Two weeks ago I announced here on Labs that we were committed to an Open Governance model for Qt and related projects. I have read all the comments posted on the blog and those sent to me by email. I even had the chance to meet Robin Burchell in person and we had a very nice chat about the process, and the issues we're facing. He also had some constructive suggestions.
In the meantime, we've begun to try and address some of the low-hanging fruits I referred to. Since last week, the Qt repositories on Gitorious are synchronised at a 59-minute delay, instead of 12 hours (that is, every 15 minutes we push what the internal repositories had 59 minutes prior). The delay will remain for the time being, as a measure of safety, but we'll revisit later the time to see if we can reduce it further.
I've also begun asking my colleagues about moving all of our internal and non-confidential development discussions to the open. The result has been very positive so far. For example, the Mobility programme decided to engage the MeeGo community directly in the open. Of course, Qt Creator has had its open mailing list for over a year and a half. As for Qt, we're setting up the infrastructure, and discussing with the team working on the Qt Developer Network to see if we can reuse theirs.
What's next, you ask? Well, the next step is to get started on discussing the Open Governance itself. For that, we've set up a mailing list server and a wiki:
I have already subscribed to the mailing list and I've urged my colleagues and friends to do the same. In a couple of days, I'll start the discussion by posting some ideas we've been toying around internally. The delay is just to ensure that interested people have had the time to subscribe.
As the discussion goes by, we'll record decisions and consensus on the wiki, as well as items that we haven't had the time to discuss, but we still need to address. This is to try and avoid having anything fall through the cracks -- though of course it should be understood that there will be scenarios we won't think of.
A non-exhaustive list of what I expect to see discussed there is as follows:
The lifetime of a patch: from "code written" to "accepted in the master repository"
The decision-making model for accepting or rejecting contributions
The tools that will support us in that process
Release management: how often do we release Qt, who decides what's in it, when we're ready, etc.
QA management: what kind of testing will be done, on which platforms and who is responsible for them
Dealing with unexpected situations
Bootstrapping of the model: how we will divide the responsibilities initially and who will first occupy the positions
Like I said, some of these aspects we've already begun thinking of. Some of them we've been doing that for years. Others we're only beginning to understand the impact of Open Governance. And of course there are things we haven't thought of, so we're waiting for your contribution on them.
I'm personally expecting a couple of brilliant ideas to be put forth to solve some of the problems we're facing :-)