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Meetup Recap: NGINX’s Commitments to the Open Source Community

Shawn Wormke Thumbnail
Shawn Wormke
Published February 13, 2024

Last week, we hosted the NGINX community’s first San Jose, California meetup since the outbreak of COVID-19. It was great to see our Bay Area open source community in person and hear from our presenters.

After an introduction by F5 NGINX General Manager Shawn Wormke, NGINX CTO and Co-Founder Maxim Konovalov detailed NGINX’s history – from the project’s “dark ages” through recent events. Building on that history, we looked to the future. Specifically, Principal Engineer Oscar Spencer and Principal Technical Product Manager Timo Stark covered the exciting new technology WebAssembly and how it can be used to solve complex problems securely and efficiently. Timo also gave us an overview of NGINX JavaScript (njs), breaking down its architecture and demonstrating ways it can solve many of today’s intricate application scenarios.

Above all, the highlight of the meetup was our renewed, shared set of commitments to NGINX’s open source community.

Our goal at NGINX is to continue to be an open source standard, similar to OpenSSL and Linux. Our open source projects are sponsored by F5 and, up until now, have been largely supported by paid employees of F5 with limited contributions from the community. While this has served our projects well, we believe that long-term success hinges on engaging a much larger and diverse community of contributors. Growing our open source community ensures that the best ideas are driving innovation, as we strive to solve complex problems with modern applications.

To achieve this goal, we are making the following commitments that will guarantee the longevity, transparency, and impact of our open source projects:

  • We will be open, consistent, transparent, and fair in our acceptance of contributions.
  • We will continue to enhance and open source new projects that move technology forward.
  • We will continue to offer projects under OSI-approved software licenses.
  • We will not remove and commercialize existing projects or features.
  • We will not impose limits on the use of our projects.

With these commitments, we hope that our projects will gain more community contributions, eventually leading to maintainers and core members outside of F5.

However, these commitments do present a pivotal change to our ways of working. For many of our projects that have a small number of contributors, this change will be straightforward. For our flagship NGINX proxy, with its long history and track record of excellence, these changes will take some careful planning. We want to be sensitive to this by ensuring plenty of notice to our community, so they may adopt and adjust to these changes with little to no disruption.

We are very excited about these commitments and their positive impact on our community. We’re also looking forward to opportunities for more meetups in the future! In the meantime, stay tuned for additional information and detailed timelines on this transition at nginx.org.


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