Workshop Main Findings from Breakout Room Discussions
From the methodological perspective, the group found that there is no applicable methodology to determine the environmental footprint of software yet. While it might be easy to measure energy consumption of whole data-centres or servers, it gets more complex when it comes to a single piece of software. Some properties are already measured in mobile applications, such as network traffic and battery drain. In order to make a measuring possible for server-side software as well, the separation of the software by use of containers seems to be a sensible way.
On the application side, we found that the decoupling of hardware and software would be key to track the real energy efficiency of software. An interesting point raised in this discussion was sustainability budgeting for projects, assuming each project would have a fixed budget of energy consumption for their code. Other findings included raising more awareness by developing best practices or offering training for developers as well as putting regulations in place to increase transparency on energy consumption.
In the third breakout room, we looked at the current perception of energy efficiency inside the software community from different perspectives e.g., the development community, FOSS, research community etc.. Comparing the perspectives that were analysed, it became clear that generally, interest in the topic of software energy efficiency is rising and gaining more and more relevance but there is lack of awareness regarding what can be done, how measures can be implemented and who is responsible.