For some time now, I have been meaning to write a series of blog posts setting forth my views on best practices in forming and governing open source foundations. Why? Because despite the increasing reliance of just about every part of our modern world (government, finance, defense, and so on) on open source software (OSS) and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), there has been very little written on the subject.
That means that neither a community nor a corporation has much to refer to in creating the kind of governance structure most likely to ensure that the intentions of the founders are carried out, that the rights of contributors are respected, and that the code upon which end users will rely is properly maintained into the future.
Instead, we see un-incorporated but vital projects that find themselves in peril if their corporate sponsors (e.g., Sun Microsystems and Novell) are acquired, projects that have no way to communicate with large numbers of the historical authors of their code (Linux), and thousands of projects that have no legal structure or sponsor (forge-hosted projects).