Electron Governance Charter
These are our core values, as voted by the maintainers, in order of importance. When in doubt, these should guide our decisions.
We take the time to include all good-faith contributors. The project works around the lives of real people, and people shouldn’t sacrifice a reasonable livelihood to participate.
We work to cultivate and maintain an environment where participants feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions without fear of harsh judgments or repercussions. We practice blameless analyses of our missteps.
We make our governance public whenever reasonable. By doing this, we are able to create a shared and sharable understanding of what we're trying to do.
People need a channel for safely communicating feedback to other maintainers.
We constantly strive to improve through iteration. Some ships will sink, so we build processes to accommodate expected failures as a safety net.
We seek to share knowledge of the project between maintainers. We share responsibilities and seek to meet objectives as a team.
- A maintainer is anyone who plays an active role in governance.
- A collaborator is active in the community, but not in governance.
- A participant is anyone who is a maintainer or collaborator.
- A working group is a group of maintainers that is formed to take responsibility for certain aspects of the Electron project. Normally these groups will meet regularly but in some cases will only meet as required to fulfill their responsibilities.
- A chair leads a working group.
|Community||wg-community-safety||Handles Code of Conduct issues|
|Docs and Tools||wg-docs-tools||Docs, tools, and Userland|
|Outreach||wg-outreach||Grows the community|
|Releases||wg-releases||Coordinates new releases|
|Security||wg-security||Security review & response|
|Upgrades||wg-upgrades||Ongoing Node & Chromium upgrades|
All Working Groups have these core responsibilities:
- They shall decide for themselves, and publicly post, their rules, e.g. how decisions are made, when meetings are held, and who may attend.
- They shall select a chair to represent the group.
- They shall keep meeting notes, including agenda items, discussion points, and outcomes for everyone to review.
- They shall be collaborative and work in good faith with other Working Groups.
Group members live and work in many time zones, so synchronous meetings aren't always possible. No one should feel like they need to attend a meeting at an inconvenient time for their voice to be heard. If a group is to make a decision by voting, it shall make a reasonable effort to inform all members about the vote and give them a chance to vote outside of the meeting itself.
Members should have the opportunity to read a summary of the meeting and share pertinent opinions before voting is finalized. Groups may use Doodle or a similar mechanism to decide on meeting times that are convenient for the members.
Leadership Terms and Selection
Each Working Group shall be led by a Chair.
The Chair shall have a four month term. A person is eligible to chair the Working Group if and only if they satisfy all conditions:
- They wish to serve as Chair.
- They are a member of the Working Group.
- They are not the chair of more than one other Working Group. (i.e. One person may chair a maximum of two Working Groups at a time)
- They have not Chaired that Working Group more recently than any eligible member. (Think of “shuffle play” music)
A Working Group can not have the same chair twice in a row. If the only person willing to serve next is the current chair, this is a sign of an unhealthy group and should be addressed by the Administrative Working Group.
The group will make a reasonable effort to notify potential candidates that a new term is coming so that interested parties can declare their eligibility.
A chair is selected at random from the set of eligible candidates. The candidates and selection are to be documented and made public.
A chair's term does not need to begin at the same time as other chairs' terms.
If a chair steps down, a new one is selected and a new four-month term begins (i.e., interim Chairs are not needed)
Chairs have responsibilities to their Working Group: they represent the collective will of that group to others.
Chairs have responsibilities to their parent Working Group: they ensure that their Working Group is carrying out its mission.
Chairs have responsibility to all participants in transparently reporting the group's activity.
If an issue affects only one Working Group, that group can make decisions on its own.
If an issue affects more than one Working Group, those groups are encouraged to work towards agreement together.
If agreement cannot be reached, the chairs of all Working Groups shall try to decide the matter with a vote. A reasonable effort shall be made to let all interested chairs participate in this, but any chair may abstain.
If agreement still cannot be reached, the issue may be brought to the Administrative Working Group, which has final say.
Regardless of how agreement is reached, the participating groups shall make a reasonable effort to record and post their decisions for transparency.
The Electorate is the body who holds the ability to alter the charter and appoint members of the administrative working group.
Designing a new Electorate is currently out-of-scope for this charter. Instead we make the implicit status-quo explicit. GitHub will act as the Electorate with the intention of overseeing a replacement after the current governance is rolled out.
We want an Electorate which can balance several factors:
- new contributors
- long-time contributors
- corporate sponsorship
- financial contributions
- tenured contributions
There is no explicit timeline around this, but this charter expects it to be addressed in a reasonable timeframe.
Administrative Working Group
See the Working Group README
The Administrative Working Group (AWG) is chartered with the responsibility to ensure governance is serving the best needs of the project and community. The AWG has authority to act on the project, granted by the electorate. The AWG in turn delegates its authority to all other working groups.
To prevent the AWG from becoming the sole political power of the project, it is expected that the AWG abstains from casting individual technical decisions that are the responsibility of other working groups. The AWG should principally serve as a circuit breaker. If a delegate working group is failing to meet its responsibilities, the AWG may intervent up to and including alterning group members, or altering the groups authority, responsibilities, or existence.
The current Electorate/AWG mix places almost all the power in the hands of a few large corporatations at the outset. While not ideal to many, this was chosen because it represents today's status-quo. The choice to delay defining an Electorate was made to ensure it was not rushed, and that we have time to balance project stakeholders large and small.