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1. The Standard (core)

This document represents the description of the publiccode.yml schema.

1.1. Top-Level Keys and Sections

1.1.1. Key publiccodeYmlVersion

  • Type: string
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Example: "0.1"

This key specifies the version to which the current publiccode.yml adheres to, for forward compatibility.

1.1.2. Key name

  • Type: string
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Example: "Medusa"

This key contains the name of the software. It contains the (short) public name of the product, which can be localised in the specific localisation section. It should be the name most people usually refer to the software. In case the software has both an internal “code” name and a commercial name, use the commercial name.

1.1.3. Key applicationSuite

  • Type: string
  • Presence: optional
  • Example: "MegaProductivitySuite"

This key contains the name of the “suite” to which the software belongs.

1.1.4. Key url

  • Type: string (URL)
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Example: "https://example.com/italia/medusa.git"

A unique identifier for this software. This string must be a URL to the source code repository (git, svn, …) in which the software is published. If the repository is available under multiple protocols, prefer HTTP/HTTPS URLs which don’t require user authentication.

Forks created for the purpose of contributing upstreams should not modify this file; this helps software parsing publiccode.yml to immediately skips technical forks. On the contrary, a complete fork that is meant to be maintained separately from the original software should modify this line, to give themselves the status of a different project.

See Forks and variants for a complete description of what is a software variant and how to handle forked softwares as a parser or an author.

1.1.5. Key landingURL

  • Type: string (URL)
  • Presence: optional
  • Example: "https://example.com/italia/medusa"

If the url parameter does not serve a human readable or browsable page, but only serves source code to a source control client, with this key you have an option to specify a landing page. This page, ideally, is where your users will land when they will click a button labeled something like “Go to the application source code”. In case the product provides an automated graphical installer, this URL can point to a page which contains a reference to the source code but also offers the download of such an installer.

1.1.6. Key isBasedOn

  • Type: string or array of strings
  • Presence: optional
  • Example: "https://github.com/italia/otello.git"

In case this software is a variant or a fork of another software, which might or might not contain a publiccode.yml file, this key will contain the url of the original project(s).

The existence of this key identifies the fork as a software variant, descending from the specified repositories.

1.1.7. Key softwareVersion

  • Type: string
  • Presence: optional
  • Example: "1.0", "dev"

This key contains the latest stable version number of the software. The version number is a string that is not meant to be interpreted and parsed but just displayed; parsers should not assume semantic versioning or any other specific version format.

The key can be omitted if the software is currently in initial development and has never been released yet.

1.1.8. Key releaseDate

  • Type: string (date)
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Example: "2017-04-15"

This key contains the date at which the latest version was released. This date is mandatory if the software has been released at least once and thus the version number is present.

1.1.11. Key inputTypes

  • Type: array of enumerated strings
  • Presence: optional
  • Values: as per RFC 6838
  • Example: "text/plain"

A list of Media Types (MIME Types) as mandated in RFC 6838 which the application can handle as output.

In case the software does not support any input, you can skip this field or use application/x.empty.

1.1.12. Key outputTypes

  • Type: array of enumerated strings
  • Presence: optional
  • Values: as per RFC 6838
  • Example: "text/plain"

A list of Media Types (MIME Types) as mandated in RFC 6838 which the application can handle as output.

In case the software does not support any output, you can skip this field or use application/x.empty.

1.1.13. Key platforms

  • Type: enumerated string or array of strings
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Values: web, windows, mac, linux, ios, android. Human readable values outside this list are allowed.
  • Example: web

This key specifies which platform the software runs on. It is meant to describe the platforms that users will use to access and operate the software, rather than the platform the software itself runs on.

Use the predefined values if possible. If the software runs on a platform for which a predefined value is not available, a different value can be used.

1.1.14. Key categories

A list of words that can be used to describe the software and can help building catalogs of open software.

The controlled vocabulary List of software categories contains the list of allowed values.

1.1.15. Key usedBy

  • Type: array of strings
  • Presence: optional

A list of the names of prominent public administrations (that will serve as “testimonials”) that are currently known to the software maintainer to be using this software.

Parsers are encouraged to enhance this list also with other information that can obtain independently; for instance, a fork of a software, owned by an administration, could be used as a signal of usage of the software.

1.1.16. Key roadmap

  • Type: string
  • Presence: optional

A link to a public roadmap of the software.

