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The	  Evolu*on	  of	  the	  Open	  Source	           So3ware	  Founda*on	                SCaLE11x	                   Steph...
The	  Thesis	  FOSS	  Founda:ons	  are	  essen:al	  to	  enabling	  the	  growth	  of	  FOSS	  Projects	  when	  companies...
Two	  Ra*os	       ~20	  LoC/day	  1	  bug	  :	  1000	  LoC	  
So3ware	  Economics	        Wri:ng	  good	  soIware	  is	  hard	  work	                  Re-­‐use	  is	  everything	  We	 ...
The	  Economics	  of	  Shared	  Development	  
The	  Economics	  of	  Companies	  Collabora*ng	  
Founda*ons	  as	  IP	  Management	  Machines	  •  This	  is	  the	  history	  of	  the	  FSF,	  the	  ASF,	  the	     OSDL...
Henrik	  Ingo’s	  Observa*ons	  Henrik	  Ingo	  determined	  that	  the	  9	  largest	  most	  vibrant	  projects	  are	  ...
Neutrality	  and	  Ownership	  “There	  appears	  to	  be	  a	  glass	  ceiling	  for	  single	  vendor	  projects	  prohi...
An	  Organic	  Project	  Life-­‐Cycle	  
What	  is	  a	  FOSS	  Founda*on?	  Founda:ons	  are	  non-­‐profits*	  that	  provide:	                      Legal	  Struc...
Founda*ons	              *	  But	  they	  are	  s:ll	  businesses	  
Corporate	  Projects	  
Corporate	  Projects	           ?????	            ?????	  
Why	  does	  it	  maNer?	       Neutrality	  encourages	  contribu:on	         Clean	  IP	  encourages	  adop:on	  Founda:...
Neutrality	  Encourages	  Contribu*on	                  (Inbound)	  
Neutrality	  and	  Ownership	  •  Successful	  Projects	  Grow	  and	  Evolve	  un:l	  …	      –  Apache	  SoIware	  Found...
Clean	  IP	  Encourages	  Adop*on	                 (Outbound)	  
Legal	  Structures	  are	  Important	  •      License	  (inbound/outbound)	  •      Assignments	  and	  Contribu:on	  Lice...
Founda*on	  as	  Community	  Centre-­‐of-­‐Gravity	  
Crea*ng	  Strong	  Communi*es	  •    Support	  an	  Architecture	  of	  Par:cipa:on	  •    Make	  it	  easy	  to	  join	  ...
Conclusions	  While	  liberally	  licensed	  shared	  collabora:ve	  soIware	  development	  may	  represent	  the	  best	...
Ques*ons?	                          Stephen	  R.	  Walli	          Technical	  Director,	  Outercurve	  Founda:on	        ...
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The Evolution of the Open Source Software Foundation

When FOSS project communities reach a certain critical point in their growth, corporations express interest in participating. Corporations have more stringent and robust software IP management needs, however, and projects are not always up to the task. Neutral non-profit FOSS foundations have proved to be a solution to these problems, providing for the IP management needs of corporations while offering additional business and technical services to the project communities to encourage further growth and adoption. (Conference Details:

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The Evolution of the Open Source Software Foundation

  1. 1. The  Evolu*on  of  the  Open  Source   So3ware  Founda*on   SCaLE11x   Stephen  R.  Walli   February  2013  
  2. 2. The  Thesis  FOSS  Founda:ons  are  essen:al  to  enabling  the  growth  of  FOSS  Projects  when  companies  want  to  par:cipate,  contribute  and  adopt.  
  3. 3. Two  Ra*os   ~20  LoC/day  1  bug  :  1000  LoC  
  4. 4. So3ware  Economics   Wri:ng  good  soIware  is  hard  work   Re-­‐use  is  everything  We  have  shared  soIware  since  we  wrote  it.    Liberally-­‐licensed  collabora:vely  developed   soIware  is  the  best  re-­‐use  strategy.    
  5. 5. The  Economics  of  Shared  Development  
  6. 6. The  Economics  of  Companies  Collabora*ng  
  7. 7. Founda*ons  as  IP  Management  Machines  •  This  is  the  history  of  the  FSF,  the  ASF,  the   OSDL/Linux  Founda:on,  and  the  Eclipse   Founda:on  •  Regardless  of  what  each  founda:on   represents  to  its  members  and  cons:tuencies,   what  they  “do”  is  IP  management.  
  8. 8. Henrik  Ingo’s  Observa*ons  Henrik  Ingo  determined  that  the  9  largest  most  vibrant  projects  are  governed  independently  by  founda:ons  (hXp://  The  tenth  largest  (is  company  supported)  is  an  order  of  magnitude  smaller  
  9. 9. Neutrality  and  Ownership  “There  appears  to  be  a  glass  ceiling  for  single  vendor  projects  prohibi:ng  their  growth  from  the  Large  category  upwards.  ”                          —  Henrik  Ingo  
  10. 10. An  Organic  Project  Life-­‐Cycle  
  11. 11. What  is  a  FOSS  Founda*on?  Founda:ons  are  non-­‐profits*  that  provide:   Legal  Structure   Business  Opera:ons   Technical  Services   *  But  they  are  s:ll  businesses  
  12. 12. Founda*ons   *  But  they  are  s:ll  businesses  
  13. 13. Corporate  Projects  
  14. 14. Corporate  Projects   ?????   ?????  
  15. 15. Why  does  it  maNer?   Neutrality  encourages  contribu:on   Clean  IP  encourages  adop:on  Founda:ons  act  as  community  centre-­‐of-­‐gravity    
  16. 16. Neutrality  Encourages  Contribu*on   (Inbound)  
  17. 17. Neutrality  and  Ownership  •  Successful  Projects  Grow  and  Evolve  un:l  …   –  Apache  SoIware  Founda:on   –  OSDL/Linux  Founda:on   –  Eclipse  Founda:on  
  18. 18. Clean  IP  Encourages  Adop*on   (Outbound)  
  19. 19. Legal  Structures  are  Important  •  License  (inbound/outbound)  •  Assignments  and  Contribu:on  Licenses    •  Provenance  tracking  •  Liability  and  risk  management  •  CommiXer  indemnifica:on    
  20. 20. Founda*on  as  Community  Centre-­‐of-­‐Gravity  
  21. 21. Crea*ng  Strong  Communi*es  •  Support  an  Architecture  of  Par:cipa:on  •  Make  it  easy  to  join  the  conversa:on    •  Support  and  grow  commiXers  •  Support  lines  of  communica:ons  •  Provide  technical  services  +  infrastructure   (forges,  code  signing,  etc.)  
  22. 22. Conclusions  While  liberally  licensed  shared  collabora:ve  soIware  development  may  represent  the  best  soIware  re-­‐use  strategy  we  have,  FOSS  Founda:ons  are  essen:al  to  the  par:cipa:on  of  companies  that  can  grow  and  sustain  FOSS  projects  and  their  communi:esn  long  term  
  23. 23. Ques*ons?   Stephen  R.  Walli   Technical  Director,  Outercurve  Founda:on   hXp://  hXp://    (Once  More  unto  the  Breach)   hXp://   @stephenrwalli