proposing Sourceware as Software Freedom Conservancy member project

Elena Zannoni
Thu Sep 1 14:19:28 GMT 2022

On 8/30/22 12:03 PM, Frank Ch. Eigler wrote:
> The overseers of the hosting server aka aka
> aka (others *) invite the community to assist us in
> further securing the future of the service.  Red Hat has been and
> continues to be a generous sponsor of the hardware, connectivity, and
> the very modest employee time it requires.  We are glad to report
> there are zero indications of any change to this commitment.  Things
> are stable, new services are coming online, and users seem to be
> happy.  However, it is always good to think about any future needs.
> To protect confidence in the long term future of this hosting service,
> we have reached out to the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) to
> function as a "fiscal sponsor".  For those who aren't familiar with
> it, the SFC is a registered US 501(c)(3) public-benefit charity,
> associated with dozens of major FOSS projects, including Buildbot,
> Inkscape, Git, Outreachy, QEMU and Xapian:
> SFC takes open applications from FOSS communities and projects. Our
> application process has just begun.  As a part of this effort, we
> contemplate no necessary technical change or disruption of any sort,
> including to operations, governance, or hosted project procedures or
> licensing.  It would be solely a way to help future needs by providing
> routing for financial contributions, and have an official, charitable
> entity (with a real legal existence) for supporting
> If accepted as a member project, would have access to
> this list of services from SFC, and possibly more:
> This year, we set up a roadmap to improve the services for tracking
> and automation of email based patches and testing
> This resulted in the launch of several new or updated services
> (, and
>  This didn't need any additional funds (except
> for the sourcehut mirror which costs $10 a month).  We are proud to
> operate these services with minimal costs so we can sustain them both
> in good and in bad years.  But that doesn't mean everything has to be
> done on a zero budget.  Financial contributions are more than welcome
> so that if the need arises we can contract for some unusual admin
> stuff or additions to services like bugzilla, buildbot, patchwork,
> public-inbox or sourcehut.
> There are a few small-ticket items that we would dearly welcome
> community assistance with.  This is just a draft of a draft, just to
> give you an idea of the scope.  No gigaprojects, just community scale:
> helping each other out.  That kind of low-budget efficiency seems to
> be a perfect match for SFC.
> - For helping future overseers come on board, we'd love someone's help
>   to write refreshed SOP documentation about how things work and how
>   to fix problems.
> - We could use more documentation for projects to help them come on
>   board, operate their share of the infrastructure, and easily leave
>   if they like.
> - We might need a new security review and more tooling to manage
>   credentials and access.
> - We could use help further automating the management of the new
>   buildbot system, and would love ever more build workers.
> - Some projects operate extra infrastructure services on sourceware
>   that require occasional updates, which they would prefer to offload
>   to someone else.
> These are only some ideas.  We'd love yours.  We can start tracking
> these on bugzilla, why not?
> We would especially love to hear from people who are able to oversee
> and/or carry out this kind of work.  If our application to the SFC
> succeeds, we need likeminded folks to help officially judge funding
> priorities.  We promise the SFC application & committee work would be
> as low-stakes and informal as possible.  Bradley and Daniel from the
> Conservancy have agreed to monitor this discussion and answer any
> questions about what the SFC can and cannot do to help us if we become
> an SFC member project.
> Sourceware has been operating since 1998.  With your advice and help,
> we can keep hosting projects and their developers, comfortably and
> steadily, another few decades.
> Chris Faylor <>
> Frank Eigler <>
> Mark Wielaard <>
> (others *): We are reaching out to the 20 most active projects on
> Sourceware (binutils, bunsen, bzip2, cgen, cygwin, debugedit, dwz,
> elfutils, gcc, gccrs, gdb, glibc, insight, kawa, libabigail, libffi,
> newlib, sid, systemtap, valgrind) about this proposal to make sure
> nobody is caught unaware. And Sourceware is also responsible for
> preserving the history of another 40 projects which are either less
> active, have been archived or moved on.
> ed on.

Hi folks, good to see this effort.

As one of the old timers that was there at the initial setup of the
public repos in 1998, I first of all want to thank you for keeping this
effort going smoothly for such a long time.

My team uses sourceware services every day and we wouldn't be able to do
so without your dedication.

The announcements of latest improvements and updates and the roadmap
itself have not been seen by many people I am afraid, so I think it's
worth to point to them here:

Would it be worth to put them in the News section of
Maybe also post the roadmap on a page on

It is good to see this effort to regularize the responsibilities for
Sourceware a bit more. I agree that a fiscal sponsor is a good thing to
have and the SFC seems like a good home. Hopefully the governance can be
maintained as light as possible, and hopefully it will be neutral,
having the best interest of the developer communities in mind.

I do not believe that Sourceware is broken as it is today, but
establishing a more solid structure will help to maintain it healthy for
many more years to come.


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