Core Contributor Governance questions

Hi all,

In this post, I suggested a BOF (birds of a feather - ie, open discussion) at the conference to discuss Governance topics

As a first step towards both continuing the discussion and making measurable progress towards a unified governance notion, I’ve posted the notes from the BOF discussion here. I’m sure I’ve missed some stuff, so I’d love it if you could take a spin through it and add any thoughts you may have, or things we discussed that I missed. The document is in comment mode only - you may highlight text and add comments, or directly edit the doc where your edits will appear as suggestions for me to review.

Two action items came out of this discussion which I am picking up soon:

  1. Action item (Sarina): Survey of Core Contributors about what they’re counting as CC work, to be aggregated and presented to Declaration of Commitment signatories for agreement.
  2. Action item (Sarina): get signatories together (async consensus on what is CC work, and sync consensus on what overall commitment should be given what CC work is) to discuss this commitment

I would welcome ideas on the best way to approach the first action item. Is there a way of collaborating on the question of “what is CC work” that allows all CCs to input what they consider is/isn’t, and also discussion on ones where there’s split opinion?

Thanks everyone again for this discussion and in advance for your further consideration of governance topics :slight_smile: I really enjoy this community for its open, civil, and productive conversations.


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@sarina Thanks for this! :+1:

Maybe we could start by commenting on what we think should be considered within the scope? We can review the detail of where we put the line, but it might help to agree on some overall principles?

The definition for what constitutes “core contributor work” that I’ve used so far is whether it matches the priorities of the Open edX project. A further refinement on this could be whether work is part of the common roadmap – ie using some type of an “accepted” status on roadmap tickets. And who could decide on this status change of roadmap items? Imho it should be the doers, ie the core contributors as a group – for edge cases where someone has an objection, that could be an individual vote?

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Thank you @sarina , for posting these notes, and for leading the BoF and following up here.

A survey is fine, but is this really sensitive information that needs to be taken privately? I’m ok if people feel this way, but I’d like to think that if people have a difference of opinion about what counts and what doesn’t, then we can resolve it openly and move forward – it doesn’t have to be retroactive or drastic.

From the BoF discussion, I think some differences of opinion may arise because of the differing nature of our companies and their different focuses. For instance, tCRIL is currently 100% focused on Open edX, which to my mind means that all of your work is “core contributor”. Similarly, the edX/2U people who are working on open source initiatives that the community needs/wants are also “core contributing”. OpenCraft does internal work which isn’t mostly not CC, and client-specific work which can sometimes count if it ends up feeding a community initiative, and client-specific work that definitely isn’t CC, but our definitions don’t necessarily line up with the community’s.

^ this seems like a good start.

I wanted to note that because OpenCraft is all contractors, we’re used to measuring our hours exactly for billing purposes. And so I get how it’s unreasonable to expect everyone else to adhere to this kind of granularity. Rough estimates should be accepted too.

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To follow-up on this topic, I’ve formalized a proposal for defining what should be considered as core contributor work, and be counted against the commitment made by each core contributor’s organization. Here is the current draft, up for review:

Please review and comment, so we can establish a shared definition – especially if you are a core contributor yourself, thinking of becoming one, or one of the decision-makers at organizations that depend on the Open edX project. CC @Felipe @COTOHA @jdavis @pdpinch @cabralpedrofccn @sambapete @Dean @Zia_Fazal @natea @e0d @regis

Thank you!

Basing Core Contributors work on tickets or pull requests may be fine for code contributors, but this may be hard for Core Contributors in the translation or marketing groups.