I’ve been reading this article about Django’s governance and a proposal that is on the table to remove Django core, in favour of “Mergers” and “Releasers”. Quite interesting.
It’s still very early days for Grin, but reading the underlying motivation I can see us in a similar situation at some point down the road:
Being a Django committer (“core developer”, “Django core”, or whatever you choose to call it) is still seen as a high-prestige title, and committers are given a lot of deference by the wider community. Given that the actual day-to-day governance rarely relies on the committers having any sort of special powers or prestige, this is a problem, especially because it seems to create an impression among potential contributors that they’re not “good enough” to match up to those awe-inspiring titanic beings (please note sarcasm: I am not anything close to awe-inspiring).
Removing the distinction between godlike “committers” and plebeian ordinary contributors will, I hope, help to make the project feel more open to contributions from anyone, especially by making the act of committing code to Django into a bureaucratic task, and making all voices equal on the django-developers mailing list. By itself this won’t solve the issue of recruiting enough new contributors, or the lack of diversity among them, but I think it will put us on much better footing to tackle those problems.
In any case, just a curious development. I think we have a lot to learn from the experiences of other open source software development projects.