Episode 147

Jan Ainali and the Foundation for Public Code


December 2nd, 2022

36 mins 42 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Jan Ainali


Richard Littauer | Justin Dorfman

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. On this episode, we have an amazing guest, Jan Ainali, who’s a steward at the Foundation for Public Code, where they develop tools, processes, and collecting best practices for community building. Earlier, he ran a consultancy called Open by Default and he was swept into the ‘open movement’ through Wikipedia editing and leading him to cofound the Swedish Wikimedia chapter and become chairman and later, CEO. Today, we’ll learn all the details about the Foundation for Public Code, the process of becoming a member, what sets them apart from others, and their Standard for Public Code that is for anyone who wants to prepare their code to be collaborated on. Also, Jan shares what’s he looking forward to in the next few months about the standard and the Foundation for Public Code. Download this episode now to learn much more!

[00:02:02] Jan tells us about the Foundation for Public Code, as well as how many member organizations it has.

[00:03:43] With only one member currently, we find out if Jan is trying to get others on to work with the foundation, he explains the process of becoming of member with them, and the team sizes that are directly working with them.

[00:07:02] We learn what sets apart the Foundation for Public Code from the other trans-provincial and trans-governmental organizations that are doing the work of InnerSource Commons but with politics. He also goes into the policies that have gone into code that he’s worked on.

[00:09:46] Wikimedia and Wikipedia have chapters, and Jan reveals how big his was, how many other chapters there are in the world, and the difference between them.

[00:11:15] Find out who Sverker Johansson is and what he did.

[00:13:12] Jan tells us more about the Standard for Public Code, what it is, how it applies, who wrote it, and we hear the 16 criteria for it.

[00:18:13] Jan explains the “must be in plain English” requirement and what the global efforts are for the Foundation for Public Code.

[00:20:13] We learn how Jan is making it beneficial for everyone to join in a way that helps them out as being super awesome and grow the network that way.

[00:21:02] Has Jan gotten any pushback from developers in other places?

[00:22:24] Jan tells us businesses he’s working with to help push this initiative forward.

[00:24:38] We hear if there’s a sign on process for getting people to use this standard, and Jan talks about the accreditation process.

[00:29:14] Richard asks Jan if he knows of other standards that are already in this space and what sets his apart from the others.

[00:30:32] Jan explains their level of standards, as well as what he’s most looking forward to in the next few months about the standard and the foundation.

[00:32:54] Find out where you can follow Jan on the web.


[00:03:19] “We really think if you collaborate with everyone, that’s better than to collaborate with just a few."

[00:07:22] “We only work with code bases with the public purpose where someone tries to put a policy into code. That’s where we’re a little bit narrower than others.”


  • [00:34:04] Justin’s spotlight is WeasyPrint. It’s open source and turns simple HTML pages into gorgeous PDF’s and open source.
  • [00:34:39] Richard’s spotlight is Sverker Johansson.
  • [00:35:10] Jan’s spotlight is Denny Vrandečić, first project manager at Wikidata, and right now working on Abstract Wikipedia.



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