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Streamline the Architecture Committee and the RfC process (tracking)
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Let's improve the Architecture Committee and the architecture RfC process up to a level that we consider good.

Definition of the problem

According to , the purpose of the ArchCom is

  • Act as advisors: Answer questions / react to RFCs related to the software and system architecture of MediaWiki.
  • Act as gate keepers: Veto bad code / other architecture decisions (in code review as well as higher level planning)
  • Act as inspectors: identify and document architectural problems
  • Act as leaders: define guidelines, goals and activities to improve MediaWiki architecture

Although there has been a lot of progress since the creation of the ArchCom, we still need to ensure that this aim becomes a consolidated reality.


  • Set this group with the best chances of success.
    • The first three are process issues
    • About the fourth, current c'tee tends to be reactive, not setting priorities or driving RfCs to implementation.
  • Document the process describing how these happen
  • We need to define the actions that need doing.
  • We need real owners of actions.

Docs that need revision

There is a bunch of pages, and we need to assure that we have a setup that makes sense. The following docs might be good, or they might need updating, cleaning, purge...

See also (is there something to be extracted?)

In an ideal situation...

  • Team Practices Group would help with the process. But they are currently swamped.
  • Engineering Community Team would help with documentation, and also in the definition of community processes in the short term.
  • Improving private architecture meeting might help the public IRC meetings as a side effect
  • New members will change committee behavior, strong people on the inside.

Here and now

  • The ownership of this task should be @brion's
    • @Spage will propose the switch for tomorrow's meeting
    • SPage will bring up this task and its subtasks at next Architecture Committee meeting, encourage discussion, and record the agreed approach on the ^wiki pages above.

Success: what is says, "Fix the architecture RfC process"

How ECT can help during April-June 2015:

  • @Spage to help with documentation and a bit of scrummaster-ish support.
  • @Qgil to help Brion and c'tee agree on governance model by Lyon

ECT can try to help cleaning the current situation, but we need a definition of done for this quarter, Then, it should be more Team Practices Group's job.

@RobLa notes that currently there is no budget ask for this. Should we get one by Monday, 30 March? Kevin feels like this is 1/4 TPG...

Event Timeline

Qgil raised the priority of this task from to Medium.
Qgil updated the task description. (Show Details)
Qgil added a subscriber: Qgil.

At the 2015-02-04 architecture committee meeting (Etherpad), the architects informally agreed on some process:

  • create a phabricator task for each RFC (add to RFC template as | bug = TNNN)
  • do triage in phabricator, use the ArchCom workboard
  • if there's a decision-maker for an RFC, that person will be the assigned person in the phab task
  • involve relevant module maintainer somehow
Spage set Security to None.

Based on further discussion among Architecture committee, I have a draft new process.

Spage moved this task from Backlog to Doing on the ECT-February-2015 board.

I updated with the Architecture Committee's use of the #MediaWiki-RfCs Phabricator workboard \o/ But this task gained a lot of subtasks :)

Qgil renamed this task from Fix the architecture RfC process to Fix the Architecture Committee and the RfC process.Mar 24 2015, 10:19 PM
Qgil updated the task description. (Show Details)
Qgil added subscribers: ksmith, RobLa.

@ksmith, @Qgil, @RobLa and @Spage had a meeting today about this task, and we have updated the descriptions with the outcomes of the conversation.

Work will continue. The Architecture Committee should take on some of these tasks.

Spage added a subscriber: Spage.

Post-reorg there's a dedicated Architecture team in the Technology group, its manager will take this on.

daniel renamed this task from Fix the Architecture Committee and the RfC process to Fix the Architecture Committee and the RfC process (tracking).May 25 2015, 2:47 PM
daniel added a project: Tracking-Neverending.

I don't think the RfC process is currently broken, so I do not think "fix" is the appropriate word. The RfC process could definitely be improved, but so could any process involving human beings. I'm not sure that the task is actionable. I propose we close it.

RobLa-WMF renamed this task from Fix the Architecture Committee and the RfC process (tracking) to Streamline the Architecture Committee and the RfC process (tracking).Nov 18 2015, 5:18 PM
RobLa-WMF added a subscriber: ksmith.

I agree with Ori that this should probably just be closed. There's an iteration task that I could make, but this task is a soupy mess right now, and it would probably just be best to start with a new task rather than iterating on this one.