1.1.17. Key developmentStatus

  • Type: enumerated string
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Allowed values: concept, development, beta, stable, obsolete

The keys are:

  • concept - The software is just a “concept”. No actual code may have been produced, and the repository could simply be a placeholder.
  • development - Some effort has gone into the development of the software, but the code is not ready for the end user, even in a preliminary version (beta or alpha) to be tested by end users.
  • beta - The software is in the testing phase (alpha or beta). At this stage, the software might or might not have had a preliminary public release.
  • stable - The software has seen a first public release and is ready to be used in a production environment.
  • obsolete - The software is no longer maintained or kept up to date. All of the source code is archived and kept for historical reasons.

1.1.18. Key softwareType

  • Type: enumerated string
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Allowed values: "standalone/mobile", "standalone/iot", "standalone/desktop", "standalone/web", "standalone/backend", "standalone/other", "addon", "library", "configurationFiles"

The keys are:

  • standalone/mobile - The software is a standalone, self-contained The software is a native mobile app.
  • standalone/iot - The software is suitable for an IoT context.
  • standalone/desktop - The software is typically installed and run in a a desktop operating system environment.
  • standalone/web - The software represents a web application usable by means of a browser.
  • standalone/backend - The software is a backend application.
  • standalone/other - The software has a different nature from the once listed above.
  • softwareAddon - The software is an addon, such as a plugin or a theme, for a more complex software (e.g. a CMS or an office suite).
  • library - The software contains a library or an SDK to make it easier to third party developers to create new products.
  • configurationFiles - The software does not contain executable script but a set of configuration files. They may document how to obtain a certain deployment. They could be in the form of plain configuration files, bash scripts, ansible playbooks, Dockerfiles, or other instruction sets.

1.1.19. Section intendedAudience

1.1.19.1. Key intendedAudience/countries

  • Type: array of strings
  • Presence: optional

This key explicitly includes certain countries in the intended audience, i.e. the software explicitly claims compliance with specific processes, technologies or laws. All countries are specified using lowercase ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 two-letter country codes.

1.1.19.2. Key intendedAudience/unsupportedCountries

  • Type: array of strings
  • Presence: optional

This key explicitly marks countries as NOT supported. This might be the case if there is a conflict between how software is working and a specific law, process or technology. All countries are specified using lowercase ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 two-letter country codes.

1.1.19.3. Key intendedAudience/scope

  • Type: array of strings
  • Presence: optional
  • Acceptable values: see Scope list

This key contains a list of tags related to the field of application of the software.

1.1.20. Section description

This section contains a general description of the software. Parsers can use this section for instance to create a web page describing the software.

Note: since all the strings contained in this section are user-visible and written in a specific language, you must specify the language you are editing the text in (using the IETF BCP 47 specifications) by creating a sub-section with that name. The primary language subtag cannot be omitted, as mandated by the BCP 47.

An example for English:

description:
  en:
    shortDescription: ...
    longDescription: ...

In the following part of the document, all keys are assumed to be in a sub-section with the name of the language (we will note this with [lang]).

Note: it is mandatory to have at least one language in this section. All other languages are optional.

1.1.20.1. Key description/[lang]/localisedName

  • Type: string
  • Presence: optional
  • Example: "Medusa"

This key is an opportunity to localise the name in a specific language. It contains the (short) public name of the product. It should be the name most people usually refer to the software. In case the software has both an internal “code” name and a commercial name, use the commercial name.

1.1.20.2. Key description/[lang]/genericName

  • Type: string (max 35 chars)
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Example: "Text Editor"

This key is the “Generic name”, which refers to the specific category to which the software belongs. You can usually find the generic name in the presentation of the software, when you write: “Software xxx is a yyy” Notable examples include “Text Editor”, “Word Processor”, “Web Browser”, “Chat” and so on… The generic name can be up to 35 characters long.

1.1.20.3. Key description/[lang]/shortDescription

  • Type: string (max 150 chars)
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Example: "Advanced booking system for hospitals"

This key contains a short description of the software. It should be a single line containing a single sentence. Maximum 150 characters are allowed.

1.1.20.4. Key description/[lang]/longDescription

  • Type: string (min 500 chars, max 10000 chars)
  • Presence: mandatory (for at least one language)

This key contains a longer description of the software, between 500 and 10000 chars. It is meant to provide an overview of the capabilities of the software for a potential user. The audience for this text should be that of users of the software, not developers. You can think of this text as the description of the software that would be in its website (if the software had one).

This description can contain some basic markdown: *italic*, **bold**, bullet points and [links](#).

