CNCF relaxes Sandbox process, welcomes new Incubating project

CNCF sandbox

With the CNCF becoming the home of more and more cloud-native projects, the foundation has come up with a slightly reworked sandbox process, taking a bit of strain off its Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) and simplifying the submission process.

Instead of opening a new GitHub issue when looking to join the Sandbox, which had a habit of being a bit hard to review, proposing parties will have to fill in a form. The latter will ask for links to the project repository, roadmap, contribution guidelines and code of conduct. Apart from that the project will need to provide a short description of how it fits into the cloud native space, as well as a comparison with similar projects, should there be any.

A TOC sponsor bearing witness to the project’s chances of success and project presentations for sandbox assessment aren’t really needed anymore, which is hoped to free up TOC member’s schedules more. This in turn is meant to give them additional time to focus on projects trying to move into the incubator or graduation phase. 

Submissions are planned to be regularly reviewed and voted upon, taking into account the project’s fit into the CNCF, its goals, and the general trajectory in terms of governance and vendor-neutrality. A majority vote then decides whether a project makes it into the sandbox or not, though rejected projects have a chance to apply again after six month, should there be no feedback to the contrary.

Applicants will also have to acknowledge that their project’s license needs to comply with the CNCF IP policy and that they’ll be giving up project trademarks and accounts if accepted. The latter recently made its way into open source aficionado’s consciousness again, with Google transferring service mesh Istio’s trademarks to the newly founded Open Usage Commons. The move has destroyed hopes Istio would make its way into the CNCF any time soon – something many would have deemed fitting given its close relationship to the Envoy proxy project.

In related news, fans of the Operator Framework can now celebrate the approval of their project for the CNCF Incubator. The project provides a toolkit for managing and developing Kubernetes applications following the Operator design pattern released by CoreOS.

The Operator Framework’s admission to the incubator is meant to signal its alignment with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s technical interests amongst other things. The new vendor neutral home also looks to help with governance, outreach, and marketing.

Besides trying to tick some more boxes on the way to graduation, in the coming months the project plans a simplification of API surfaces, work on private Operator catalogues and taking up a new bundle format. The SDK will also see alignment with some upstream tools and get a refactored testing tool.