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FIP title status type author created
FIP Purpose and Guidelines

What is an FIP?

FIP stands for FOAM Improvement Proposal. A FIP is a design document providing information to the FOAM community, or describing a change to FOAM implementations or processes. Among other components, an FIP should provide a concise functional specification of the new feature and a rationale for the feature. The FIP author or owner is responsible for building consensus within the community, documenting dissenting opinions, and driving the FIP to full completion.

FIP Rationale

We intend FIPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing new features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for documenting the design decisions that have gone into FOAM. Because the FIPs are maintained as text files in a versioned repository, their revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal.

FIP Types

There are three types of FIP:

Standard Track describes any protocol-level change that affects FOAM implementations, such as a change to a smart contract. Standard track FIPs may also propose application standards or conventions, or include any change or addition that affects the interoperability of applications using FOAM. Two common types of standard track FIPs are listed below:

  • TCR Parameter Adjustment - describes a proposal to initiate a vote on one or more of the five community-governed TCR parameters. These proposals inform FOAM stakeholders of a perceived flaw in a TCR parameter, and provide data-driven arguments for specific quantitative increases or decreases in the parameter(s). Note that TCR parameter adjustment votes can be initiated by anyone at anytime regardless of FIP status, but may be considered as more valid by the community if first communicated and passed as an FIP.
  • Smart Contract Upgrade - describes a change to a map (sPoL) or location (dPoL) smart contract. These will require new contract(s) to be written, tested and deployed to mainnet.

Informational FIP describes a FOAM design issue, or provides general guidelines or information to the FOAM community, but does not propose a new feature. Informational FIPs do not necessarily represent FOAM community consensus or a recommendation, so users and implementers are free to ignore informational FIPs or follow their advice.

Meta FIP describes a process surrounding FOAM or proposes a change to (or an event in) a process. Meta FIPs are like Standard Track FIPs, but apply to areas other than the FOAM protocol itself. They may propose an implementation, but not to FOAM's codebase. They require community consensus. Unlike informational FIPs, they are more than recommendations, and are mandatory. Examples include procedures, guidelines, changes to the decision-making process, and changes to the tools or environment used in FOAM development.

It is highly recommended that a single FIP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The more focused the FIP, the more successful it tends to be. A change to one client doesn't require an FIP; a change that affects multiple clients, or defines a standard for multiple apps to use, does.

A FIP must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement must represent a net improvement. FIPs should describe a change to the FOAM protocol in terms of specific goals (ends), and specifications (means) aimed at achieving those goals. Proposals should, at a minimum, describe the functional changes proposed in their entierety. They may also detail technical revisions to the contract code.

Parties involved in the process are you, the champion, owner, or FIP author, the FIP editors, the [FOAM Core Developers] or other independent developers. Your role as the champion is to write the FIP using the style and format described below, shepherd the discussions in the appropriate forums, and build community consensus around the idea.

⚠️ Before you begin, vet your idea. First, ask the FOAM community (via Discourse or another channel) if an idea is original and sound. This will allow you to avoid wasting time on something that may be rejected based on prior research or discussion. Doing this also helps to make sure the idea is applicable to the entire community instead of just the author. Just because an idea sounds good to the author does not mean it will work for most people in most areas where FOAM is used. FOAM Discourse or a FOAM Community Workshop Call are currently the best places to discuss your proposal with the community and begin creating more formalized language around your FIP. [The Issues section of this repository] is the appropriate place to post the FIP specification, once you have drafted it.

FIP Process Flow

Following is the process that FIPs move along:

Standard Track:



[ WIP ] -> [ DRAFT ] -> [ LAST CALL ] -> *VOTE* -> [ ACTIVE ]

WORK IN PROGRESS (WIP)- champion drafts the specification before releasing it to the community for review. It may be proposed and discussed on FOAM Discourse and/or on FOAM Community Workshop Calls before being drafted into a specification.

  • ➡️ -- DRAFT -- Once it is drafted and ready to be shared, the author will submit it as a pull request to the repository with status Draft, an FIP editor will assign the FIP a number (generally the issue or PR number related to the FIP) and merge the pull request. The FIP editor will not deny an FIP at this stage.

