CII Best Practices Badge Program Announces Higher-level Certification and Expanded Language Support

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In May last year the CII launched it’s Best Practices Badge program, a qualitative self-assessment approach that is available online, the CII Best Practices Badge program allows open source projects to grade themselves against a set of best practices for open source development.

Today we are pleased to announce the next stage of the Best Practice Badge program, which adds two major upgrades to the original program: higher-level certification and internationalisation.

Since formally launching 13 months ago, more than 850 projects have signed up for the process, requiring project maintainers to answer an extensive questionnaire about their development process and explain how they meet the 60+ criteria. While this is a self-assessment process that does not mean that it is a low bar; so far about 10 percent have passed while many projects are making changes to allow them to meet the requirements. Projects that have received their badges so far include GitLab, Hyperledger Fabric, Linux, NTPSec, Node.js, OPNFV, OpenBlox, OpenSSL, OpenStack, and Zephyr. 

The below chart shows the number of projects working toward earning a badge and indicates meaningful progress across the board. More CII Best Practices Badges growth and pass rate statistics can be found here.

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It has always been our intention to use the program to push projects to raise their own standards and, to that end, today we are launching two new badges for projects that meet these higher standards. In addition to the original “Passing” badge, we are adding enhanced “Silver” and “Gold” badges. The new criteria for badges for silver and gold levels build on the existing criteria for the "Passing" level.

The new levels raise the bar in a number of areas and are meant to help identify projects that are not only highly committed to improving the quality and security of their code, but are also mindful and proactive with other success factors. For developers, the badges signal which projects are well-organized and easy to participate in, especially for newcomers. For consumers, the changes will ease the on ramp by requiring quick start guides, for example. While criteria that calls for even more rigorous development best practices will instill increased confidence with businesses leveraging open source. In fact, meeting the new criteria especially at the Gold level, will likely not be achievable by numerous small and single-organization projects.

To earn a silver badge, for example, projects are now required to adopt a code of conduct, clearly define their governance model, upgrade crypto_weaknesses and use at least one static analysis tool to look for common vulnerabilities in the analyzed language or environment, if possible.

The other change that we are excited to announce is internationalisation. To broaden the program’s reach and make it easier for projects around the world to participate in the Best Practice Badge program we have updated the Badge application to support multiple languages. We are launching the site with full Chinese and French language support today and German, Russian and Japanese in progress. We would especially like to thank CII member company Huawei for their generous support of the translation into Chinese and Yannick Moy for hard work translating the site into French.

 As with the original work, David Wheeler, project leader at the Institute for Defense Analyses, did the hard work to expand the program. We continue to welcome community feedback, especially on the translation work. To get involved, please join the cii-badges mailing list and track us on GitHub at coreinfrastructure/best-practices-badge. Or course, we also encourage projects to begin the CII Best Practices Badge application process.

For those attending LinuxCon | ContainerCon | CloudOpen China, CII Program Director Marcus Streets is presenting “The Core Infrastructure Initiative: Its First Three Years and Onwards to the Future” on June 20th. He will also share more on these new developments and explain how you can apply for a badge for your free software project.