We’re excited to announce that the LFX platform is now available, expanding the former CommunityBridge to provide even more support for the open source ecosystem.
Last year we released CommunityBridge, featuring early access to three community-focused tools: Funding, Security (limited features), and Mentorship. Since then, our engineering team has been heads-down developing new features and tools to support open source project development. We’re now rolling out 10+ tools with more on the roadmap for early next year and rebranding as “LFX” to align with other resources provided by the Linux Foundation.
Why We Built LFX
Open source has evolved to power more than 80% of the technologies we use every day, dominating in key markets including the smartphone, supercomputer, and public cloud workload industries. But as open source projects become the technologies that we all depend on, they require far more than version control systems or source control management to maintain and scale.
Critical projects must have their finger on the pulse of their entire developer ecosystem, with tools tailored to key stakeholders driving project development, including maintainers, contributors, community managers, and more. But it can be difficult to find tools that serve the unique needs of open source projects. “Supporting the tooling choices of our communities is in our DNA, but the connective fabric that can unify control and visibility across stacks is missing,” explains Shubhra Kar, CTO and GM of Products and IT at the Linux Foundation.
“We developed LFX to be the ‘digital glue’ that connects control and visibility across tooling stacks, providing a holistic context of project ecosystems–from contributions and release pipelines, to security index and end user adoption.”
Tools for Everyone
The Linux Foundation has spent years developing a proven methodology to transform projects into category leaders. LFX operationalizes this approach, providing a suite of tools built to facilitate every aspect of open source development.
Developed by the Linux Foundation engineers, LFX directly supports projects and empowers open source developers to write better, more secure code and grow sustainable ecosystems. These tools are a culmination of extensive industry knowledge and years of experience growing some of the world’s most critical open source projects.
Available tools include…
- Insights gives a contextualized ecosystem view–regardless of the environments you use. Understand your contributor community and make informed decisions with our analytics and reporting tools.
- Security (Beta) provides automated scanning to detect potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses, proposing recommended fixes where available to help projects address top security concerns.
- Individual Dashboard is your self-service hub for all of your open source activity. Build your personal community profile, manage credentials and contact details, display badges for completing certifications and other accomplishments, and enjoy a seamless login experience across the major systems used by the Linux Foundation projects.
- EasyCLA is the only tool to support both individual and corporate contributor license agreement (CLA) workflows, making the process easier for everyone while maintaining project development velocity.
- Mentorship makes it easy to sponsor and help train the next generation of open source developers by serving key needs of the community. Invest in building a stronger and more diverse community of qualified developers and engineers.
- Crowdfunding enables individuals and organizations to donate by providing a neutral and trusted platform managed by the Linux Foundation that meets the unique fundraising needs of open source projects.
- Member Enrollment makes it easier than ever for people to join your community with streamlined registration forms, automated contract execution, and a seamless onboarding experience that gets them set up in minutes.
- Landscape is a tool that lets you visualize your project ecosystem so that you can understand how well your project is performing downstream.
- Community Events provides local community organizers with the tools they need to host local meetings. Whether planning a virtual event or working with local organizers, our robust platform has you covered.
- Training Portal is a self-service, unified console that lets both individuals and organizations participate, track, and manage their training and certification needs.
- Project Control Center (Limited Access Beta Early 2021) helps you get started quickly by providing all the support you’ll need with self-service configuration for governance, membership, IT, developer and collaboration tools, documentation, and community roles.
Like all modern software, LFX is built using open source code and is integrated with a wide array of different systems–from GitHub, to Slack, to Google Workspace. We plan to release much of this code as open source in the near future, allowing our communities to meet their own needs through collaborative development. However, we still have much work to do before our code is ready for others to dive into. As with many leading OSS projects, this process takes time and we want to get things right so that our communities can benefit. In the meantime, we would love your feedback on what you would like to see in the future from LFX and the Linux Foundation.
What the Community is Saying
LFX means new opportunities for the open source community. “LFX brings our vision to a whole new level,” explains Gabriele Columbro, Executive Director of FINOS. “It’ll give our community access to an even more powerful set of tools and insights, based on the world class expertise of the Linux Foundation and their years of experience managing the world’s most mission-critical OSS projects.”
Perhaps the most anticipated tools in the LFX suite is Insights, which will provide visibility into project performance and ecosystem trends. “One of the biggest challenges for open source projects is being able to define, track, and review key project metrics.” This is according to Jim St. Leger, TAC Chair of LF Edge and early Insights user. “LFX Insights is a fantastic tool that quickly lets people look at key project statistics… and is already becoming a great open source asset.”
But it’s our hope that the open source community will benefit from these tools as well. Students such as Animesh Kumar are the future of open source, and his experience as a mentee in the Q2 2020 Mentorship program was, according to him, “a learning experience of a lifetime… I truly encourage anyone who wants to start contributing to CNCF or other open source projects to participate in this program.”
Developers and sponsors of open source projects hosted by the Linux Foundation can benefit from these tools today. Simply log in with your Linux Foundation account and get started. Other tools, including Crowdfunding and Mentorship, provide valuable resources and best practices to projects not hosted at the Linux Foundation as well as the extended open source community. Find out more about LFX and the Linux Foundation at lfx.linuxfoundation.org.