1.1.20.5. Key description/[lang]/documentation

  • Type: URL
  • Presence: optional

This key contains a reference to the user-level (not developer-level) documentation of the software. The value must be a URL to a hosted version of the documentation.

It is suggested that the URL points to a hosted version of the documentation that is immediately readable through a common web browser in both desktop and mobile format. The documentation should be rendered in HTML and browsable like a website (with a navigation index, a search bar, etc.).

If the documentation is instead available only as a document, put a direct view/download link as URL in this key. You should commit the document as part of the source code repository, and then link to it using the code hosting source browser URL (eg: GitHub URL to the file). Prefer using open formats like PDF or ODT for maximum interoperability.

Whichever the format for the documentation, remember to make its source files available under an open license, possibly by committing them as part of the repository itself.

1.1.20.6. Key description/[lang]/apiDocumentation

  • Type: URL
  • Presence: optional

This key contains a reference to the API documentation of the software. The value must be a URL to a hosted version of the documentation.

It is suggested that the URL points to a hosted version of the documentation that is immediately readable through a common web browser. The documentation should be rendered in HTML and browsable like a website (with a navigation index, a search bar, etc.), and if there is a reference or test deployment, possibly offer an interactive interface (e.g. Swagger).

If the documentation is instead available only as a document, put a direct view/download link as URL in this key. You should commit the document as part of the source code repository, and then link to it using the code hosting source browser URL (eg: GitHub URL to the file). Prefer using open formats like PDF or ODT for maximum interoperability.

Whichever the format for the documentation, remember to make its source files available under an open license, possibly by committing them as part of the repository itself.

1.1.20.7. Key description/[lang]/features

  • Type: array of strings
  • Presence: mandatory (for at least one language)

This key contains a list of software features, describing what capabilities the software allows to do. The audience for this text should be that of public decision makers who will be commissioning the software. The features should thus not target developers: instead of listing technical features referring to implementation details, prefer listing user-visible functionalities of the software.

While the key is mandatory, there is no mandatory minimum or maximum number of features that should be listed in this key. Each feature must use a maximum of 100 characters.

The suggested number of features to list is between 5 and 20, depending on the software size and complexity. There is no need for exhaustiveness, as users can always read the documentation for additional information.

1.1.20.8. Key description/[lang]/screenshots

  • Type: array of strings (paths)
  • Presence: optional
  • Formats: PNG, JPG
  • Example: "data/screenshots/configuration.png"

This key contains one or multiple paths to files showing screenshots of the software. They are meant to give a quick idea on how the software looks like and how it works. The key value can be the relative path to the file starting from the root of the repository, or it can be an absolute URL pointing to the screenshot in raw version. In both cases, the file must reside inside the same repository where the publiccode.yml file is stored.

Screenshots can be of any shape and size; the suggested formats are:

  • Desktop: 1280x800 @1x
  • Tablet: 1024x768 @2x
  • Mobile: 375x667 @2x

1.1.20.9. Key description/[lang]/videos

  • Type: array of strings (URLs)
  • Presence: optional
  • Example: "https://youtube.com/xxxxxxxx"

This key contains one or multiple URLs of videos showing how the software works. Like screenshots, videos should be used to give a quick overview on how the software looks like and how it works. Videos must be hosted on a video sharing website that supports the oEmbed standard; popular options are YouTube and Vimeo.

Since videos are an integral part of the documentation, it is recommended to publish them with an open license.

1.1.20.10. Key description/[lang]/awards

  • Type: array of strings
  • Presence: optional

A list of awards won by the software.

1.1.22. Section maintenance

This section provides information on the maintenance status of the software, useful to evaluate whether the software is actively developed or not.

1.1.22.1. Key maintenance/type

  • Type: enumerate
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Values: "internal", "contract", "community", "none"

This key describes how the software is currently maintained.

  • internal - means that the software is internally maintained by the repository owner.
  • contract - means that there is a commercial contract that binds an entity to the maintenance of the software;
  • community - means that the software is currently maintained by one or more people that donate their time to the project;
  • none - means that the software is not actively maintained.

1.1.22.2. Key maintenance/contractors

  • Type: array of Contractor (see below)
  • Presence: mandatory (if maintenance/type is contract)

This key describes the entity or entities, if any, that are currently contracted for maintaining the software. They can be companies, organizations, or other collective names.

1.1.22.3. Key maintenance/contacts

  • Type: List of Contacts (see below)
  • Presence: mandatory (if maintenance/type is internal or community)

One or more contacts maintaining this software.

