Given our prior discussions of the popularization and commercialization of open source, we know that both collaboration and competition will continue to coexist for the foreseeable future in open source projects. We’ve looked at a set of foundations that have succeeded in bringing about a vendor-neutral playing field in which multiple corporate and independent members can operate under the same set of meritocracy-based rules for development, technical planning, and decision making in a project. In this chapter, we look more completely at the key indicators of success in cloud computing open source projects. We will also give guidance for future projects based on what we find when we dig into what has been shown to both work and not work for historic and current open source projects and standards bodies. First, let’s summarize what we saw regarding governance models in the last chapter.
It’s worth trying our best to answer the question, “What makes a good governance model?” Looking at success in past and current projects—for example, the Apache Software Foundation or the W3C—a key aspect we find in common is the measure of “openness” within the project’s culture: both its human organization and its administrative and development processes. “Openness” in this context can take different forms, but examples include: