How do foundations support open source software?

How do foundations support open source software?

An open source software's (OSS) sustainability relies on passionate developers willing to contribute to the project. Therefore, a project's survivability depends on its ability to retain developers, onboard new ones (i.e., newcomers), and, maybe more importantly, create a community of users who promote its adoption and use.

As OSS projects grow, contributors tend to organize and create communities to drive the development process. However, many projects lack formal models, especially governance models, to structure and manage the (potentially large) community around them. Support to deal with all kinds of organizational decisions (including legal and economic aspects) is a huge concern for all projects.

In other domains, nonprofit initiatives and foundations (either public or private) organize to provide the legal and economic infrastructure for a community. They can also define a number of internal regulations regarding, for instance, the activity, membership, and decision-making process for nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

Similarly, in recent years, there have been a number of foundations created around OSS. Software foundations are nonprofit organizations whose mission is to provide the grounds required for open and collaborative software development. They also provide a legal framework for individual volunteers and enable the donation of resources for the public benefit. However, there is a high variety among foundations, and information about their differences is scarce.

Foundations play an important role especially OSS starts to play more of a role within enterprises.


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How do foundations support open source software? |
Research examines the roles foundations play in supporting OSS projects.

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