Working group process
This document describes the general process of all Software Heritage working groups.
All working groups will conform to the following general principles.
Consensus based decision making
Software Heritage working groups are based on consensus. Chairs are expected to push the group to consider all views and objections, and reach a consensus decision. In case a consensus cannot be reached after a reasonable amount of time, minority views should be reported in the deliverables.
- consensus is reached if all members either explicitly support the decision, or abstain;
- dissent is reported if at least one member declares a formal objection
The officially released outcomes of a working group must be listed in the working group page
Working groups are expected to operate in coordination with the relevant other groups, inside or outside of Software Heritage
All software that that is an outcome of a working group is expected to be released under a Free Software or Open Source licence As a general principle, no patents must be involved in the outcomes of a working group; in case patents are unavoidable, they may be accepted, with due justification, if a royalty-free, non exclusive licence is offered for all the present and future uses of Software Heritage and any network members
Confidentiality is the exception
It is expected that all deliverables will be public, but a working group can designate specific deliverables as restricted in its charter
The charter of a group includes the following informations.
- The group's mission, and criteria for success
- The expected duration of the group (can be open ended)
- The nature of any deliverables (specifications, recommendations, technical reports, software) expected milestones, and the process for the group participants to approve the release of these deliverables
- Connections with other groups, inside or outside Software Heritage
- The level of confidentiality of the group's proceedings and deliverables
- Collaboration mechanisms
The charter may include
- An estimate of the expected time commitment from participants
- The expected time commitment and level of involvement by the Software Heritage team
- Intellectual property information
- Provisions regarding participation
- Specific voting procedures
In each group there are designated individuals with specific roles:
- chair(s) are in charge animating the group, fostering collaboration, establishing consensus and consolidating the deliverables
- team correspondent(s) are members of the Software Heritage core team, and ensure coordination with the core team work
Chair(s) and team correspondent(s) are appointed at group creation by the Director
Software Heritage working groups are open to participants that commit to contribute to the group's mission, and that bring complementary expertise to the group. Application for membership are handled by the group chair(s), that will ensure the group as a whole remains balanced and effective.
A Working group is created by the Director, after review of the Advisory Committee, by setting up its space on the Software Heritage Working Groups web page, with information on the charter, the chair(s) and the team correspondent(s). An announcement may also be sent to all relevant communication channels, and may include a call for participation.
A Working Group or Interest Group charter may specify a duration for the group. The Director may close a group (even prior to the date specified in the charter) in any of the following circumstances:
- the group has produced all the expected deliverables
- there are insufficient resources to maintain the group
- the group is inactive and did not answer to request to resume activity one month after notification to its members
The Director closes a group by an announcement to the group members and on the Software Heritage working group main page.