Decision Making

All Contributors are encouraged to participate in decisions, but the decision itself is made by those that have Committer status in the Project. In other words, the Project is a Minimum Threshold Meritocracy.

Any subscriber to the list may vote on any issue or action item. However, the only binding votes are those cast by a Committer. If the vote is about a change to the source code or documentation and the primary uthor is a Contributor and not a Committer, the primary author of whatis being changed may also cast a binding vote on that issue.

The act of voting carries certain obligations. Voting members are not only stating their opinion, they are also agreeing to help do the work.

Each vote can be made in one of three flavors:

+1 "Yes," "Agree," or "the action should be performed."
On some issues this is only binding if the voter has tested the action on their own system(s).
+/-0 "Abstain," "no opinion".
An abstention may have detrimental effects if too many people abstain.
-1 "No."
On issues where consensus is required, this vote counts as a veto. All vetos must contain an explanation of why the veto is appropriate. Vetos with no explanation are void. No veto can be overruled. If you disagree with the veto, you should lobby the person who cast the veto. Voters intending to veto an action item should make their opinions known to the group immediately so that the problem can be remedied as early as possible.

An action requiring consensus approval must receive at least 3 binding +1 votes and no binding vetos. An action requiring majority approval must receive at least 3 binding +1 votes and more +1 votes than -1 votes. All other action items are considered to have lazy approval until somebody votes -1, after which point they are decided by either consensus or majority vote, depending on the type of action item.

Action Items

All decisions revolve around Action Items. Action Items consist of the following:

  • Long Term Plans
  • Short Term Plans
  • Release Plan
  • Release Testing
  • Showstoppers
  • Product Changes

Long Term Plans

Long term plans are simply announcements that group members are working on particular issues related to the Project. These are not voted on, but Committers who do not agree with a particular plan, or think that an alternative plan would be better, are obligated to inform the group of their feelings.

Short Term Plans

Short term plans are announcements that a volunteer is working on a particular set of documentation or code files with the implication that other volunteers should avoid them or try to coordinate their changes.

Release Plan

A release plan is used to keep all volunteers aware of when a release is desired, who will be the release manager, when the repository will be frozen to create a release, and other assorted information to keep volunteers from tripping over each other. Lazy majority decides each issue in a release plan.

Release Testing

After a new release is built, it must be tested before being released to the public. Majority approval is required before the release can be made.


Showstoppers are issues that require a fix be in place before the next public release. They are listed in the status file in order to focus special attention on these problems. An issue becomes a showstopper when it is listed as such in the status file and remains so by lazy consensus.

Product Changes

Changes to the products of the Project, including code and documentation, will appear as action items in the status file. All product changes to the currently active repository are subject to lazy consensus.