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Linux Foundation Research Finds Collaboration, Alignment Key to Managing Fragmentation in Open Source

Open source leaders acknowledge fragmentation, but find it inherent to the open ecosystem; Efforts to limit it may also stifle innovation

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the release of the LF Research publication "Enabling Global Collaboration: How Open Source Leaders are Confronting the Challenges of Fragmentation."

The research informs understanding of how fragmentation in the open source community is impeding open source progress.

The research informs understanding of whether?and how?fragmentation in the open source community is impeding open source progress and ways to overcome challenges.

"Two decades of open collaboration have fostered unrivaled innovation with 70% to 90% of most modern application stacks now consisting of open source software," said Jim Zemlin, executive director for the Linux Foundation. "Industries, consumers, and societal systems today depend on software that is built by a global community. To continue this tremendous innovation, we need to understand concerns about whether fragmentation in ecosystems could undermine functions vital to a thriving community, while being of benefit to others, and in which ways. This research will inform our understanding and future decisions."

The research was produced in partnership with the Eclipse Foundation, LF Europe, LF AI and Data, and LF Networking, and sponsored by Futurewei. It draws on experience from leaders working with communities to support collaboration among developers and end users around the world. The research draws on interviews with open source leaders to understand the sources of fragmentation. It examines fragmentation in the development of open source solutions, the integration of diverse contributors from various regions of the world, and the governance of open source communities, including the role of foundations in safeguarding infrastructure.

The report concludes that managing fragmentation includes forging greater alignment between open source projects, strengthening inter-foundation collaboration, and harnessing open source maturity models to help identify robust code libraries and components. Specific key findings include:

"Decentralized innovation and effective leadership is integral to the long-term viability and success of open source projects," said Yue Chen of Futurewei. "This research is vital to informing our work moving forward."

For more information, see the full report here.

About The Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is the world's leading home for collaboration on open source software, hardware, standards, and data. Linux Foundation projects are critical to the world's infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, ONAP, PyTorch, RISC-V, SPDX, OpenChain, and more. The Linux Foundation focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org. The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Media Contact: 

Noah Lehman
The Linux Foundation

SOURCE The Linux Foundation

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