RFC Adopt RFC process for the committee initiatives

Change request


I propose to adopt RFC (request for change) process for all significant committee initiatives.


There is a big disconnect between committee and ruby community itself. Community is often notified after the fact about committee work (usually at the meeting at the rails camp). There is little opportunity for non-committee members to contribute.

New committee members are often excited to implement changes to the organisation when they are elected. Unfortunately those initiatives are often left unfinished after their term is finished. And the following committee members have to clean up the mess if they don’t support the started initiative.

Request for change proposals force to research and explain the benefits of the change upfront. Any ruby community member can contribute to the proposal during the planning phase and/or express their opinion before its implemented.

Such feedback will give the rest of the committee a better idea if the work should be started. That will ensure the change is worth the effort and won’t depend on a single person.

RFC process is very well adopted in the tech communities. It gives a simple and formalised process for anybody to contribute.


Important to note, that small actions don’t need RFC, but still would greatly benefit from it. Any initiative that will take more than couple of months or will affect many people in the community or organisation will have to start with RFC document.

The requester (committee member or anybody else) can create new proposal on the forum. In the proposal they will need to explain pros and cons of the idea. Then the committee can vote if they want to act on the proposal, it needs more feedback, it’s good but have to wait or any other reply they decide is appropriate.

After that the RFC post will be marked with the matching tag. That will allow to transfer the knowledge between committee members even if some proposals don’t look appropriate at the time.

Having a list of new proposals will help new committee members to focus on the preferred changes, instead of coming up with the new ones.


Since the process forces to do a lot of research upfront and it may not be fun to do. That could lower the number of volunteers. While the number of those volunteers will drop, that won’t have the big effect. If the idea is not worth planning, it’s definitely not worth doing.

Another drawback that there is an overhead in the process for small tasks within the committee. In that case the threshold will need to be adjusted to when ideas require RFC.

@toby could this be my official request to the committee?

@antulik absolutely. Are you free to join the committee meeting on the 17th at 7:30pm to discuss it?

Sure. Do you have any concerns I could research before the meeting?

Nope! :slight_smile: But I think you would make a more effective pitch, and I would like to have you on hand to address any concerns if other committee members have them.

@toby or @quintrino The meeting minutes were published but It’s not clear if the changes were officially accepted and there were no announcements about it. Could you please clarify the status of this proposal.

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hey @antulik! Thanks for the nudge. We’d decided to have a bit more of a think about the proposal, then failed to put it onto the following month’s agenda :frowning:

We discussed further tonight and have ultimately decided to add RFCs as another option for interacting with the committee, and to add that the committee may at its discretion require RFCs for certain proposals (such as submitting requests for new sponsorships of events).

The thinking here is that we don’t want to unnecessarily impose difficulty and/or process in interacting with the committee (not that we’re suggesting that was your intent) but that we couldn’t agree on an applicable, effective method of determining when a RFC would be required, aside from case-by-case.

RFCs would therefore be used when a) we are asked by the community for the rationale behind a move, whether proposed within the committee or in the wider community, b) when we need more detail on a proposal in order to consider it fully, or c) when the person submitting the RFC decides that their proposal warrants one in order to explain it fully. Or d) all three :joy:

@quintrino will ensure that this outcome will appear in detail in this month’s public committee meeting minutes.