FOSS Sustainability


Overview of FOSS/Open Source Sustainability and Pay The Maintainers movements.

View the Project on GitHub ShaneCurcuru/fosssustainability

Standards Bodies

Non-governmental organizations create and maintain technical standards and more.

Relationships With Other Aspects

Vocabularies used: policy, legal, technical,
Timescale aspect changes: long,
Scope of aspect: large,
Relationship with other aspects: ecosystem, policy,
Primary focus: policy

Sustainability Aspects

Standards are often focused on very specific technical areas. While a standard may highly focus a specific technology, it may not have any effect elsewhere.

Standards bodies are slow to act, and often have long timescales for definitions and maintenance.

Standards are under different IP policies that may affect or effectively prevent non-commercial implementations of the standard.

Standards Bodies

A wide variety of NGOs in technical spaces set the de facto (or de jure) standards that affect software in many ways.

  • Policy setting The IEEE, W3C, ISO and many other NGOs set the policy standards that much of the world relies on for how software is built, is used, and many other aspects. NGOs often write or influence standards set by government legislation as well.
  • Software contributions Many technical NGOs like the W3C directly build or contribute to important software that defines or validates operation to their standards.
  • Grant funding Some NGOs host events, papers, or other grant-based work that directly contributes either to their standards or even to software implementations.

Sustainability Questions

How can we quantify the effects that standards (technical or governmental) have on the rest of the ecosystem in an easily understandable way?

What kinds of RAND or other IP policy regimes in standards affect sustainability? How do we define truly open standards that commercial entities and small open source projects can both implement fairly and equally?

Ideas and References

Other Reference Links

Tags: Organization | Policy | Grant