The Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities Book

The SFOSC Book

The SFOSC Book, by Adam Jacob

This book is the collection of thoughts and research that resulted in the principles, business models, and social contracts. It walks through how I analyzed the problem of building sustainable open source communities through the lens of John Rawls’ Theory of Justice, and pulls from that analysis the items in the principles.

If you want to contribute to the conversation around Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities, it’s the place to begin reading.

I want to give thanks to the many people who read drafts, bounced around ideas, or were kind enough to let me talk (and talk) about these ideas. They may or may not agree with what I wrote, but they were instrumental in my writing it, and without them it wouldn’t exist.

  • Katie Bethell, who was willing to read Rawls to talk about this with me over dinner.
  • Jeff Hackert, a true friend. Without his validation and enthusasism, my own imposter syndrome would have stopped me before I started.
  • Corey Scobie, an incredible engineering and product mind, who talked the business models through with me over and over, even when I was confusing myself.
  • Brad Henrickson, the best accountability buddy possible, and a true friend who reads your stuff on vacation.
  • John Gossman, who has given me insightful feedback not only on this, but on every project I’ve started in the last few years. I’m thankful to know him.
  • Katie Long, our lead counsel at Chef, who talked with me about my understandings of patent, copyright, trademark, and more.
  • Kimberly Garmoe, who took an earlier idea on this topic I had and had the idea to frame things as positive rights
  • The Magical Microsoft Open Source Round Table, who were kind enough to listen to these ideas when they were just pages in my notebook, and challenge them in a spirited, delightful conversation.




Why did I create this resource?

A definition of Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities

What is a sustainable open source community?

Designing a Sustainable Institution

What makes other communities sustainable?

Setting up Rawls' Game

Governance and Behavior

How is a community or project governed?

Contribution and Distribution

How is work contributed, and distributed?

Business Models

Business models for sustainable open source communities

The Way Forward

How do we move forward?

Last modified September 12, 2019: fix(symlinks) (#137) (a764412)