I’m very excited to announce the formation of the Governance working group, an offspring of the Core team. The high-level goal of the group is making the workings of the Rust project more predictable and transparent. The working group will examine, document, and propose improvements to some of the policies and procedures that we use to run the project. To that end, the Governance WG will take multiple viewpoints and investigate our current modes of working under the perspective of community members and project members alike. Our aim is to make the project more transparent and also make it easier for interested community members to give effective feedback and stay close to the project.
With now close to 5000 lifetime contributors and over 100 project members, the Rust project has grown vastly over the recent years, now making it one of the larger FOSS projects. Some of our methods have experimentally evolved within the working groups and teams over the recent years, with good and bad results. Others remain unchanged, but start showing cracks. There is no denying that our growth is currently capped mainly by organisational issues. Still, growth is a good problem to have and we should take great care to keep or re-establish everything that got us here.
The Governance WG intends to start small. Taking up the popular theme from Chris Evans’ popular Rust 2018 post: our goal is to take some time figuring out what took damage and what’s broken. We will staff this initial team with with people that know their way around the project and its workings, both from the inside and the outside. They will identify good first tasks and map out the current state, to then order them by ease of implementation, urgency and impact.
Following that, we plan to set up topical subgroups for that will be regularly set up and torn down. These groups can then be open for direct contribution. If you want to be involved, please check out the last section of this post.
We’ll post the initial members of the team here as soon as they have all confirmed.
Speed of change
Organisational change cannot be forced quickly: as with every behavioural change, people need to buy into the change and then also apply it. Wanting too many things at once will lead to failure.
To that end, we want to present a short-term roadmap and the first task groups by the end of March. For this roadmap, we will identify things that can or cannot be worked on in parallel and set goals for their implementation.
The aim is to have solid, community-visible and sustainable changes soon. Also, a measured pace makes it easier for the wider community to follow up and give feedback.
Keep the strengths
One of the Rust project’s current strengths is that it allows teams to find their own workflows. Processes are rarely a “one size fits all” sort of thing. We like to see this working group working with the teams it is trying to help, studying what they do, proposing experiments, and synthesizing best practices and facilitate cross-team communication and exchange.
Rust has a culture of documentation and we feel that it is lacking on the Governance side. I want to use this opportunity to move beyond this state and start making it more traceable to community members what happens in and around the Rust project.
Want to get involved?
We’d love your help! We’ll be announcing a first meeting soon kick things off, and try to settle for periodic meetings and topical meetings after that. We will also soon (preferably beginning next month) set up a way to be involved in topic matters or in the overarching governance.
Also, as always, feel free to post here!