TACKLING THE CHALLENGES OF SOFTWARE PROVISION
Keywords: Software, packaging, open source, dissemination, application outreach
Abstract. In this perspective, we investigate the less documented topic of software provision, aimed at bridging the community of software developers to the one of software end-users. We outline aspects of the circular flow of software development, starting from the source code, software packaging, the target platform, licensing, program documentation, and feedback. Next, we highlight challenges and opportunities of these aspects and how they contribute to the overall success and adoption of a software application. Finally, we exemplify and illustrate how these aspects were addressed with the provision of the software GWB on FAO’s cloud computing platform SEPAL. The outlined reflections on software provision are of generic nature and, depending on a given software, may include many more, or different aspects. Yet, we hope that this perspective may trigger more interest and dedication to the topic of software provision and its integral function to promote and improve software development.