I was pondering about an idea. Currently, the RFC is merged, then it is implemented, bakes there with a feature flag for a while and then gets stabilized (unless some problem is found on the road). While trying it out is recommended, it is not mandated and the feature could be stabilized without anyone actually using it, at least in theory. To forestall questions, I do have trust in the core team members, they do a great job but they are still humans and are prone to psychological effects/biases like WYSIATI.
So the idea is, before stabilizing a feature, would it make sense to mandate at least two (for some value of two) people posting a „I’ve tried it, it greatly improved my code/allowed me to do something I couldn’t before, it’s been great and here’s the code/commit: “ to the tracking issue. No more than one would count from the RFC authors. It would actually require a publicly visible code, so others could see how it looks like.
This would be a variation of the original RFC’s requirement for two independent implementation before the RFC moves from experimental to draft.
What I think this would bring:
- Raising the bar for features nobody cares enough to actually put the
featureflag into their code to even try out. That would signify the feature is not really needed even if it looks nice, so maybe it’s not worth having it. The really important ones should not be hindered by this, I’d expect these would get a lot of such posts/links. I know a lot of unneeded features/ideas are shot down early, but if one slips through, it would be good to have a mechanism to catch it too.
- A place with an overview of the feedback would be easily available. I guess someone (the author?) tracks feedback from various places before it gets stabilized, but if I wanted to see what people thought about feature X before it got stabilized or for what I could actually use it, I’d have hard time finding it. Having it all there at one place helps to get more fact-driven decisions when deciding about stabilizing it too, instead of relying on impression from various forums, IRCs, gitters over the time.
- It would invite experimenting and sharing the findings. If I knew the feature needed these two sign-off comments, I’d be more inclined to actually take the time to use it in my code and to send the comment ‒ even if it turned out to be „I’ve tried it, and, well, no real improvement came out of it, so I removed it“.
I do see some downsides too, though:
- It makes the RFC more formal and heavy-weight.
- How to advertise the need of (new) „I’ve tried it“ comments?
What do you think of it? Does it make some sense (in this or some modified form)?