Governance of FOSS Projects

Kevin Ottens

  1. Introduction
  2. VideoLAN
  3. Qt
  4. KDE
  5. Conclusion

Introduction

Remember FOSS Licenses...

License

Rights on the Code

Enough for Openness?

What about


Contributors Rights?

What about


Decision Making?

What about


Development Model?

What about


Project Roadmap?

What about


Your Influence?

Governance!

License:

Use, Copy, Modify

Governance:

Visibility, Influence, Derivatives

Governance

Determines Openness

Open Governance Index

Android 23%
Qt* 58%
Symbian 58%
MeeGo 61%
Mozilla 65%
WebKit 68%
Linux 71%
Eclipse 84%


* Study conducted in 2010, value likely changed a bit

Criteria?

Access:

Latest Source Code Availability

Access:

Developer Support Mechanisms

Access:

Public Roadmap

Access:

Transparency of Decision Processes

Development:

Influence on Content

Development:

Influence on Project Direction

Derivatives

Community Structure:

Lack of Discrimination

VideoLAN

Specialized Community

1996

École Centrale Paris

2001

Open Source

2009

Left ECP

Multimedia Software

GPL, LGPL

VLC

VideoLAN Client

Legal Entities?

VideoLAN Organisation

Maintains Infrastructure

Buys Test Hardware

Governance?

Benevolent Dictator Governance

Well... Kind of...

Maintainer

Lieutenants

Contributors

Consensus

Review on Mailing-Lists

Qt

Corporate Community

Complex History

Double License

+

CLA

Now Has Volunteers

Legal Entities?

Trademark Owner

The one forcing the CLA

Qt Project Hosting

Governance?

Meritocratic Governance

Roles

User...

Moral support

Evangelization

Feedback

Contributor...

Suggesting features

Reporting bugs

Bug triaging

Bug fixing

Programming

Reviewing

Writing documentation

Release process

Web design

Organizing conferences

Improving processes

A Valid Account is Enough

Approver...

Accepts/rejects reviews

Nomination System

Maintainer...

Owns a component

Accepts/rejects reviews

Planning

Improves governance model

Nomination System

Chief Maintainer...

Overall project vision

Leads maintainer group

Enforce governance model

Manages roadmap

Election System

Decision Making?

Discussions over email

Lazy Consensus

Escalation if Needed

KDE

Meta-Community

October 14th 1996

Unix popularity grows thanks to the free variants, mostly Linux. But still a consistant, nice looking free desktop-environment is missing.

Matthias Ettrich

Kool Desktop Environment

Work on KDE

Communities Evolve

Developers

Developers

+ Translators

Developers

+ Translators

+ Designers

Developers

+ Translators

+ Designers

+ ...

Diversity

... even among developers

Not Just a Desktop Environment

KDE is a Vendor Brand

KDE Frameworks

KDE Plasma Workspaces

Plasma Desktop

Plasma

Media Center

Plasma Active

KDE Applications

KDE < product >

< product >, by KDE

KDE = Community

KDE's Work

Manifesto and Values

Open Governance

Free Software

Inclusivity

Innovation

Common Ownership

End-User Focus

Many projects,

one community

sharing values

Legal Entities?

KDE e.V.

Legal and Financial Aspects

Trademark

Infrastructure

International Events Organization

No Project Steering

KDE Free-Qt Foundation

Local Organizations

KDE NL

KDE Spain

KDE India

etc.

Local Events Organization

Local PR

Product Organizations

Amarok Fundraising

via Software Freedom Conservancy

Stichting Krita Foundation

Focused Financial Aspects

Focused Project Steering

Governance?

Meritocratic Governance

Extreme Auto-Organization

All Contributors are Equals

Many have Pet Interests

Lazy Consensus

Respect Others' Knowledge

Code of Conduct

Manifesto

Incubator

Conclusion

FOSS License and Community will happen?

WRONG!

Stewardship is Necessary

Vert.x

RedHat vs VMWare

Openness

implies

Long Term Success

oss-watch.ac.uk

Trends?

Meritocracy

is becoming

the Norm

Rise of the Foundations

Questions?