This space provides an overview of the Foundation's governance:
FINOS is a membership organization within the Linux Foundation. We have four tiers of corporate membership (Platinum, Gold, Silver and Associate), each with different rights and obligations under the Foundation's Charter. Please refer to the FINOS website for more information on FINOS members and membership benefits or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who have made significant contributions to FINOS projects can join our Individual Supporter program to be recognized for their contributions and receive certain members-only benefits.
NOTE: Membership is NOT required to contribute to existing FINOS projects, but contributors to software projects will need to comply with the FINOS code contribution compliance requirements while participants to standard projects will need to comply with the FINOS Standard Governance IP requirements. Only FINOS members instead can propose new FINOS projects as outlined in our Community Governance below.
The Foundation is overseen by a Governing Board composed of member representatives and led by FINOS Executive Director. The Governing Board is composed of Platinum Representatives, each appointed by a Platinum member; up to five Gold Representatives, elected by the Gold Members voting as a class; and one Silver Representative, elected by the Silver Members voting as a class. FINOS uses ranked-choice voting to tabulate elections.
The Foundation's day-to-day operations are run by the FINOS team.
Technical Oversight Committee
This FINOS Technical Oversight Committee (or TOC) is the technical governing body of FINOS, working in close collaboration with the FINOS team and the Governing Board to provide technical oversight for the projects in the FINOS portfolio (read more about TOC resposibilities); it is composed by 12 members from FINOS Members and Community, that serve a term of 2 years (read more about the voting process).
The following policies apply to all FINOS members and activities:
The Charter is the Foundation's constitution. It sets out our mission, members' rights and responsibilities, the authority and procedures of our Governing Board and its committees, and other Foundation policies.
The Participation Agreement is the agreement that all of our members sign to join FINOS. It sets membership fees and terms and binds members to the terms of the Charter. FINOS members must also be members of the Linux Foundation (at any level) and remain in compliance with LF's Good Standing Policy. There is no requirement for membership to participate in the FINOS Community, but only members can propose new projects.
The Community Code of Conduct is the set of principles that participants in the Foundation's collaborative work are expected to abide by to maintain a healthy and inclusive community.
The IP Policy contains rules related to the intellectual property of FINOS, our members, and contributors. It includes policies for the licensing of contributions to FINOS projects, licensing of FINOS projects to third parties, and licensing of contributions to FINOS technical standards. The policy also requires all contributors to FINOS projects to sign either a Corporate Contributor License Agreement (for corporate/institutional contributors) and Individual Contributor License Agreement (for individual contributors whose contributions are not owned by their employer). FINOS uses EasyCLA to simplify the processes of executing CLAs and managing contributors.
The Trademark Guidelines list the Foundation's trademarks and set out our policies for appropriate use of FINOS project marks.
The Linux Foundation Antitrust Policy applies to all FINOS collaborative projects and prohibits all potentially anticompetive conduct.
FINOS is home to two kinds of collaborative projects: open source software projects and open standards projects. The majority of FINOS projects are open source software projects. FINOS projects are self-governing and may propose amendments to their own governance rules consistent with FINOS policies and the open source definition, pending Governing Board approval, but FINOS provides default governance templates for both to provide projects with a starting point.
FINOS also hosts Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which are forums where community members sharing an interest in a certain topic discuss ideas, compare experiences, and consider common solutions (which may or may not take the form of new open source software or standards projects).
For a list of our project see the FINOS project landscape.
Open Source Software Projects
FINOS is home to dozens of open source software projects. Any FINOS member (and only FINOS members) may propose a new project or sponsor a project from an outside contributor. Project proposals are reviewed and approved by the FINOS team in consultation with the Governing Board. Please refer to the contribution process if you'd like to propose a new software project or contribute to an existing one.
The default governance policy for FINOS open source software projects follows a governance-by-contribution model. Project maintainers have the last word on technical matters, reaching decisions by consensus if possible and by vote if necessary. Anyone who has made a substantial contribution (of any kind) to the project may be nominated to become a maintainer.
Open Standard Projects
Projects producing open standards require different IP rules detailing how to Establish and Running Open Standard Projects. New FINOS standards projects are recommended to use the Community Specification process for standards development (earlier standards projects are governed by the, now deprecated, detailed IP rules set out in the FINOS IP Policy). All participants in standards projects are bound by these rules, even if their only contribution is participation in project meetings. This is to ensure that any specification or other materials produced by a standards project may be licensed appropriately to all standard users and implementers. Please create a new Standard Project issue if you'd like to propose a new standard project (FINOS Members only).
Special Interest Groups
Special Interest Groups can be proposed by any FINOS Member (and only by FINOS Members) and are approved by the Governing Board, including a Charter and initial SIG chair. Over time the SIG can decide to vote in a new Chair or the Board can appoint one. The Charter may also be updated from time to time with updates published publicly. Read more for a list of current SIGs and how to propose a new SIG.
Documents produced or contributed as part of the SIG will be contributed and made available under CC-BY-4.0.
Project Lifecycle and steering
Software projects follow the Project Lifecycle, a useful tool for consumers and contributors to quickly evaluate maturity, activity, and quality. Projects are contributed the "Incubating" state and graduate to "Active" and finally may move to the "Archived" state (from either Incubating or Active) if they are no longer actively developed.
Some projects may optionally start in a time-bound pre-incubation stage called Formation, which is typically restricted to FINOS Members or at the discretion of the project lead. Forming projects might not be publicly visible until entering Incubation when they will be fully open sourced.
Live metrics of Project activity and contributions across all FINOS collaboration systems are publicly available in FINOS Project Activity Dashboard.
Project Governing Board Reporting
Every quarter, data about the health, activity, and progress of projects is reported to the Governing Board. Reports are largely generated automatically out of the FINOS Project Activity Dashboard and provided to project teams for review and revision before being passed along to the board. The Governing Board and FINOS team use these reports to determine which projects need additional attention, which should be considered for archiving, etc.
In certain quarters, the Governing Board identifies a few "focus projects" to receive extra attention from the FINOS team during the following quarter, with the goal of supporting growth and progression through the Project Lifecycle. Focus projects should be prepared to provide more detailed progress reports to the Board at the next Board meeting.