|Services||FLOSS support entities can provide legal, financial and consulting services to their projects. Support entities can provide tools and offer advice on how to raise funds. Support entities can also provide essential support on how to protect projects’ IP and financial contributions, and they can limit the legal exposure of an individual contributor to portfolio projects; examples include ASF and Gentoo.|
Support entities have different guidelines regarding how a portfolio project can be created. Many support entities require an incubation process. Created projects enter the incubation process. Some processes are mandatory quality-control mechanisms. In some FLOSS support entities, incubation processes are used to create new versions of the existing projects and not for creating new projects. Some FLOSS projects start with a preexisting code before going through the incubation process. These incubation processes are useful for new projects with respect to learning community norms and processes. Projects in incubation are monitored by designated mentors.|
There are some variations:
● The incubation process is only used to create the new versions of an existing project and not for creating entirely new projects; for example, the Wikimedia Foundation.
● Individuals are responsible for the creation of projects. However, in the case of the Eclipse Foundation, a project can be started/created with a preexisting code.
● A project can be started/created by anyone with the necessary skills.
|Project Governance||Support entities may assign a project management committee (PMC) consisting of people to govern or manage projects and subprojects. Support entity mentors usually work with the PMC to facilitate a project’s evolution; examples include ASF and Tryton.|
|Project Maintenance||Project data are maintained by either a PMC or by projects themselves (e.g., ASF).|
|Intellectual Property (IP)||
FLOSS support entities’ IP management enables software developers from different organizations to participate in software development. Tried-and-true practices exist to support software IP management and to foster a growing community. FLOSS support entities protect a developer’s contribution to portfolio projects when the developer signs a contributor license agreement (CLA). A CLA is specifically designed to protect a developer’s contribution. Organizations do not usually protect the hosted projects managed by third parties with a CLA; for example, Outercurve Foundation, Eclipse and Gentoo.|
● A project might receive an organization’s IP clearance for contributions and third-party libraries.
● IP management enables and encourages the participation of organizations’ software developers to develop software collaboratively in a FLOSS community.
● When a CLA is signed by developers, the entity protects the contributions of its portfolio projects; for example, Twitter and 52 NIFGOSS.
● However, third parties managing hosted projects within the entity are not protected by a CLA.
|Project Acceptance||Projects need to be championed by a sponsor (e.g., if the sponsor is the foundation board); for example, Outercurve Foundation.|
Organizations provide a project-hosting infrastructure and tools to promote FLOSS development; for example, OSGeo and Genivi Alliance.|
● The support entity hosts projects and a wide variety of other mailing lists for projects, committees and special-interest groups.