Open-source software comes in many different shapes and sizes, and some are better maintained than others. Because of this, organizations need to spend time, money and resources to ensure the quality of source code, and not every company has the ability to do so.
A new project aims to change this. Dubbed TODO (which stands for Talk Openly, Develop Openly), it intends to solve the problem of utilizing and releasing open-source software.
(Related: The most popular open-source projects)
“We cofounded TODO because we saw an unserved need within the open-source community. Many large companies had resources dedicated to open-source projects and were spending quite a bit of time building and establishing best practices, tooling, and community management,” said Chris Kelly, developer evangelist at GitHub. “When discussing this with various open-source offices within these companies, we discovered there is far more in common than unique, and so we wanted to bring these efforts together to solve this common problem.”
The goal of TODO is to make open source easier for everyone by providing clear guidelines and best practices for how projects are maintained so that companies can have confidence in utilizing them in their systems, according to Kelly.
“We believe that healthy, thriving open-source projects require a blend between the company that releases them and the community that adopts them. With the principles for open-source management that TODO has in mind, the community will benefit from higher-quality software that they can reliably use in critical production systems,” he said.
The group hasn’t announced any plans yet, but according to Kelly it will publish a number of documents, outlines, best practices and guidelines for project management, as well as a directory of projects that fulfill those guidelines.
“By taking our collective experience and building the right tools, we can focus on the fast-paced development of those projects rather than the management and infrastructure required to support them,” Kelly said. “It’s a benefit for both the companies that are open-sourcing their technologies, and those companies that are utilizing them.”
TODO members include Box, Dropbox, Facebook, GitHub, Google, Khan Academy, Square, Stripe, Twitter and Walmart Labs.