RFC process

Many changes, including bug fixes and documentation improvements can be implemented and reviewed via the normal GitHub pull request workflow.

Some changes though are "substantial", and we ask that these be put through a bit of a design process and produce a consensus among the CivicTheme core team.

The "RFC" (request for comments) process is intended to provide a consistent and controlled path for new features to enter the project.

When to follow this process

You should consider using this process if you intend to make "substantial" changes to CivicTheme or its documentation. Some examples that would benefit from an RFC are:

  • A new feature that creates new API surface area, and would require a feature flag if introduced.

  • The removal of features that already shipped as part of the release channel.

  • The introduction of new idiomatic usage or conventions, even if they do not include code changes to CivicTheme itself.

  • Introducing new core packages

The RFC process is a great opportunity to get more eyeballs on your proposal before it becomes a part of a released version of CivicTheme. Quite often, even proposals that seem "obvious" can be significantly improved once a wider group of interested people have a chance to weigh in.

The RFC process can also be helpful to encourage discussions about a proposed feature as it is being designed, and incorporate important constraints into the design while it's easier to change, before the design has been fully implemented.

Some changes do not require an RFC:

  • Rephrasing, reorganizing or refactoring

  • Addition or removal of warnings

  • Additions that strictly improve objective, numerical quality criteria (speedup, better browser support)

  • Additions only likely to be noticed by other implementors of CivicTheme, invisible to users of CivicTheme.

What the process is

In short, to get a major feature added to CivicTheme, one usually creates an issue that will be labeled with RFC when approved by core team. At that point the RFC is 'active' and may be implemented with the goal of eventual inclusion into CivicTheme.

The RFC life-cycle

Once an RFC becomes active, then authors may implement it and submit the feature as a pull request to the CivicTheme repo. Becoming 'active' is not a rubber stamp, and in particular still does not mean the feature will ultimately be merged; it does mean that the core team has agreed to it in principle and are amenable to merging it.

Furthermore, the fact that a given RFC has been accepted and is 'active' implies nothing about what priority is assigned to its implementation, nor whether anybody is currently working on it.

Implementing an RFC

The author of an RFC is not obligated to implement it. Of course, the RFC author (like any other developer) is welcome to post an implementation for review after the RFC has been accepted.

If you are interested in working on the implementation for an 'active' RFC, but cannot determine if someone else is already working on it, feel free to ask (e.g. by leaving a comment on the associated issue).

Reviewing RFCs

Each week the team will attempt to review some set of open RFC pull requests.

We try to make sure that any RFC that we accept is accepted at the weekly team meeting. Every accepted feature should have a core team champion, who will represent the feature and its progress.

CivicTheme's RFC process owes its inspiration to the React RFC process, Yarn RFC process, Rust RFC process, and Ember RFC process

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