There are many types of FOSS projects, single-contributor, single-vendor, volunteer-driven, benevolent dictator, corporate consortium, and more. The governance models for these projects span a spectrum from no defined governance at all to dedicated foundations with several levels of paying members. In this presentation we will go through the defining factors for these models and how they compare. This will be backed by first hand experience from a diverse set of projects. As a result you should get some guidelines for choosing the right governance model, some inspiration and insight how to improve existing ones, and a spark for a discussion how we all can do better.

To analyze the spectrum of models we will, among others, have a closer look at three communities: KDE as an example for a volunteer-driven community, openSUSE as an example for a vendor-driven project, and Cloud Foundry which represents a consortial approach. Practices, policies, and culture vary quite a bit but there also are shared values present in all communities. This shows for example in how decisions are taken, how new people are integrated into the community, how conflicts are handled, or in what legal tools are used to govern code contributions and organizational matters.

In the end all governance models come down to people. Successful models serve people to create Free and Open Source Software so that contributers as well as users can enjoy the freedoms of Free Software.
 

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Kesselhaus
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Beginner

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