The Heartbleed Bug rocked the internet and exposed the need for better support for open source projects that are “in the critical path for core computing functions” including OpenSSL. So tech giants like Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, among others, are coming together to launch a project called the Core Infrastructure Initiative to support the development of multiple open source projects.
The roster of supporters of the Core Infrastructure Initiative, aside from the three previously mentioned companies, include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, NetApp, Qualcomm, Rackspace, and VMWare. These companies have pledged to donate at least $100,000 a year for the next three years. With all these companies joining the project, a total of at least $3.6 million in funding will be distributed to the different open source projects the group deems in need of help.
The Core Infrastructure Initiative was formed, organized, and housed by the Linux Foundation which is a “nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and collaborative software development”.
“We are expanding the work we already do for the Linux kernel to other projects that may need support,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Our global economy is built on top of many open source projects. Just as The Linux Foundation has funded Linus Torvalds to be able to focus 100% on Linux development, we will now be able to support additional developers and maintainers to work full-time supporting other essential open source projects. We are thankful for these industry leaders’ commitment to ensuring the continued growth and reliability of critical open source projects such as OpenSSL.”
The funds collected by the Linux Foundation will be distributed to open project source that will be decided upon by a Steering Committee which will consists of representatives from the project’s members as well as members of the developer community and industry stakeholders. An advisory board consisting of open source developers and respected community members will also be formed to help inform the Steering Committee.
While OpenSSL will probably be one of the first projects to receive funding due to the Heartbleed disaster, the CII is also considering supporting projects like ModSSL, PGP and OpenCryptolab.