GÉANT, NLnet and FileSender support The Commons Conservancy initiative
The Commons Conservancy was launched last October to provide a lightweight
organisational structure for
open projects and is already proving its worth. The first project to move through The Commons Conservancy process
is FileSender, which has enjoyed valuable support. GÉANT
to be supporting this effort through a joint memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with The Commons Conservancy and its financial partner NLnet
Foundation, and through cooperation between The Commons Conservancy and
the GÉANT community working group SIG-Greenhouse.
About the Commons Conservancy
Commons Conservancy was set up by a group of veterans from the
free software / open source, e-science, internet community and the world
of digital heritage. In recognition of the strategic constraints the
choice of technology puts on future innovation capabilities, the mission
of The Commons Conservancy is to strive towards
a stable democratic and open global information society in which
individuals can collectively scrutinise, reconfigure and improve any
technology they depend on. By supporting open source software
development projects as they grow and mature, The Commons Conservancy
provides a stabilising framework allowing project developers to focus on
improving their core offer. Because its sustainability doesn’t depend
on the (sometimes volatile) community and lifecycle of any individual
project, The Commons Conservancy can provide
a long-term horizon for the programmes it supports.
want to minimise the bureaucracy and organisational overhead
from the point where projects start scaling up from their initial
environment”, says Michiel Leenaars, chairman of The Commons
Conservancy. “It makes no sense for every project to start and manage
its own foundation, and for everyone to make the same investments
and beginners’ mistakes over again. This is expensive and consumes time
and scarce resources in a critical phase. The Commons Conservancy
provides a shared, scalable infrastructure that delivers what most
projects need without delay or investment – based on
experience and best practices.”
goals of The Commons Conservancy are naturally aligned with
the GÉANT Greenhouse special interest group. The SIG was established to
provide a space for open source software developers to share experience
and requirements, and for national research and education network
organisations (NRENs) to reflect on dependencies
for software development within their community and on future NREN
NLnet and The Commons Conservancy signed an MoU to work
together to support open source project development in August 2016,”
explains Nicole Harris of GÉANT, who is secretary to
SIG-Greenhouse. “The Greenhouse Special Interest Group identified
significant NREN dependencies on open source software and ensuring the sustainability of these software projects and services
is critically important. The Commons Conservancy offers a simple model
to enable both sustainability and support in a way that matches the
needs of our developers.”
FileSender is pleased to be the first project to receive
Commons Conservancy support. This project is very familiar to the NREN environment and has grown from
being a simple collaboration between a few NRENs
solving the problem of sharing large files, and is now used by
organisations around the world. The Commons Conservancy gives Filesender
a home that can support this new status.
“We’ve worked for several years towards a pragmatic and scalable
community solution to address the long-term survivability of FileSender
community software development projects," says Jan Meijer, chair of the
FileSender programme board. "We’re very pleased the NLnet Foundation
partnered with us to tackle this challenge, and the establishment of The Commons Conservancy was the final step needed.
The Commons Conservancy provides functionality that is a crucial building block
in the support for open collaborative software development in European
higher education and research in particular, and the European digital
society as a whole."
More information visit the Commons Conservancy website or contact one of the representatives from the NREN community in the Board of The Commons Conservancy for more information: Guido Aben (AARNet) and Rogier Spoor (SURFnet).
More about SIG-Greenhouse and their work identifying NREN dependencies on open source software, and about other GÉANT community working groups.
More about FileSender.