terminalmage / salt-rfc

Request For Comments

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Salt RFCs

Many changes, including bug fixes and documentation improvements, can be implemented and reviewed via the normal GitHub pull request workflow.

Some changes though are "substantial", and we ask that these be put through a bit of a design process and produce a consensus among the Salt core team.

The "RFC" (request for comments) process is intended to provide a consistent and controlled path for new features to enter the project.

This process is being actively developed, and it will still change as more features are implemented and the community settles on specific approaches to feature development.

When to follow this process

You should consider using this process if you intend to make "substantial" changes to Salt or its documentation. Some examples that would benefit from an RFC are:

  • A new feature that creates new API surface area
  • The removal of features that already shipped
  • The introduction of new idiomatic usage or conventions

The RFC process is a great opportunity to get more eyeballs on your proposal before it becomes a part of a released version of Salt. Quite often, even proposals that seem "obvious" can be significantly improved once a wider group of interested people have a chance to weigh in.

The RFC process can also be helpful to encourage discussions about a proposed feature as it is being designed, and incorporate important constraints into the design while it's easier to change, before the design has been fully implemented.

Changes that do NOT require an RFC:

  • Rephrasing, reorganizing or refactoring
  • Bug fixes
  • Addition or removal of warnings
  • Additions only likely to be noticed by other implementors-of-Salt, invisible to users-of-Salt.

What the process is

In short, to get a major feature added to Salt, one must submit the RFC via pull-request. After a comment period, the RFC will be either Accepted or Rejected. An Accepted RFC may then be implemented with the goal of eventual inclusion into Salt.

The RFC life-cycle

The following is a more detailed explanation of the process.

1. Proposal

The RFC is proposed by submitting a pull request to this repo, by copying 0000-template.md and modifying it. If the RFC pertains to any open issues, reference them in the Salt Issue(s) entry.

When copying the file, do not assign it a number. Simply name the file with a short description of the RFC (e.g. subspace-transport.md). Once the pull request has been opened, a SaltStack core engineer will assign the RFC a number and the RFC will enter the initial Draft status. At this time, the following changes can be made to the RFC file:

  1. Add the pull request number to the RFC PR entry at the top of the file
  2. Rename the file to include the assigned RFC number, then commit and push to update the pull request
    $ git mv subspace-transport.md 0123-subspace-transport.md
    $ git commit -am 'Assigned RFC number'
    $ git push origin branchname

2. Discussion

The pull request will remain open and serve as the comment thread for the RFC. The initial comment period will last no fewer than two (2) weeks, and may be extended as deemed necessary based on comment activity.

Once the initial comment period has ended, the RFC will enter Final Comment status. One (1) week will be allowed for any further comments. At the end of the Final Comment period, a decision will be made on whether or not to accept the RFC. Acceptance requires approval from five (5) members of the core development team. As project creator, Thomas Hatch will have a final veto on any RFC.

3. Acceptance / Rejection

At the end of the Final Comment stage, the RFC will be either Accepted or Rejected. Either way, the pull request will be merged.

Note that acceptance does not mean that the feature will be immediately implemented, or that it will be implemented at all; It merely means that the core development team has agreed to it in principle. Additionally, the fact that an RFC pull request has been merged does not necessarily mean that the RFC has been accepted; pull requests for rejected RFCs are merged so that they are visible to others who might otherwise open an RFC for a previously-rejected topic.

4. Implementation

An Accepted RFC may proceed to be implemented. If no issues on the Salt issue tracker are listed under Salt Issue(s), then create one and open a pull request to update the RFC with the issue number. All RFCs which have reached the implementation step must have at least one associated issue.

We should strive to write each RFC in a way that it will reflect the final design of the feature; However, if during implementation things change, the RFC document should be updated accordingly.

The RFC author (like any other developer) is welcome to post an implementation for review after the RFC has been accepted. However, the author of an RFC is not obligated to implement it.

If you are interested in working on the implementation for an accepted RFC, but cannot determine if someone else is already working on it, feel free to ask (e.g. by leaving a comment on the associated issue).

Summary of RFC Statuses

The below statuses were discussed above:

  • Draft: The initial status, from submission through the initial discussion period
  • Final Comment: A one-week period after the initial comment period has ended
  • Accepted: The RFC has been approved for future implementation
  • Rejected: The RFC has been rejected during discussion phase

In additon, RFCs can be assigned the following statuses:

  • Withdrawn: The RFC has been voluntarily withdrawn from consideration
  • Implemented: The accepted RFC has been implemented
  • Obsolete: The accepted RFC is no longer relevant due to other changes in Salt, but should be considered for re-evaluation. The re-evaluation will be done in a separate RFC. Once the new RFC is opened, the Obsolete RFC will be considered Replaced.
  • Replaced: The RFC has been superseded by another RFC

The RFC's status can be viewed in two ways:

  1. In the Status entry at the top of the RFC file
  2. Via GitHub labels applied to the RFC's pull request

Reviewing RFCs

SaltStack staff will post information about open RFCs to the #rfc channel in the community Slack, as well as our community IRC and mailing list on a regular basis to encourage discussion.

This RFC process owes its inspiration to the React RFC process, Yarn RFC process, Rust RFC process, and Ember RFC process

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Request For Comments