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OCA Module Lifecycle - Maintainer Role Policy (2018/08/24)

1   Introduction

A Maintainer is responsible to ensure the coordination of specific addon modules in order to ensure the quality and consistency of the contributions. For a particular repository, this could be one, a few, or even all the modules in that repository.

Typically, the maintainer role for OCA repositories is expected to be done by the Project Steering Committee (PSC) members. *Project Steering Committees* are defined by the OCA Bylaws, section V.c). From an Association perspective their main role is project oversight, and one PSC can be responsible for one or more project repositories.

In large repositories it is sometimes difficult to identify who are the active maintainers of a given addon. This creates the following problems:

  • the maintainer does not easily notice PR and Issues concerning his/her addons;
  • when addons have no active maintainers, PSC members must take care of it, but they may be too busy or may not feel concerned by all addons in their repositories;
  • it is difficult for contributors to detect addons which have no active maintainer.

In small, focused repositories (eg management-system, operating-unit, business-requirement, mis-builder, ...), this issue does not arise since the repo maintainers and addons maintainers are the same.

In larger repos (server-tools, stock-logistics-*, financial-tools, bank-payment, ...), it happens that some or all PSC members are not interested in all addons and the repo suffers of the above drawbacks, therefore giving a negative impression on the whole repo.

Splitting large repositories so they all become focused with a homogeneous content seems to be impractical, due to the difficulty to manage a large amount of repositories.

The maintainer role has been introduced to alleviate the above issues.

Being the maintainer of an addon module bears some responsibilities towards the community. This document aims at clarifying those.

2   Maintainer role and responsibilities

  • Maintainers main role is to foster efficient community collaboration on the addons they are responsible for. This includes
    • Communication: Ensuring that discussions and reviews don’t stall, intervening to ping the people involved, or ask for next steps whenever communication stops.
    • Control: Doing final checks and merging approved pull requests.
    • Versioning:
      • Bumping version numbers during merge or immediately after.
      • For Mature addons, maintaining the recommended changelog (HISTORY.rst).
    • Support: Handling support requests and questions.
    • Documentation: Documenting and managing the roadmap (future improvement ideas, known issues).
    • Guidance: Keeping an eye on contributions in related areas to help ensure functional consistency in OCA. This may include helping to merge new feature in the addons they maintain, or guiding contributors towards the creation of new extension modules. This must not preclude the creation of addons providing a competing approach, fostering innovation.
  • Declared maintainers are given write access to the repository. If they are not PSC member they are trusted not to do write operations (eg merging pull requests) that have impact on other addons than the one they maintain.
  • Maintainers may proceed to some maintenance operation with relaxed code review rules (eg performing simple, low risk, forward and backports, maintaining documentation, applying cosmetic improvements to the code such as linting). Maintainers are expected to follow the highest quality standard when performing such operations.
  • If there is more than one declared maintainer, they must ensure good coordination between them (for instance, ensure no task are left unattended on the assumption that another maintainer will do it).
  • PSC members should not merge PR concerning modules with declared maintainers, unless the maintainer is unreactive.
  • Addons with no declared maintainers are managed by the PSC.

3   Adding, removing maintainers

  • The maintainers of an addon are declared in the maintainers key of the manifest. This key is a list of github logins. The list of declared maintainers is expected to be short (one or two in general).
  • New candidate maintainers can propose themselves by adding their github login in the manifest, with a PR, to be approved by the PSC.
  • Maintainers who do not wish to continue maintaining a module must remove themselves from the list through a PR, and announce it on the contributors mailing list, calling for volunteers.
  • PSC may remove maintainers who do not follow OCA rules or fail to their maintenance duties. Such action must be taken in coordination with the board.
  • Current maintainers are displayed (using their avatar) in the addon README.rst.

Note

The canonical URL to this document is https://odoo-community.org/page/maintainer-role.

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