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Foundation for Public Code newsletter - autumn 2020

illustration of hand with speech bubbles containing screws and bolts

Welcome to our autumn newsletter, covering September - November 2020. We’ve had a focused, productive autumn, continuing our work with codebase communities and potential members.

In the months ahead, we hope to announce new members and incubate a new codebase.

You can read our last newsletter (summer 2020) on our blog.

What we’ve been up to

Codebase stewardship

The stewards team spent this autumn on community, tooling and governance support for the 2 codebases we’re stewarding: Signalen and OpenZaak.


We helped the Signalen community to collaborate better by setting up a mailing list for them in September. They’re now using it to get a shared backlog online, so they’re ready to start quarterly roadmaps in 2021.

The Signalen product website is now also available in English.

In November, the Signalen community updated the Standard for Public Code gap analysis included in their codebase community. See the new version.


Throughout the autumn, the OpenZaak mailing list has been humming - it’s been a joy to see the community develop new norms and practices around working together.

New work

In October we released a new version (0.2.0) of the Standard for Public Code.

Stewards held workshops with two development teams on how to apply the Standard in their codebase development and specifically in their environment.

The codebase stewards are also exploring new opportunities:


illustration of hand holding a heart

We have a new member! The Province of South Holland (the Netherlands) decided to join the Foundation for Public Code in June, and is now ironing out legal details.

We also held discussions throughout the autumn with 3 national governments and 2 cities. We hope to have a public announcement in the new year.

Running the Foundation

We’ve received two new philanthropic gifts, which means we have more breathing space as we expand our offering.

During the global week for the Sustainable Development Goals (September 2020) we made an addition to our value and impact page and blogged about how we support the goals.

We’re happy to be able to stay at our curent premises on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam until spring 2021.

Our Operations Coordinator, [Deborah], is working on bringing our operations handbook online. It’s a handy blueprint for anyone who needs to set up and manage key systems to run an open organization like ours. Explore our tool management page to see the tools we use.

Deborah has also steadily improved our technology systems, ranging from spinning up a Jitsi instance for our community, troubleshooting an SPF issue that impacted our mailing lists, as well as spinning up a VPS for colleagues and community members to co-work via Virtual Network Computing. We’ve also migrated Odoo, our project management and CRM tool, to a new provider.

Community outreach

We’re very proud to have launched our podcast, Let’s talk about public code. So far, we’ve spoken with:

In September, Boris presented at the State of the Source Summit 2020: How Open Source in Public Administrations and Government is different.

During Global Goals Week, Ben spoke on a panel about Opensourcing our way to the SDGs.

In October, Ben spoke on a panel about “Visions for the Future Internet: what if?” at the Next Generation Internet Summit.

We also ran 2 sessions at the Creative Commons Global Summit and made a short video explaining the Standard for Public Code as a common good.

In November, Alba gave a presentation at EsLibre (in Spanish) and was on a panel at DecidimFest on Sustainability and scalability in free software projects.

Felix wrote an article about how government and market parties are jointly building the OpenZaak community for the Dutch national open source forum (

Last week, Jan ran a workshop on how to effectively do “Open Source in the Public Sector” at the Swedish GovTechDay (slides in Swedish).

Reading list

These have sparked long conversations this autumn:

See you around

Thanks for reading this far! We hope to see you at our community events and upcoming conferences in the public code space. We’ll be back with a final 2020 update at the end of the year.