When you hire a development shop to build an open source product, you want to make sure the result is truly open source. You want to guarantee that:
- The end product is independently deployable by others.
- There are clear instructions for how to get involved.
- Commercial third parties are welcome (because that’s usually where new development energy comes from).
- There are no unexpected proprietary dependencies.
- The developers respond constructively to bug reports.
- There are procedures in place (as there should be for any software) for receiving sensitive security vulnerability reports.
- The project is poised to become a multi-participant and even multi-vendor community.
However, often first forays into open source do not meet these goals — not because of bad intentions, but because vendors who are new to open source need some help.
Open Source IV&V provides vendors that help. An independent vendor specializing in open source works alongside the development vendor, playing the role of open source community from the start of the project. The IV&V vendor works with the development vendor out in the open, just as third-party participants would. By the time the first production release is ready, the development vendor knows how to navigate an open source project, technically and culturally.
OS IV&V helps expand the range of vendors you can consider hiring to do open source development, and it ensures that by the time the project reaches beta, there are at least two vendors who have technical and deployment knowledge of the code base. Continue reading “OS IV&V: Independent Verification and Validation for Open Source”