- The codebase MUST have a public issue tracker that allows suggestions from anyone
- The codebase MUST allow anyone to submit suggestions for changes to the codebase
- The documentation MUST link to both the public issue tracker and submitted codebase changes
- The codebase MUST include an email address for security issues and responsible disclosure
- The codebase MUST include contribution guidelines explaining how contributors can get involved
- The codebase SHOULD have a publicly available roadmap
- The codebase SHOULD advertise the committed engagement of involved organizations in the development and maintenance
- The codebase MAY include a code of conduct for contributors
- The codebase MAY document the governance of the codebase, contributions and its community, for example in a
Why this is important
- Allows collaborative uptake of shared digital infrastructure
- Prevents forks of codebases, in which a community that works on a project splits because there is no shared progress
- Helps users decide to use one codebase over another
- Enables users to fix problems and add features to the shared codebase leading to better, more reliable and feature rich software
What this does not do
- Guarantee others will reuse the codebase
How to test
- There’s a public issue tracker.
- It’s possible to submit suggestions for changes to the codebase.
- There are contribution guidelines.
Policy makers: what you need to do
- Add a list to the codebase of any other resources, policy experts, non-governmental organizations and academics would find useful for understanding and reusing your policy.
- Track policy issues in the codebase, so that a relevant external policy expert can volunteer help.
- Consider adding contact details so that other policy makers considering reuse can ask you for advice.
Management: what you need to do
- Add to the documentation: how your organization is involved in the project, what resources it has available for it and for how long
- Track management issues in the codebase, so that external managers with relevant experience can volunteer help.
- Support your experienced policy makers, developers and designers to keep contributing to the codebase for as long as possible.
Developers and designers: what you need to do
- Respond promptly to requests
- Building welcoming communities by Open Source Guides
- The Contributor Covenant is a model code of conduct
- Leadership and governance for growing open source community projects, by Open Source Guides
- The benefits of coding in the open by the UK Government Digital Service
- Building online communities by Pieter Hintjens (long read!)