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HUBzero Foundation

The HUBzero Foundation is a community-based, non-profit organization that promotes the use of HUBzero and ensures ongoing sustainability of the core software.


What’s the purpose of the HUBzero Foundation?

To disseminate the HUBzero software and promote widespread adoption, and to coordinate software contributions coming from the community. Participants purchase support services from the Foundation, and the resulting revenue funds services for the community.

How do we engage the HUBzero Foundation?

Any academic institution, non-profit organization, government agency, or corporation can engage the HUBzero Foundation for training, development, and other support services after signing the Foundation participation agreement. Support must be purchased in increments of 20 hours. The more support that is purchased within an 18 month period, the cheaper it becomes to purchase additional support packs.

Number of Service Packs (20 hours) Support Cost per hour Discount Cost per Service Pack
First pack $250 0 $5,000
Second pack $225 10% $4,500
Packs 3-4 $200 20% $4,000
Packs 5-8 $175 30% $3,500
Packs 9-16 $150 40% $3,000
Packs 17-32 $125 50% $2,500
Packs 33-64 $100 60% $2,000
All subsequent packs $85 66% $1,700

For example, a group needing 80 hours of support must purchase 4 support packs, for a total of $17,500. If a group is not sure how much support they need, they can start by purchasing one pack at $5,000. When they need more support, they can purchase another at $4,500, and another at $4,000. The number of packs purchased in the preceding 18 months determines the price of the next pack purchased.

Each group can designate any number of contacts allowed to access support hours. Each contact person will use an interface on HUBzero.org to initiate their request. During normal business hours, each request will start as a chat session; after normal business hours, queries will be submitted to a queue and responded to the next business day. The follow-up response may involve an email, a phone call, or a video chat. Each request will debit a minimum of ¼ hour from the support pack.

A support request can be a simple question, a request for training, a bug fix, or a request for development. Whenever a request requires additional support beyond the first ¼ hour, the contact person will be given an estimate of effort and will have to approve the additional work.

Do we have to join the Foundation to use the HUBzero software?

No. HUBzero is available as free open source software, and anyone can use the software under the LGPLv3 license.

What does the Foundation do with the money?

Any revenue generated by the Foundation is plowed back into activities supporting the HUBzero software and its user community. In keeping with its outreach mission, the Foundation sponsors community events, such as the annual HUBbub Conference and Hub Hero Challenge events. The Foundation also requires funds to manage finances and to integrate contributed software into the core HUBzero release.

Are there any additional benefits of participation?

Yes. In addition to discounted rates for support, participating organizations also get discounted admission to the annual HUBbub Conference for all members of their organization. Participating organizations are also listed on the hubzero.org web site, and they can use this status as a point of pride in proposals for funded research since it shows they have a direct line to support and a closer relationship with HUBzero than others in the open source community.

What if we don’t use our hours?

Support packs expire after 12 months of purchase and are not refundable. Organizations are encouraged to purchase only what they need as they need it, and to use those hours before they expire. Any support hours that are not used can be thought of as a charitable contribution, since the money goes to support the HUBzero community.

Who creates, supports, and maintains the HUBzero software?

HUBzero was originally created by a team at Purdue University with support from the National Science Foundation and Purdue internal funding. Ongoing development is supported primarily from sponsored research projects, which fund both new development and the operation of individual hubs. The HUBzero user community can contribute bug fixes, language translation files, new components, and other enhancements. The HUBzero Foundation handles the integration of new features into the HUBzero open source release.

Who determines the HUBzero Software Roadmap?

The Foundation depends on contributions from sponsored research projects that are adapting HUBzero to support new communities. The annual HUBbub Conference provides a venue for the HUBzero community to present new developments and discuss future directions. The HUBzero Foundation works to evaluate contributions from the community and integrate software that meets documented coding conventions and security standards.

Who owns the copyright for the HUBzero software?

The HUBzero software is copyrighted by the HUBzero Foundation and managed by the HUBzero development team at Purdue University.

What is the HUBzero Foundation?

The HUBzero Foundation is an independent, non-profit, limited liability corporation that supports the administration of the HUBzero Foundation and ensures the ongoing sustainability of the HUBzero core software. The HUBzero Foundation owns the copyright of the HUBzero core distribution.

Who runs the HUBzero Foundation?

The HUBzero Foundation is managed by Purdue University as the lead institution.

How do we contribute software to HUBzero?

The HUBzero Foundation accepts bug fixes and core patches. Such contributions are reviewed by Foundation technical staff, and if accepted, they will become part of the HUBzero core distribution. When contributions are offered to the HUBzero Foundation, the copyright for the software must be reassigned to the HUBzero Foundation so that the changes can be managed as an indistinguishable part of the core distribution.

The HUBzero Foundation plans to establish a Component Marketplace on the hubzero.org site, for other sorts of contributions not integrated into the core release, where users can post software contributions to share with the community. Such contributions will be owned, licensed, and maintained by their original author; the HUBzero Foundation will merely facilitate sharing and reuse. Anyone will be allowed to post such components in the marketplace, and anyone will be able to post ratings and reviews to help other users judge the quality of posted components.

Do all contributions become part of the core HUBzero release?

No. HUBzero is based on a modular Model-View-Controller architecture, so components can be posted in the HUBzero Marketplace or on other web sites to share with the community—without becoming part of the HUBzero core distribution. When changes are made to files in the HUBzero core distribution, however, those changes are hard to maintain. It is easier if such patches are contributed and maintained as part of the core. The copyright for such patches must be reassigned to the HUBzero Foundation, and after being reviewed and accepted by the Foundation, they can become a standard part of the HUBzero core distribution.

Are there standards for HUBzero software contributions?

The HUBzero Foundation has established coding conventions and guidelines for developing HUBzero components. Core patches and components must adhere to the guidelines, and are reviewed by the Foundation team before being incorporated into the core distribution. Contributions that do not meet the standards may be tweaked or rewritten as needed, or may be accepted pending required changes. Contributions to the open marketplace may still be posted for others to use, but are unlikely to get good ratings. Any contributions for either the core or the Marketplace that are known to contain security vulnerabilities may be rejected entirely.

What if we don’t want to contribute software to HUBzero?

The terms of the LGPLv3 license do not require that you contribute any new features, tools, or components to the HUBzero project. You are allowed to treat HUBzero as a “library” and create your own simulation tools, middleware changes, and web components on top of it. We hope that you’ll choose to post such improvements in the marketplace or donate them to the HUBzero Foundation, but your intellectual property is yours to keep, and you are not required to make any such donations.

However, if you make a change to any of the existing core distribution files and subsequently redistribute your derived work, the terms of the LGPLv3 license say that you must post your code as open source under the same LGPLv3 terms. In other words, if you modify and redistribute the HUBzero core, you must post your code for everyone else to see. You may choose to post the code on your own web site, but we encourage people to submit such changes back to the hubzero.org site, so they can be considered for integration into the core. If you’ve fixed a bug, we may as well incorporate that fix for everyone else and maintain the HUBzero core as one consistent software package.

Copyright 2014 HUBzero Foundation, LLC. HUBzero® is a registered trademark of the HUBzero Foundation, LLC.