All projects hosted by the Foundation initially land in incubating state, regardless of their size or level of maturity. Mature projects may request activation relatively quickly of course, at least compared to projects that are starting from scratch; there are no expectations or requirements for how long projects incubate, provided they are being actively developed.
The objectives of incubation are to allow the project team to form in the open, figure out their collaborative processes, and start to improve the quality of the code towards meeting the activation criteria. By providing potential consumers of the software with a clear sign that the project is under construction, the project team can also focus on innovation, unburdened by support requests, backwards compatibility concerns, etc.
Once established, incubating projects are expected to prioritise some or all of the following activities, in approximately this order:
- Rapid experimentation e.g. with different technical designs, deployment architectures, platforms & capabilities etc.
- Identification of a preferred technical design.
- Selection and adoption of an appropriate SDLC and supporting project infrastructure services. The hosting Program's PMC will be reviewing these during activation.
- Construction of an implementation timeline or add to the Program Roadmap
- Development and testing.
The ultimate goal being to meet or exceed the requirements for activation, and thereby be ready for promotion to Active status. To help support this, the Foundation encourages the thoughtful adoption of a variety of project infrastructure services; our experience has been that these services greatly expedite the creation of high quality, secure and compliant open source projects.
Foundation-hosted projects are expected to provide a clear indication to visitors that they are incubating. To this end, the Foundation provides a badge that should be displayed at the top of the project's root-level README.md file, using the following Markdown:
[![FINOS - Incubating](https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/finos/contrib-toolbox@master/images/badge-incubating.svg)](https://finosfoundation.atlassian.net/wiki/display/FINOS/Incubating)
This will appear as follows:
and when clicked will navigate to this page.