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The publiccode.yml standard

⚠️ The development of this draft standard has been continued on italia/publiccode.yml which is the version to be transitioned in to OSI stewardship.

Repo Status: Alpha Build status

A metadata description standard for public software and policy repositories that is easy to use both for developers and less technical people in order to make the software developed by public administrations and public organisations easily discoverable.

Latest release: Version 0.1

See all versions

This project follows the Semantic Versioning.

For more information see

The PublicCode specification is developed by the Italian Digital Transformation Team and the Authors.

What this file is for

Many great software projects are developed by public administrations, however, reuse of these projects is very limited. Some of the reasons for low uptake of these projects is a lack of discoverability and that it is hard to find out what project can actually work in the context of a different public administration.

The publiccode.yml file is meant to solve these problems. It is an easily readable file for civil servants that are trying to figure out whether a project will work for them, and easily readable for computers. It contains information such as:

  • The title and description of the project or product in English and/or other languages
  • The status of development, e.g. concept, development, beta, stable, obsolete
  • What organisation is developing or developed the project
  • Who is caring for the maintenance and at what time the maintenance runs out
  • Who to contact for technical or support inquiries
  • What national and local legal frameworks this project or product works in
  • What software dependencies this project or product has

The format should both be able to easily be added to any new project, as well as grow with the project as it grows beyond the original context it was developed in.

Finding projects

Finding projects depends on how the search API is structured for every hosting platform. For example, you can find all publiccode.yml on GitHub files by searching using the frontend or the API.

The Italian Digital Transformation Team is also working on providing a scanner which looks for all PublicCode files on all publicly accessible websites, and exposing them as open data.

Live editor / Demo

You can find a live instance of the editor here


Feel free to submit Pull Requests and to file Issues.


The website at is automatically generated from the master branch of the publiccode.yml repository using GitHub pages and its static site generator Jekyll.


Licenced under the CC-0


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