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4 May 2022 Standard for Public Code community call


Updates from the Foundation

  • New release of the Standard for Public Code: version 0.6.0.
  • We have made a bootstrap script that makes starting a community translation of the Standard less tedious.


While getting contributions to your codebase from new collaborators is valuable, it comes with the cost of reviewing the code to get it merged and to maintain it. The Standard for Public Code does not have any requirements or guidance about this, and the question was raised if something should be added.

The discussion in the call circled around different kinds of contributions, how to make it known what you want and also the financial models needed. For instance, models of a code contribution also coming with a budget for reviewing the code was mentioned. It was also mentioned that some codebases have created a system of where the contributor offers to review some other code in order to free up time for maintainers to review the new contribution, essentially reviewing each others contributions.

The variability of contributions was also discussed which makes some general budgeting hard. Sometimes it can cost more in time spent to reply to some feedback than accepting a simple code contribution. Also, some code contributions may require significant review but save development time and ease maintainability in the future, so reviewing it is a solid investment.

There was broad agreement that the Standard should not be prescriptive about requiring specifics for budgeting for reviews from any party, rather it should make clear that whatever model the codebase uses should be explicitly documented, so that any contributor knows what to expect. Thus, instead of having only guidelines in the Standard, this could be a new requirement in Make contributing easy, accompanied with guidance for managers. Possibly, some guidance could also be added in Require review of contributions. The codebase stewards will make a suggestion for an addition to the Standard.

The call acknowledged that while this is making the Standard harder to meet, it is important enough to get right for any codebase that wants to enable collaboration and therefore it is worth it.

As a bit of a sidetrack, the call also noted the importance for any codebase community to think about their overarching financial model and how to make it sustainable.