In the summer, we organized the very first Drupal Governance Sprint. We sat down and discussed how to evolve Drupal's governance structure to support the Drupal community's continued growth. The result of that meeting was a proposal on how to evolve our governance. After discussing at length and formally chartering the first of these groups, the "Community Working Group" (CWG), we'd like to move on to Drupal.org governance.
One of these groups is the Drupal.org Software Working Group (DSWG). This group will work closely with the Drupal Association and the other working groups, along with incorporating broader community input, in order to develop and maintain a roadmap of features for Drupal.org. They will also be focused on establishing and maintaining processes that help expedite decision-making, in order to reduce the barriers to contribute to Drupal.org.
Here is a draft charter of the working group, drafted by webchick and myself, after running the general concept past a few of the Drupal Association staff and after discussing with the Drupal community in this issue. Before we officially launch this group, I would like to get your feedback. We'll iterate on the draft charter in approximately 3 weeks based on your input. Thanks!
Drupal.org Software Working Group Charter
The mission of the Drupal.org Software Working Group (DSWG) is to provide the tools and processes for the community to make Drupal.org an extraordinary experience for evaluators, site builders, and contributors alike, and a shining example of what Drupal can do.
The DSWG acts as a group to define the overall technical strategy for the Drupal.org properties, to empower teams responsible for individual sub-sites and portions of Drupal.org to build and maintain this vision, and to provide them best practices, guidance, and coordination to help expedite decision-making.
Scope / duties / responsibilities
The DSWG is responsible for the overall strategy, planning, architecture, development, and maintenance of the software (e.g. modules, themes, customizations) used by the Drupal.org websites. The DSWG employs a "federated model" consisting of independent teams with centralized coordination for different aspects of the Drupal.org websites.
DSWG appoints and empowers different teams, each responsible for a particular aspect of the Drupal.org websites (e.g. issue queue, a particular sub-site), with the aim to provide contributors, end users, and sponsors of Drupal.org a delightful experience that scales to fit their needs.
Each team has the authority to make decisions within their scope but the DSWG acts as a steering committee to the different teams. It provides overall guidance, collaboration among those teams, providing advice about best practices, strategic and technical direction, etc. The DSWG also works with the Drupal Association on budgeting related to each team's software needs.
The DSWG provides vision and direction for Drupal.org, and works with the community on the following aspects of the Drupal.org software:
- Team Leadership Creates and removes teams for each major area of the Drupal.org websites, which have authority to make software and feature decisions within their scope. The DSWG defines and appoints the leadership roles within each team, such as a technical lead, product owner, QA lead, etc.
- Ideation: Working with the different Drupal.org target audiences (e.g. contributors, evaluators, site builders, etc) to understand their needs and coordinate with the different teams on implementation.
- Planning: Collaborate with the Drupal community, the Drupal Association Board of Directors, and individual teams on maintaining an up-to-date plan for the Drupal.org websites that includes a prioritized feature roadmap, costs, schedule breakdown, deliverables, resource needs, and contingency plans.
- Architecture: Establish processes to ensure that we can efficiently make architectural decisions about the Drupal.org software, including those related to overall site architecture, choosing between different technical approaches, etc.
- Development and Maintenance: Provide guidance and processes to ensure the smooth running of the Drupal.org website, including: responsibility and accountability of the teams, performance, security (including roles/permissions on Drupal.org), upgrades, quality management, and sandbox environments.
Items specifically not within the scope of the DSWG’s duties:
- The DSWG, as well as its sub-teams, cannot make deployment decisions without coordination with the Drupal.org Infrastructure Working Group (DIWG).
- The DSWG, as well as its sub-teams, cannot make visual design changes to the Drupal.org websites without coordination with the Drupal.org Content Working Group (DCWG).
- The DSWG cannot change or extend its own charter.
The DSWG must establish a process that balances timely decision-making with involvement of a broad spectrum of the Drupal community. The DSWG should also work closely with all other working groups, as well as Drupal Association staff, in order to determine overall needs and priorities for Drupal.org.
The DSWG works within the budget provided by the Drupal Association, and presents a yearly plan with cost breakdown for Board approval.
Transparency and Appeals
The DSWG aims to be as transparent as possible by documenting its decisions publicly.
Individuals who do not agree with a given *.Drupal.org decision may escalate to the DSWG, or ultimately to the Drupal Association Boad of Directors and/or their designate(s). They will review the decision and can choose to either uphold or alter it. In the meantime, the decision stands.
The current members are (in no particular order):
Members are appointed by the Drupal Association Board of Directors and/or their designate(s).
The charter will be revised as needed. Any proposed charter revisions must be ratified by the Drupal Association Board of Directors and/or their designate(s) prior to acceptance into this charter.