About the Foundation for Public Code

Activities performed in codebase stewardship

This resource


  1. Stewardship at the codebase level
  2. Community
  3. Quality
  4. Support
  5. Product

We provide codebase stewardship at the codebase level. To explain codebase stewardship we split its activities in the categories community, quality, support, and product.

Stewardship at the codebase level

The goals of codebase stewardship are to maximize the reuse of the codebase and promote the long term sustainability of the community around the codebase.

As such, all our activities are explicitly targeted at the codebase level. We do not perform them at the level of, or for the benefit of, individual community members, local geographical contexts or specific legal contexts.


Successful open source codebases build a diverse community of public organizations and vendors to implement and support the product. This includes multiple public organizations contracting new development work, and multiple developing parties adding code to the repository.

The Foundation for Public Code helps facilitate these interactions around the code - for example by setting up community calls and forums, answering questions for newcomers, and facilitating the governance and technical steering in a way that is open and inclusive to everyone working at the code level (including developers, implementers and open source enthusiasts). This helps avoid duplicate work, and ensures new actors beyond those already involved can join and participate easily.

Community stewardship includes:


Successful open source codebases leverage economies of scale in a decentralized manner - various developers add features and fix bugs, while various implementers support public organizations in their implementations.

The Foundation for Public Code helps guarantee that all the code and corresponding documentation is ready for reuse. This includes a quality check on all new code added to the repository, and making sure everything is properly explained so other people can use it in their work. This helps all parties involved trust each other’s code and work - allowing them to build on each other.

Quality stewardship includes:

  • codebase auditing: code, policy and documentation quality assurance
  • packaging and distributing official versions
  • security and compatibility monitoring
  • monitoring codebase compliance towards any future versions of the Standard for Public Code


Successful open source codebases build a diverse vendor network for development, maintenance, implementation and hosting.

The Foundation for Public Code explicitly looks at the code and documentation from a vendor perspective, to help make sure it is commercially viable for them to work with the codebase. This can include hosting introductory open days to the codebase, giving training to new vendors, helping to resolve questions and doubts, and facilitating communication with their client public organizations.

Support stewardship includes:

  • user support
  • trainings
  • project infrastructure and process management
  • intellectual property management and trademark protection
  • support with vendor relations, including maintenance, implementation and integration partners as well as hosting providers


Successful open source codebases involve a wide community to partake in the actions described above.

The Foundation for Public Code supports the product marketing and product development of codebases to reach public organizations and vendors beyond (the network of) the current community. This can include help with the codebase’s branding, storytelling, product steering and marketing assets. This helps make the codebase attractive internationally and to new vendors, and easier to scale in the local context.

Product stewardship includes:

  • codebase branding
  • codebase storytelling, communications and public relations
  • codebase product marketing
  • codebase product development
  • developer advocacy