OpenFOAM is mature, open source software for computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which is trusted by many thousands of engineers and scientists in industry and academia worldwide. Our commitment to OpenFOAM sustainability enables OpenFOAM to evolve to meet critical needs of the users:
- Availability: can I get hold of the code?
- Usability: can I use it effectively?
- Robustness: does it produce reliable results?
- Extensibility: can I customise it for my specific needs?
The maintenance work required to meet the critical needs of users is as follows.
- Publishing: including code management, compilation, packaging (e.g. for Ubuntu, other Linux, Windows, macOS), download, licensing, documentation, cloud deployment and promotion (e.g. newsletter, social media).
- Repair: maintaining a tracking system for users to report issues; resolving issues promptly; publishing updated software to the public development line and packaging it for easy installation.
- Redesign: reducing complexity to a sustainable level by modifying code interfaces, refactoring code, reducing duplication and improving functionality.
The cost of maintenance is € 250k per year. The OpenFOAM Foundation offers Maintenance Plans for organisations to contribute to this cost. There are three levels of Plan: Gold (€ 20k per year); Silver (€ 5k); and, Bronze (€ 1k). The work funds for a full-time team of core developers with combined skills in software design, programming, numerics, science and engineering, mainly at CFD Direct (including OpenFOAM’s creator, Henry Weller).
The OpenFOAM Hub
The OpenFOAM Hub is a team collaboration and messaging platform for the contributors and funders of OpenFOAM. The Hub is the platform for decision-making for OpenFOAM with levels of access based on contribution and/or funding (see below), within three teams:
- Architecture Team, for Gold funders and core developers: responsible for major (re-)design decisions, e.g. library redesign.
- Functionality Team for Silver funders and developers (and above): responsible for new applications, models, tools, etc.
- Patch Team for Bronze funders and patch contributors (and above): responsible for patches, e.g. bug fixes, model options, etc.
The funders and contributors of OpenFOAM decide what happens to the software from within the Hub. If you do not fund or contribute, you can still use the software but have no say in how it evolves over successive releases.