal district building parts or doing research for green energy machines. it would have trillions in funding over night.

the human race, pretty much deserves what it pays for, and for the priorities it has chosen to spend money on.

Second Sourcing came from the Military (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740735)

A former Military General and Secretary of State is also the one who was behind the idea of "Second Sourcing" in government contracts, which is the requirement that you can't rely on any single one supplier to be your sole source for supplies. It's basically that requirement that forced Intel to share trade secrets, training, and patents with its arch rival and enemy AMD -- in order for AMD to be listed as a viable second source for Intel's lucrative defense contracts.

Re:Kids (2, Informative)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741247)

Huh? Are you trying to claim that the military give out source code and ideas for some altruistic or moral reasons?

Think again: works prepared by employees of the U.S. government are uncopyrightable. [wikipedia.org] And that's how it should be. You don't want to give billions of taxpayer money to a military organization and have nothing to show for it.

Even if they wanted to, the military would have to open source their code and published documents, unless they can figure out a sneaky way to bypass the letter of the law, which happens way too much anyway.

Re:Kids (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742385)

I'm pretty sure they could just keep it classified. The PHBs in Congress sure as fuck wouldn't know better.

It might work (3, Insightful)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738529)

sudo apt-get remove democratically-elected-but-troublesome-foreign-government
sudo apt-get install us-friendly-dictator
sudo apt-get autoremove reporters-who-ask-the-wrong-questions

Re:It might work (2, Informative)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739569)

sudo apt-get autoremove takes no arguments.

Re:It might work (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740483)

Yeah I know, I debated using the arguments for a few minutes reasoning it'd be funnier to, so I did, lol.

Re:It might work (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739673)

sudo apt-get remove head-from-anus

Re:It might work (1)

EvilToiletPaper (1226390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740481)

After the open-source geeks started coding.. they replaced all 3 with a metapackage:

sudo apt-get install all-your-base-are-belong-to-us

Re:It might work (1)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742439)

more like

sudo apt-get install securing-us-interests

gays in the military? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738569)

i thought it was still don't ask don't tell?

get aids and die open sores faggots.

Military ... Software ... Stargate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738603)

"Download the alien documents to a non-networked computer!"
[5min later]
"Oh noes, the alien virus took over our whole system."

Bug #222896: App terminates with big explosion (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27738643)

This isn't supposed to happen until our personel have reached safe distance.

Bogus: This issue was fixed in SVN 2 months ago.

Re:Bug #222896: App terminates with big explosion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27739869)

I'd like to file a bug report: after explosion my computer frequently experiences kernel-panic attacks. //posting as AC for being so incredibly tasteless

Navy has done this for years. (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738749)

Way back when, I would access the Naval Research Lab's websites for copies of OPIE (a one-time password suite), their IPSec code, their IPv6 code and their IPv4/IPv6 multiprotocol suite.

These days, they have some nice stuff [navy.mil] in the areas of multicasting, wireless routing and network testing tools.

Even the DoD's Office of Information Security Research [mit.edu] has done Open Source work before, publishing one of the early IPSec implementations publicly through MIT.

So other than the DoD finally putting onto a more official level a practice that has been commonplace for decades (the sharing of source under true open source licenses), what exactly is new here? That the politicians at the top of the food chain figured something out? That's just a freak event, a result of the statistical nature of quantum mechanics.

Boot camp for geeks (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27738983)

"Now drop and give me 0x20!"

Re:Boot camp for geeks (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739375)

"Now drop and give me 0x20!"

Shouldn't that be 0x14 ?

Which just goes to show you, life is always easier in hex!

I guess i got whooshed :) (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742205)

What? Give me a DC4? (0x14)
It sounds much more plausible with gimme space. (0x20)

DC4s are just too big to ask for.

What's the license? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739111)

"An Open Source license" isn't very specific. What's the license?

If they're proposing GPL3 then it's interesting. If they're proposing MSPL (or whatever that MS license is is called) then I can't see many people bothering. Each license has it's own community, and it makes a lot of difference which one they choose.

Or are they just going to host a site for projects? If so, what's the criteria for being hosted? Especially, what languages and licenses do they accept? (Google and SourceForge have shown that this is a reasonable approach. You need some bait, but they probably have that. If the licenses are right. If nothing else they probably hold the rights to some first person shooter software. [I don't know to what extent they own "America's Army", or whatever they called that game...but they probably own at least PART of it.])

Forge Mill (2, Interesting)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739357)

They've got the start of a dark ages town there in the url.

Anyway- i'd say its a good idea. I don't think they'd use it for anything mission critical, like jet fighter software. Only windows 98 cuts the cake for that kind of high tech business.

Its a step forward, and its free, so why not?

i knew it (2, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27739531)

the Terminator runs on Linux!

Linux on the Terminator (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742751)

Holy shit, you might be on to something.

It's well known that the terminator runs on the 6502 microprocessor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS_Technology_6502).

Apparently Linux does as well: http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0004.0/0000.html [indiana.edu]

The GPF on the mailing list is probably when the terminator is blown to pieces. Not to worry, it automatically reboots (and proceeds to get smashed, but the software worked fine).

Open Source? A Joke, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27739757)

" ... Adobe Cold Fusion front-end and a Microsoft SQL Server ... " in a major project of theirs?

Seems that they've learned the buzz-speak, but not the principles.

What's my opinion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27740499)

I came to slashdot today to figure out what my opinion should be on this topic. We love open source, but we don't trust the government. So tell me what opinion we're going to have on this one. (my uid is obviously far too high for me to truly grasp the situation, so I'm posting as AC).

The military has been slashdotted! (1)

hunteke (1172571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27740653)

Seriously?! It's been slashdotted?! The military?

Re:The military has been slashdotted! (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27742157)

They might think that the chinese try to pull some stunt again.

um, does this make sense? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27741245)

If it's open source, then all countries will benefit from it. But military power is all about differential power over your enemies. So, I don't see what this is supposed to accomplish.

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