This key describes the technical people currently responsible for maintaining the software. All contacts need to be a physical person, not a company or an organisation. If somebody is acting as a representative of an institution, it must be listed within the affiliation of the contact.

In case of a commercial agreement (or a chain of such agreements), specify the final entities actually contracted to deliver the maintenance. Do not specify the software owner unless it is technically involved with the maintenance of the product as well.

1.1.23. Section localisation

This section provides an overview of the localization features of the software.

1.1.23.1. Key localisation/localisationReady

  • Type: boolean
  • Presence: mandatory

If yes, the software has infrastructure in place or is otherwise designed to be multilingual. It does not need to be available in more than one language.

1.1.23.2. Key localisation/availableLanguages

  • Type: list of IETF BCP 47 language tags
  • Presence: mandatory
  • Example: "it", "en", "sl-IT-nedis"

If present, this is the list of languages in which the software is available. Of course, this list will contain at least one language. The primary language subtag cannot be omitted, as mandated by the BCP 47.

1.1.24. Section dependsOn

This section provides an overview on the system-level dependencies required to install and use this software.

NOTE: do not list dependencies at the source code level (eg: software libraries being used), and focus only on runtime and/or system-level dependencies that must be installed and maintained separately. For instance, a database is a good example of such dependencies.

1.1.24.1. Key dependsOn/open

  • Type: array of dependency (see below)
  • Presence: optional

This key contains a list of runtime dependencies that are distributed under an open-source license.

1.1.24.2. Key dependsOn/proprietary

  • Type: array of dependency (see below)
  • Presence: optional

This key contains a list of runtime dependencies that are distributed under a proprietary license.

1.1.24.3. Key dependsOn/hardware

  • Type: array of dependency (see below)
  • Presence: optional

This key contains a list of hardware dependencies that must be owned to use the software.

1.2. Special data formats

1.2.1. Dependency

A dependency is a complex object. The properties are the following:

  • name - mandatory - The name of the dependency (e.g. MySQL, NFC Reader)
  • versionMin - the first compatible version
  • versionMax - the latest compatible version
  • version - the only major version for which the software is compatible. It assumes compatibility with all patches and bugfixes later applied to this version.
  • optional - whether the dependency is optional or mandatory

1.2.2. Complex versioning

It is of course possible to use the various keys to specify a complex compatibility matrix.

Ex. 1

- name: PostgreSQL
  version: "3.2"
  optional: yes

This snippet marks an optional dependency on PostgreSQL exactly version 3.2.

Ex. 2

- name: MySQL
  versionMin: "1.1"
  versionMax: "1.3"

This snippet marks a mandatory dependency on MySQL, allowing any version between 1.1 and 1.3.

1.2.3. Contact

A Contact is an object with the following properties:

  • name - mandatory - This key contains the full name of one of the technical contacts. It must be a real person; do NOT populate this key with generic contact information, company departments, associations, etc.
  • email - This key contains the e-mail address of the technical contact. It must be an email address of where the technical contact can be directly reached; do NOT populate this key with mailing-lists or generic contact points like “info@acme.inc”. The e-mail address must not be obfuscated. To improve resistance against e-mail collection, use \x64 to replace @, as allowed by the YAML specification.
  • phone - phone number (with international prefix)
  • affiliation - This key contains an explicit affiliation information for the technical contact. In case of multiple maintainers, this can be used to create a relation between each technical contact and each maintainer entity. It can contain for instance a company name, an association name, etc.

1.2.4. Contractor

A Contractor is an object with the following properties:

  • name - mandatory - The name of the contractor, whether it’s a company or a physical person.
  • until - mandatory - This is a date (YYYY-MM-DD). This key must contain the date at which the maintenance is going to end. In case of community maintenance, the value should not be more than 2 years in the future, and thus will need to be regularly updated as the community continues working on the project.
  • email - This key contains the e-mail address of the technical contact. It must be an email address of where the technical contact can be directly reached; do NOT populate this key with mailing-lists or generic contact points like “info@acme.inc”. The e-mail address must not be obfuscated. To improve resistance against e-mail collection, use \x64 to replace @, as allowed by the YAML specification.
  • website - This key points to the maintainer website. It can either point to the main institutional website, or to a more project-specific page or website.

1.2.5. Dates

All dates in publiccode.yml must follow the format “YYYY-MM-DD”, which is one of the ISO8601 allowed encoding. This is the only allowed encoding though, so not the full ISO8601 is allowed for the date keys.