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Newsletter: Dec 2020 to Feb 2021


It’s again time to share what we’ve done since November 2020.

We have 3 highlights:

And coming up:

  • MozFest 2021: come discuss “How public code can transform the digital future of cities” with our President Ben Cerveny and Ger Baron, CTO of Amsterdam on March 11th at 19:15 register here.
  • MozFest 2021: we often get asked what individuals can do to affect their government’s technology choices, which we don’t have a good answer to. Join this workshop (21.15 CET, 11 March 2021) to hear what’s worked for others, and what to try next.

Read on for everything else!

What we’ve been up to

Standard for Public Code

Keep an eye out for a new release of the Standard for Public Code soon.

Codebase stewardship

We currently have 2 codebases in incubation (OpenZaak and Signalen) and 1 in assessment (Omgevingsbeleid).

In the last months, the Omgevingsbeleid team has selected a license and published their backend. Check out their demo site.

The OpenZaak community dealt with their first security vulnerability in December, and created a new process for the future.

The Signalen community is now publishing documentation at They’re currently working on making processes more generic for reuse on other codebases. They’re also working to shift whole community to publishing all issues only on the public repo (so no internal JIRAs left).

Signalen is hosting their second community day on 22 March! See the program and register here.

Both OpenZaak and Signalen now have blogging functionality on their product sites - we’ll add highlights from these codebase communities to future newsletters.


Prompted by a community member, we’ve renamed all our repo branches from ‘master’ to ‘main’.

We’ve started to publish our operations handbook, which we expect will be a helpful resource for anyone running a similar sized NGO, either in the Netherlands or abroad.

We’re fully focused on producing our first annual report, which we’ll publish in March.

There’s lots of development work ongoing to create a ticketmaster account with which we can generate invitation tokens for anyone in our community that wants to sign up to use our community Jitsi. We are building on a Wikimedia tool.

And to celebrate having fewer distractions, we’re able to stay in our office until at least June 2021.


In January, we adopted a decentralized approach to creating social media, so that the whole team can share what’s exciting in their area at that moment. Of course, we also published guidance on how to use our new social media tool, Planable.

Our ongoing work on is starting to be public - there are now shiny codebase overview pages, plus a new header and footer. Read more about our next improvements.

We’ve also added Plausible for basic, cookie-free analytics on our websites - check out our dashboard.

Executive team and Board of Directors

Ben’s been in California, meeting with lots of interesting people. He’s even contributed to the new California Technology Strategic Plan - Vision 2023.

Community and public recognition (spreading the word!)

Episode #3 of our livestream podcast Let’s Talk About Public Code explored how the OpenZaak community handled a security issue for the first time, with guests Sergei Maertens from Maykin Media and Tjerk Vaags from Contezza.

Episode 4 was fresh yesterday - it was a discussion with Lea Hemetsberger of Open & Agile Smart Cities about getting cities to collaborate on open solutions.

We’ve talked a lot this winter! Starting with the most recent, we’ve been at:

You can also see all our talks and articles.

Reading list