Streamlining Drupal core decision-making

We've already made a number of process improvements to help accelerate Drupal core's development velocity. Today, I'd like to talk about how we can better streamline the Drupal core decision-making process.

The Drupal core queue is filled with extremely passionate, intelligent and determined individuals who always strive to solve problems in the best possible way. However, we do sometimes come to disagreements about the best way to approach a particular solution, and when two or more individuals fundamentally disagree, issues can sometimes turn into stalemates; or worse, turn ugly. When this happens, it saps strength from the core development team, and makes it difficult (and scary) for new contributors to engage.

Going forward, I'd like to propose the following workflow change to help un-stick issues where opinions seem deadlocked:

  1. Create a balanced issue summary at the top of the issue that reflects the current state and history of the discussion, and outlines the pros and cons of various options.
  2. Move the "Assigned to" field to "Dries". (Note that access to do this is restricted to those contributors listed in MAINTAINERS.txt; you can either ask one of them to do so on your behalf.)
  3. Once per week (barring travel or other things that might come up), I will go through this list and either make a decision myself, or delegate the decision to another contributor, along with a date for a decision to be made. If there is still not agreement by that date, the person delegated the responsibility will make what they feel is the best decision, and we'll move forward. If it's particularly contentious, we can tag it "revisit before release" and look at it again in November or so.

I hope that this process change will allow us to continue to make bold strides in Drupal 8, while giving dissenting opinions a chance to be heard.

Comments

Eaton (not verified):

I keep hitting the 'L' key but it appears I can't 'Like' this post hard enough. I'll be looking into that issue.

Until that's fixed, however, I'll just say that it's a great approach and one I think will help resolve some of our most difficult circular discussions. Some issues can afford to linger for months in brainstorming and idea-collection mode, but when a verdict is needed it's great to have a consistent process.

March 27, 2012
Mile23 (not verified):

I wanted to point out the d.o project rfay created after his DrupalCon talk on governance issues: Drupal Community Governance.

"This project was formed to work together on the Drupal community's governance process and structure."

Sadly, no git repository yet. :-)

March 28, 2012

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