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Notes from the Standard for Public Code community call - 7 January 2021

Update from the Foundation



The Standard for Public Code is a central document for our organization. It captures the important processes of how to enable collaboration in a codebase. As it is so important, we want to review the introduction section of it.

When the Standard and most of the introduction was written, much of our codebase stewardship knowledge was hypothetical. After almost two years we have learned much and updated many of the requirements in the Standard. It would be natural to also change the introduction at this point. However, it’s a bit more complex than the previous changes that were mostly updated line by line.

After discussing a while we found that we all believed it was important that the Standard can stand on its own, and that complementary material like an executive summary, an introduction video or a course, should not be required to get the basic idea of what the Standard is for (even though those can be important tools to reach some potential audiences). However, the Standard doesn’t need to contain a manifesto for public code, but should focus on the practicalities of it.

As a separate point, we noted the importance of using plain English, since most of the users of the Standard will probably have English as a second language.

Due to the complexity of rewriting an entire chapter we decided that we should do this work step by step, starting by restucturing the introduction and moving around a few paragraphs. A refactoring of sorts.

We discussed making the improvement of the introduction a milestone in GitHub to better show the intention of our work and will explore exactly how we want to use that feature. We might also make this a topic in future community calls when some work has been done.