[Council] Moving Forward: Process

Dave Smith dizzyd at jabber.org
Wed Mar 13 08:00:13 CST 2002

Members of the Council...

As you may know by now, the general consensus within the Foundation is that
the Council has done nothing since our election. While we have, in fact,
voted on several JEPs, none of our work is publicly disseminated.
Furthermore, our role in the Foundation is not clearly defined so we not
only appear to be doing nothing, we have, in essence, nothing to do.

That said, I believe it is time for us to take initiative and begin defining
our role in the community. It is my conviction that we represent the members
of the Foundation and are responsible for ensuring the prosperity and
innovation of the overall community. The first step that we can take to
accomplish these goals is to begin a more active participation in the JEP
process. By publicly reviewing and promoting the development of JEPs we can
ensure that innovation continues to happen, and that innovation is widely
understood and documented (an area where the Jabber community tends to fall

Based on this idea, I would like to put forth a more concrete process for
getting JEPs from just ideas to ratified standards. This process will
require the Council to be significantly more formal than we have been in the
past, but I think that formality will pay off in an increased number of
completed, standardized Jabber extensions. Furthermore, JEPs will have a
fixed amount of time to move from an idea to a standard.

JEP Process:
1.) Author submits JEP draft to the Council for review.  Note that this
means that the Council sees the draft before it is made publicly available.
This is an important step since it gives the Council a chance to be aware of
the JEP and form an opinion on the draft. This step is not designed  to hide
anything from the members, but simply allow Council members the time to
gather their thoughts on the matter. (I think we, as the Council, must be
especially aware of the work happening in the community and we must be able
to effectively communicate and contemplate the ramifications of each JEP on
the overall Jabber project.)
2.) Council has one week to review the draft and prepare a position paper on
said draft. One member from the council will be selected to write the
position paper. This paper does not have to be especially long or formal,
but it must capture the general attitude of the Council towards the JEP and
any problem areas that should be addressed before the Council will vote on
the JEP as a standard.
3.) One week after submission to the Council, the JEP and the associated
position paper will be released to the general populace of the Foundation.
At this time, the JEP author may refine the draft as desired, based on the
comments and input of the other members. This period of public commentary
and discussion will last for no more than 2 weeks.
4.) After 2 weeks, the JEP author may then submit the JEP back to the
Council for ratification as an official standard.  The Council will
deliberate for one week and the final vote and justifications will be
captured and made publicly available. At this time, the JEP will either be
ratified or rejected.

As noted before, this process would add a significant amount of formality to
the Council. It would require us to meet fairly regularly (which is not
unreasonable) and it would require each of us to periodically write a
position paper. The upside, however, is that the Council would be much more
transparent to the community and it would put a fixed time on the duration
of the JEP review. 

JEP review is where we can start to make our impact on the community. It's
an area where the community is weak at the moment. Let's make it better.


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