Project Graduation Checklist

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Please note that this Wiki page is out of date. Find the current Checklist on the official OSGeo web site at:

Review Notes

The official copy of this document lives at

Document Status

This is the draft version of the stable document living at:

Version: TBD
Status: draft
Last Edited: TBD
Previous: 2.0


The purpose of this checklist is to determine whether an Incubator Project produces quality products, remains true to its stated licence and is sustainable. Satisfying this checklist is a pre-requisite for graduation.

Terms and Definitions

A member of the Incubation Committee chosen to assist a Project through the Incubation Process.
Institutionalized Process
A documented process which which addresses a need and is actively in use. It typically takes months before a process becomes institutionalized. A more detailed definition of institutionalization is found in the Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) - "Generic Goal 2: Institutionalize a Managed Process"
Open Source License
a license recognized by the Open Source Initiative

Incubation Checklist


The project has demonstrated that it has an open, active and healthy user and developer community:

  1. [open.1] Open: projects are expected to function in an open and public manner and include:
    • [open.1a] Open source license(s),
    • [open.1b] Open communication channels,
    • [open.1c] Open decision making process,
  2. [open.2] Active and healthy community:
    • [open.2a] The project should have a community of developers and users who actively collaborate and support each other in a healthy way.
      Eg. collaboration on project activities such as testing, release and feature development.
    • [open.2b] Long term viability of the project is demonstrated by showing participation, support and direction from multiple developers, and/or power users, and/or sponsors, who come from multiple organisations.
      Eg. The project is resilient enough to sustain loss of a developer or supporting organisation, often referred to as having a high bus factor.
    • [open.2c] Decisions are made openly instead of behind closed doors, which empowers all developers to take ownership of the project and facilitates spreading of knowledge between current and future team members.
    • [open.2d] Users are supported and encouraged, via an email list or similar.
    • [open.2d] The project has a Code of Conduct.
      This may be a reference to the OSGeo Code of Conduct.

Copyright and License

We need to ensure that the project owns or otherwise has obtained the ability to release the project code by completing the following steps:

  1. [copyright.1] All project source code is available under an Open Source license.
  2. [copyright.2] Project documentation is available under an open license, such as Creative Commons.
  3. [copyright.3] [copyright.1] The project code, documentation and data has been adequately vetted to assure it is all properly licensed, and a copyright notice included, as per a Provenance Review.
  4. [copyright.4] The project maintains a list of all copyright holders identified in the Provenance Review Document.
  5. [copyright.5] All code contributors have agreed to abide by the project's license policy, and this agreement has been documented and archived.


  1. [processes.1] The project has code under configuration management.
    Eg, subversion, git.
  2. [processes.2] The project uses an issue tracker and keeps the status of the issue tracker up to date.
  3. [processes.3] The project has documented and follows its management processes.
    This is typically done within a Developers Guide or Project Management Plan.
    • [processes.3a] The project has a suitable open governance policy ensuring decisions are made, documented and adhered to in a public manner.
      This typically means a Project Management Committee has been established with a process for adding new members. A robust Project Management Committee will typically draw upon developers, users and key stakeholders from multiple organisations as there will be a greater variety of technical visions and the project is more resilient to a sponsor leaving.
    • [processes.3b] The project uses public communication channels for decision making to maintain transparency.
      E.g. archived email list(s), archived IRC channel(s), public issue tracker.


  1. [documentation.1] The project has user documentation:
    • [documentation.1a] Including sufficient detail to guide a new user through performing the core functionality provided by the application.
  2. [documentation.2] The project has developer documentation:
    • [documentation.2a] Including checkout and build instructions.
    • [documentation.2b] Including commented code, ideally published for developer use.
      Examples: javadocs for Java applications, or Sphinx documentation for Python applications.
    • [documentation.2c] Providing sufficient detail for an experience programmer to contribute patches or a new module in accordance with the project's programming conventions.
  3. [documentation.3] The project has deployment documentation:
    • [documentation.3a] Including, where appropriate, how to deploy, configure and optimise the application.

Release Procedure

In order to maintain a consistent level of quality, the project should follow defined release and testing processes.

  1. [release.1] The project follows a defined release process:
    • [release.1a] Which supports both stable and development releases.
    • [release.1b] Which includes execution of the testing process before releasing a stable release.
  2. [release.2] The project follows a documented testing process.
    • [release.2a] Ideally, this includes both automated and manual testing.
    • [release.2b] Ideally this includes documented conformance to set quality goals, such as reporting Percentage Code Coverage of Unit Tests.
  3. [release.3] Release and testing processes provide sufficient detail for an experienced programmer to follow.
  4. [release.4] The project has released stable, feature complete releases.
    • Ideally this is demonstrated by describing risk adverse organisations who have deployed releases into production systems.

OSGeo Committees and Community

The OSGeo Foundation is made up of a number of committees, projects and local chapters. This section gathers up information these groups have requested from OSGeo projects. These expectations are not mandatory requirements before graduation, but a project should be prepared to address them in order to be considered a good OSGeo citizen.


The OSGeo Board holds ultimate responsibility for all OSGeo activities. The Board requests:

  1. [board.1] A project provide a Project Officer as a contract point:
    • The Project Officer should be listed at: Project Officer
    • This person is established when the incubation committee recommends the project for graduation
    • Your community can change the project officer as needed (just add an agenda item to the next board meeting so they can recognise the change of officer).


Access to OSGeo's Marketing_Committee and associated Marketing_Pipeline is one of the key benefits of joining the OSGeo foundation. The Marketing Committee requests:

  1. [marketing.1] Marketing artefacts have been created about the project in line with the incubation criteria listed in the OSGeo Marketing Committee's Marketing Artefacts. This lists the documentation requirements for OSGeo-Live. Marketing Artefacts include:
    • [marketing.1a] Application Overview
    • [marketing.1b] Application Quick Start
    • [marketing.1c] Logo
    • [marketing.1d] Graphical Image
  2. [marketing.2] Ideally, stable version(s) of executable applications are bundled with appropriate distributions.
    In most cases, this will at least include OSGeo-Live, but may also include DebianGIS, UbuntuGIS, and/or osgeo4w ms4w, etc.)
  3. [marketing.3] The project incorporates OSGeo branding, such as including an OSGeo logo on its website.
  4. [marketing.4] The project has been registered with Open HUB, and Open HUB has been updated to reference the correct code repository(s) for the project. Open HUB provides metrics to help assess the health of a project.


  1. [projects.1] Projects do not exist in isolation; and are expected to communicate and collaborate on key issues.
    As an example, the PostGIS release procedure asks that the release be checked with MapServer, GeoServer and others.
  2. [projects.2] Where applicable, projects are expected to interoperate effectively with other applications.
    • [projects.2a] Interoperability is preferably achieved by supporting relevant Open Standards.
    • [projects.2b] Where applicable, standards compliance is verified by executing compliance tests, such as provided by OGC CITE testing.