FIWARE open-source Community

Around a Christmas tree at iMinds, a group of developers and entrepreneurs share experiences and ideas about FIWARE. One feeling is common to everybody: the urge to contribute. It is not by chance; the main topic of the discussion is the Open Source FIWARE Community, a promising initiative yet to be defined.

(Brussels, 13/01/2016) – FIWARE is all about open-source, its generic enablers, its Open APIs and even the booming OASC initiative. But in the heart of open-source itself lies the concept of community, and although there are ongoing efforts, we have asked developers and entrepreneurs involved in FIWARE how they feel about this.

Among the various concerns stated at the debate, three top ideas arose:

  1. A common place to share ideas, find people and talk with experts
  2. A way to give back. Contribute with fixes and features
  3. Blueprints almost ready-to-deploy for specific verticals

It is clear that the second idea comes from developers and the third one from entrepreneurs, but what is more interesting is that the first worries everybody. When we say “place”, we are not referring specifically to a venue or website, we are pointing at the concept of community. Of course there has to be meetings on rooms, URLs on the Internet and mailing lists, but those are technical details, all of them following the genuine concept of community creation.

FIWARE is a one-of-a-kind initiative (one may even call it an experiment) in the open-source scene. Coming from an EU-funded project instead of a bunch of coders makes its peculiarities a challenge when it comes to transitioning to an open-source community. As Stefano de Panfilis shows on his slides on the matter, it is about going “from a project with limited duration and carried out by partners to an open source community that is designed to last and be open to anyone who wish to actively contribute”.

Therefore it is reasonable to think the process won’t be soft and easy, and even worse, there are few similar initiatives from which to learn. But who cares? There is a number of companies and individuals willing to make it happen, and that’s what matters. We have to exploit the momentum of the FIWARE Accelerate program and the thrill among developers and entrepreneurs.

The moment is now, despite being announced for 2Q15, the FIWARE Community is not ready today and we are losing lots of opportunities. We ask for yet another effort to accelerate the process and begin the only possible way of a successful FIWARE initiative.

And remember, you are not alone, check out the FIWARE Community Map.

The FIWARE Association is keen to support this transition and will continue helping people to reach out peers on the FIWARE Association communication channels. Join the Association mailing list and Slack Channel.

Joaquín Cabezas

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