GGI Activity: Promote open source development best practices

Table of contents

Promote open source development best practices

Activity ID: GGI-A-25.


This activity is about defining, actively promoting and implementing open source best practices within the development teams.

As a starting point the following topics might be considered for attention:

  • User and developer documentation.
  • Proper organisation of the project on a publicly accessible repository.
  • Promote and implement controlled reuse.
  • Providing a complete and up-to-date product documentation.
  • Configuration Management: git workflows, collaborative patterns.
  • Release management: release early & release often, stable vs development versions, etc.

OSS projects have a special, bazaar-like modus operandi. In order to allow and foster this collaboration and mindset, some practices are recommended that facilitate collaborative and decentralised development and contributions from third-party developers…

Community documents

Make sure that all projects within the company propose the following documents:

  • README – quick description of the project, how to interact, links to resources.
  • Contributing – introduction for people willing to contribute.
  • Code Of Conduct – What is acceptable – or not – as behaviour within the community.
  • LICENSE – the default licence of the repository.

REUSE best practices

REUSE is an initiative from the Free Software Foundation Europe to improve reuse of software and streamline OSS and licence compliance.

Opportunity Assessment

Although it heavily depends on the OSS common-knowledge among the team, training people and creating processes that enforce these practices is always beneficial. It is even more important when:

  • potential users and contributors are not known,
  • developers are not used to open source development.

Progress Assessment

The following verification points demonstrate progress in this Activity:

  • Project sets a list of open source best practices to comply with.
  • Project monitors its alignment with best practices.
  • Development team has built awareness about complying with OSS best practices.
  • New best practices are regularly evaluated, and an effort is made to implement them.



  • The list of best practices depends on the context and domain of the program and should be re-evaluated regularly in a continuous improvement manner. Practices should be monitored and regularly assessed to track down progress.
  • Train people about OSS reuse (as consumers) and ecosystems (as contributors).
  • Implement as in activity #14.
  • Set up a process to manage legal risks associated with reuse and contributions.
  • Explicitly encourage people to contribute to external projects.
  • Provide a template or official guidelines for project structure.
  • Set up automated checks to make sure that all projects comply with the guidelines.


Proposed next activities