Wait - What Is Open Source Anyway?
Looking for the TL;DR on Open Source? Here are some of the best starting guides to open source, governance, trademarks, and legal issues out there.
- Read Github’s Open Source Guide for a high-level explanation of open source concepts.
- The TODO Group created a guide for enterprises: managing open source projects in business.
- Google created their own guide for how to manage projects and communities.
- RedHat’s opensource.com blog hosts a wealth of FOSS authors.
Advanced Topics in FOSS
- Get help choosing your OSI-listed license with Choose A License.
- Find and implement a Code of Conduct for your project.
- Study some actual FOSS Foundation governance policies used today.
- Foundations can help with FOSS project sustainability and fundraising.
- Learn how Foundations get their own funding and help with sustainability.
- Read about Foundation leaders explaining how they help with project governance.
- Look to speakers at the Community Leadership Summit 2022 and 2020 for trusted open source mentors.
Need more help choosing? Just ask!
Each of the FOSS Foundations listed here has either volunteers or paid staff who are happy to help answer basic questions and point you to the right information at their organization. Note: open source runs on email (and sometimes chat), so don’t expect to phone someone up; you’ll get much better results with a polite email or tweet to someone - and a little patience.
Looking For More FOSS Foundations?
There are many more FOSS Foundations, non-profits, and other organizations out there than the handful on this site! We focus on only the major foundations that accept new project submissions from a variety of projects, but there are plenty of other groups out there to help.
The FLOSS Foundations website is the place to start. Started in 2005 by a group of leaders from various foundations, it features a comprehensive directory of Foundations and an active mailing list for serious discussions around foundation governance, leadership, and strategies.
Growing Your Project
There are a lot of different aspects to growing your project than just the code. Read our advice posts about all the different aspects of open source you might want to consider - like governance, licenses, brands, and your community.
Some of the aspects we’ll cover in our help and advice columns include:
- Governance - clear rules for making decisions
- Leaders - who’s in charge?
- Users - who’s using the software?
- Community - everyone visibly participating in the project
- Contributors - everyone making substantiative contributions to the project
- Maintainers - people responsible for managing / leading specific areas
- Events - meetups, conferences, hangouts - human contact in the Community
- License - that you use or accept for dependencies
- IP tracking - ensuring rights from contributors to the project
- Funding - sponsors, donors, or none (it’s just on github!)
- Brand - the symbols new users associate with your project
- Trademark - the legal instantiation of part of your brand
- Technology - front end, back end, big data, etc.
- Website - the project’s presence on the web - attractive, welcoming?
- Tests - you do have a test suite, right?
- Documentation - how humans can learn about the software
- Dependencies - other software you rely on or integrate with
Punderthings Consulting is here to help
There is a lot of content on open source governance out there. Here are just a few of my recommended links for learning more about open source governance and related issues: