OSSIM Governance Procedures
OSSIM is governed by the OSSIM Program Steering Commitee (PSC), which is chartered to guarantee that OSSIM remains open source and evolves by attracting new contributors and users to and ever expanding community of interest. The PSC will strive to encourage and include developers, contributors and users in discussions concerning the direction of technological evolution of the project. The PSC will also strive to maintain a balance within a community so that the project is not dominated by a single company or agency.
The PSC commitee will consist of the primary contributors to the OSSIM project. The PSC will decide which general contributors will have commit authority to the repository. Commit authority can be granted and removed by members of the PSC. One member of the PSC will be designated the Project Lead. The Project Lead will typically be the primary contributor and architect of the OSSIM project. Contributors and PSC members who are inactive for a period of six months or more will be automatically removed.
All attempts should be made to resolve disputes through discussion and consensus. When that is not possible a majority of the PSC will make the decision, typically following the advice of the Project Lead. The Project Lead will have veto authority. A veto can be over-ridden by a two thirds majority.
Current PSC Members
- Garrett Potts - Project Lead
- Dave Burken
- Mark Lucas
- Scott Bortman
Project Decision Making and Visibility
Face to face meetings are more effective than email lists for working out project issues. The only downside is that they don't automatically generate logs of discussions like email lists and IRC channels. The current core contributors and PSC members all live around Melbourne Florida and meet face to face on a regular basis. The following procedures are implemented to enhance the communication and provide more transparency to the decision making process.
The key developers have worked together for a number of years and have always worked by consensus. Typically, the contributors are funded by government contracts that apply OSSIM and its derivative applications to various solutions. Often their are requirements associated with these contracts to add additional capabilities. These functional improvements typically are segregated into the appropriate OSSIM library or are segregated into a plugin module. Generic improvements are typically applied in the core in such a way as not to induce platform specific dependencies. System specific interfaces, interfaces to proprietary functionality are relegated to runtime plugin libraries.
On average, face to face PSC meetings will be held in Melbourne once every two months. Advance notification of these meetings will be posted on the mailing list. Any OSSIM project member is welcome to join us for the meeting by simply notifying us by email so that lunch reservations can be made. For planning purposes we will target 11:30am EST on the second Friday of the even months (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec). The default location is Mustard's Last Stand in downtown Melbourne Florida.
It is important to note that future contributors may cause a change in this approach. Participants from other geographic areas will be accomodated and may cause a shift to online meetings or shifts to other geographical locations. Furthermore, it is hoped that as the OSSIM community grows we will be able to support annual get togethers.
Process for the meetings:
- Send meeting request, two to three days before meeting, allowing interested parties to participate.
- Meet face to face
- Discuss overall Project Status
- Discuss areas of focus that are driven by various contracts with the contributors
- Discuss overall direction and architecture of the code base
- If there is any disagreement on approach from any of the participants a vote will be taken
- Each PSC member will get one vote
- The OSSIM Project Lead (currently Garrett Potts) will have veto authority
- Veto can be over-ruled by 2/3 majority
- Document the meeting discussions and decisions through email and/or the wiki
A summary of the meeting and the decisions made will be posted on the mailing list or on the wiki after the meeting concludes.
Finally, the success of the OSSIM project has been the result of maintaining it as an open and independent community. The team members welcome communication, transparency, and participation from all interested parties.