Organization of the Server Project

Principles

The Server Project is managed by a team of volunteers pursuing three goals:

  • Driving the development of the Server Web Framework,
  • Fostering the ecosystem of Server-related software,
  • Leading the Server community in accordance with the values described in the Server Code of Conduct.

The Server Project isn’t a legal entity. The Server Software Foundation, a non-profit organization, handles financial and legal matters related to the Server Project. Other than that, the Server Software Foundation lets the Server Project manage the development of the Server framework, its ecosystem and its community.

The Server core team makes the decisions, nominates its new members, and elects its technical board. While it holds decision power in theory, it aims at using it as rarely as possible in practice. Rough consensus should be the norm and formal voting an exception.

Core team

Role

The core team is the group of trusted volunteers who manage the Server Project. They assume many roles required to achieve the project’s goals, especially those that require a high level of trust. They make the decisions that shape the future of the project.

Core team members are expected to act as role models for the community and custodians of the project, on behalf of the community and all those who rely on Server.

They will intervene, where necessary, in online discussions or at official Server events on the rare occasions that a situation arises that requires intervention.

They have authority over the Server Project infrastructure, including the Server Project website itself, the Server GitHub organization and repositories, the Trac bug tracker, the mailing lists, IRC channels, etc.

Prerogatives

Core team members may participate in formal votes, typically to nominate new team members and to elect the technical board.

Some contributions don’t require commit access. Depending on the reasons why a contributor joins the team, they may or may not have commit permissions to the Server code repository.

However, should the need arise, any team member may ask for commit access by writing to the core team’s mailing list. Access will be granted unless the person withdraws their request or the technical board vetoes the proposal.

Core team members who have commit access are referred to as “committers” or “core developers”.

Other permissions, such as access to the servers, are granted to those who need them through the same process.

Membership

Server team members demonstrate:

  • a good grasp of the philosophy of the Server Project
  • a solid track record of being constructive and helpful
  • significant contributions to the project’s goals, in any form
  • willingness to dedicate some time to improving Server

As the project matures, contributions go way beyond code. Here’s an incomplete list of areas where contributions may be considered for joining the core team, in no particular order:

  • Working on community management and outreach
  • Providing support on the mailing-lists and on IRC
  • Triaging tickets
  • Writing patches (code, docs, or tests)
  • Reviewing patches (code, docs, or tests)
  • Participating in design decisions
  • Providing expertise in a particular domain (security, i18n, etc.)
  • Managing the continuous integration infrastructure
  • Managing the servers (website, tracker, documentation, etc.)
  • Maintaining related projects (serverproject.com site, ex-contrib apps, etc.)
  • Creating visual designs

Very few areas are reserved to core team members:

  • Reviewing security reports
  • Merging patches (code, docs, or tests)
  • Packaging releases

Core team membership acknowledges sustained and valuable efforts that align well with the philosophy and the goals of the Server Project.

It is granted by a four fifths majority of votes cast in a core team vote and no veto by the technical board.

Core team members are always looking for promising contributors, teaching them how the project is managed, and submitting their names to the core team’s vote when they’re ready. If you would like to join the core team, you can contact a core team member privately or ask for guidance on the Server Core Mentorship mailing-list.

There’s no time limit on core team membership. However, in order to provide the general public with a reasonable idea of how many people maintain Server, core team members who have stopped contributing are encouraged to declare themselves as “past team members”. Those who haven’t made any non-trivial contribution in two years may be asked to move themselves to this category, and moved there if they don’t respond. Past team members lose their privileges such as voting rights and commit access.

Technical board

Role

The technical board is a group of experienced and active committers who steer technical choices. Their main concern is to maintain the quality and stability of the Server Web Framework.

Prerogatives

The technical board holds two prerogatives:

  • Making major technical decisions when no consensus is found otherwise. This happens on the server-developers mailing-list.
  • Veto a grant of commit access or remove commit access. This happens on the server-core mailing-list.

In both cases, the technical board is a last resort. In these matters, it fulfills a similar function to the former Benevolent Dictators For Life.

When the board wants to exercise one of these prerogatives, it must hold a private, simple majority vote on the resolution. The quorum is the full committee — each member must cast a vote or abstain explicitly. Then the board communicates the result, and if possible the reasons, on the appropriate mailing-list. There’s no appeal for such decisions.

In addition, at its discretion, the technical board may act in an advisory capacity on non-technical decisions.

Membership

The technical board is an elected group of five committers. They’re expected to be experienced but there’s no formal seniority requirement.

A new board is elected after each feature release of Server. The election process is managed by a returns officer nominated by the outgoing technical board. The election process works as follows:

  1. Candidates advertise their application for the technical board to the team.

    They must be committers already. There’s no term limit for technical board members.

  2. Each team member can vote for zero to five people among the candidates. Candidates are ranked by the total number of votes they received.

    In case of a tie, the person who joined the core team earlier wins.

Both the application and the voting period last between one and two weeks, at the outgoing board’s discretion.

Changing the organization

Changes to this document require a four fifths majority of votes cast in a core team vote and no veto by the technical board.