Collaborating together – Open Source at SVT

Collaborating together – Open Source at SVT

In these times of fake news-allegations, abundance of news alternatives and with an ever accelerating journey towards the total connected media experience, collaboration and working together for being relevant, diverse and accurate is more important than ever for us working in media. The importance of these issues, and the benefits of collaborating more has been lifted several times by SVT, for example in the article “Låt oss seriösa medier samarbeta” (approx. ”Let the serious media work together”), by Stjärne, Helin and Lagercrantz.

Working together and collaborating is the essence of what we who build digital services and platforms do, and have been doing, since the first computer devices were programmable and the first software was built. Nowadays every device – be it your laptop, mobile or cool thing at home – is built on open source software. And of course, working with digital services is no different. Most of the basic services we love and use – like the Internet – wouldn’t be possible at all in its current form without it, nor would the the digital services we provide at SVT for that matter. Building on the shoulders of giants instead of reinventing the wheel is what has been driving us forward.

So, as consumers and users of open source we have so far been doing great things at SVT, reaping the benefits and picked the best and most interesting frameworks and languages, invoking creativity and good solutions. However… one piece of the puzzle has been missing.

For a long time, we have been discussing that we would like to do more open source work  that also better cooperates with, and would benefit other media colleagues and the public. And contributing to open source is one of the concrete ways in which we can make these ideas come true.

And let’s not forget that open source doesn’t have to be all about code. Just look at our media colleges and you will see that they share a splendid mix of things – like NRK with the YR weather symbols,  BBC with their mix…..We are looking forward to joining them in contributing what we can.

So therefore, it’s a great thing that our technical board recently took two important strategic decisions:

  • That we should strive to work with open source
  • That there will be a virtual team, actively working with the first decision

These decisions were based on a proposal and presentation laid forward by a diverse workgroup who have been investigating and researching how SVT could go forward with highest benefits and lowest risks.

But – doesn’t SVT do open source already?

Surely, we have been doing great with for example CasparCG for many years, which is fantastic – but it hasn’t been any wider decision, or more concrete formal way of working with open sources, as it will be now. The decision to work with open source is now encouraged and up to the teams.

So when will the sharing of the project SVT-supercalifragilisticexpialidocious happen? Or the nice icons you have on page x?

Please, slow down – we’ve just now taken the decisions and started working on this. The hope is that it will bring forward both small releases and bigger project, but let us not haste – we want to get this right, from the start.

But <your question>?

So much to talk about and so little space. For any external readers, I urge you to wait and see. For our internal SVT-readers join us at one of the up-and-coming Open Source Lean Coffee meetups. Or ask us (Josef Andersson / Björn Molin) directly.