Process for adding or changing guidelines

This document describes the process we will use before merging a non trivial changeset in the guidelines directory. A non trivial changeset is one which is more than a spelling/grammar typo or reformatting change.

The guidelines are initially intended to be a working group draft document. Our intent is to move fairly quickly to get published draft guidelines so this process reflects a preference for efficiency while gathering consensus.

Review process

For trivial changes (as defined above) there is no minimum time that they must be proposed before merging. They must have at least one +1 vote other than the approver and no -1. Once this is true a working group core may merge the change.

For changes which add a new guideline or make substantial changes to an existing guideline reaching consensus is an explicit goal. To that end there is a well defined process to ensure that proposals receive adequate review by the working group, cross project liaisons, and the OpenStack community at large.

In the various stages of the review process (defined below) consensus means the changeset is in its near final form for at least two working days. Minor typo/formatting changes do not reset the counter. There must be at least four +1 votes and no -1 votes unless the concern related to the -1 vote has been discussed in an API WG meeting. Once the matter has been discussed there should be no more than 20% of votes cast as -1 votes.

Discussion on Gerrit should be encouraged as the primary response. When discussion on IRC (in meetings or otherwise) is required that discussion should be summarized back to Gerrit.

That process is:

  1. Working group members should review proposed guideline changes and reach consensus.

  2. When consensus is reached within the group the guideline should be marked as frozen and cross project liaisons (CPLs) should be invited to review the guideline. There is an script to do this. See Cross-Project Liaisons for more information.

    A proposal can be frozen by exactly one core reviewer by setting Code-Review +2. Only the core reviewer responsible for freezing the proposal should +2 it. All other core reviewers should vote with at most a +1 when reviewing.

  3. The CPLs have one week to review the proposal. If there are no reviews lazy consensus is assumed. If there is a -1 review by a CPL that requires an update to the changeset, it does not reset the 1 week the CPLs have to review it.

  4. When there is consensus from the CPLs, the proposal may be merged.

    To avoid opportunities for miscommunication, the core working group member who froze the changeset should be responsible for merging it. If that core is unavailable for enough time to cause a delay then the responsibility falls to one of the others cores.

    An email should be sent to the openstack-dev mailing list containing the links to all of the guidelines that have recently merged. The finalized guidelines should be buffered such that a maximum of one announcement email is sent per week.

If at any time during this process there is difficulty reaching consensus or an apparent lack of information or input, additional input should be sought from the rest of the community. Two ways to do this include (preferring email):

  1. The openstack-dev mailing list. An email may be sent to the openstack-dev mailing list with the subject “[all][api] New API Guidelines Ready for Cross Project Review”. The email should contain links to the guidelines that need additional input.
  2. The Cross Project Meeting. An agenda item should be added to the Cross Project Meeting which indicates need for discussion. Links to the guidelines that need additional input should be provided. When this is done an API WG member must attend the meeting to highlight the agenda item.

Merged guidelines comprise a draft of the official guidelines. Before an official version of the guidelines can be released the following has to occur:

  • An 80% (of votes cast) majority vote on the document as a whole with one vote per OpenStack PTL (or delegate).
  • Reviewed and approved by the TC. The API WG is a delegated group from the TC so the TC ultimately get final say on what the working group are able to release.

Proposing a new guideline

When proposing a new guideline you should start by using the guideline template to generate the basic structure. Copy the template.rst file to the guidelines directory with a filename reflecting your new guideline (for example guidelines/errors.rst), and then follow the instructions within the template. Once complete you should follow the developer workflow and the previously stated review process to have your guideline accepted.

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