DRAFT- champion releases draft-version of FIP specification to the [the Issues section of this repository] as a pull request. Others have the opportunity to review and propose any changes to the specification. It may again be discussed by the community on FOAM Discourse or in FOAM Community Workshop Calls.

  • -- A request for Last Call status will be denied if material changes are still expected to be made to the draft. FIPs should only enter Last Call once.
  • ➡️ -- LAST CALL -- Once the champion believes there are no material changes left to the FIP, an FIP editor will assign Last Call status and set a review end date (review_period_end), normally the next FOAM Community Workshop Call.

LAST CALL- finalized version is brought to a FOAM Community Call and argued for by the champion. Vote takes place on the call to assess community support for the FIP. These FIPs will be listed prominently on the website.

  • -- A request which results in material changes or substantial unaddressed functional complaints will cause the FIP to revert to Draft. A Last Call which does not pass the formal community vote with (x) number of people on the call or (y) percentage of call members in favor of the FIP will revert to Draft.
  • ➡️ -- ACCEPTED (Standard track FIPs only) -- A successful Last Call without material changes or unaddressed technical complaints that also passes the formal community vote with (x) number of people on the call and (y) percentage of call members in favor of the FIP will be considered Accepted.
  • ➡️ -- ACTIVE -- (Informational and meta FIPs only) -- A successful Last Call without material changes or unaddressed technical complaints that also passes the formal community vote with (x) number of people on the call and (y) percentage of call members in favor of the FIP will be considered Completed.

ACCEPTED- at this point, the relevant stakeholders in the FOAM ecosystem should move forward with making any accomodations to their systems or processes as they relate to this FIP. If the FIP is for a community governance vote on a change to a TCR parameter, then a vote may be initiated at this stage.

  • ➡️ -- COMPLETED -- (Standard track FIPs) -- A successful Accepted that has been fully implemented to production will become Completed.

COMPLETED- FIP has been developed into code, tested, and implemented to production.

Each status change is requested by the FIP author (or owner if passed off from author to a new person) and reviewed by the FIP editors. Use a pull request to update the status. You may include a link to where people should continue discussing your FIP online. The FIP editors will process these requests as per the conditions above.

Other exceptional statuses include:

  • DEFERRED -- this is for standard track FIPs that have been put off for the future. An example of when this may occur is when (x) number of people are not present on the FOAM Community Call during which the formal vote is scheduled to take place. At this point, it will be considered Deferred Last Call and a new (review_period_end) will be assigned by an FIP editor.
  • REJECTED -- an FIP that does not receive the required (y) percentage of votes in favor via formal vote in a FOAM Community Call is considered Rejected
  • ACTIVE -- the status of an informational FIP, or a meta FIP that has passed the formal vote and is still considered as being relevant by the FIP author (if informational) or community (if meta). E.g. FIP 0000 (this FIP). This is similar to Completed, but for informational or meta FIPs which is not formally implemented in code.

What belongs in a successful FIP?

A FIP should contain the following sections:

  • Preamble - header containing metadata about the FIP, including the FIP number (ex. #0000), a short descriptive title (limited to a maximum of 44 characters), the author name or alias, and other details (See below for details).

  • Summary - A simple and concise explanation of the FIP, and the issue the FIP is meant to address.

  • Motivation - should clearly explain the problem being addressed by the FIP, and describe why the existing protocol specification is inadequate to address the problem that the FIP is seeking to solve. FIP submissions without sufficient motivation may be rejected during the formal vote.

  • Proposal Specification - The specification should at least functionally describe the fix for the issue outlined in the Motivation above. Technical syntax should be provided, if possible, by the FIP author and/or contributors, but is not reqiured for an FIP to enter the FIP process or even become Accepted. (A status of Completed, however, requires all technical details to be documented, developed and deployed to production.) The specification should be detailed enough to allow for competing fixes to the issue described under Motivation.

  • Backwards Compatibility - All FIPs that introduce backwards incompatibilities must include a section describing these incompatibilities and their severity. The FIP must then also explain how these incompatibilities can be mitigated or resolved. If backwards incompatibilities exist, FIP submissions without a sufficient backwards compatibility treatise may be rejected during the formal vote.

  • Implementations - The implementations must be completed before any FIP is given status Completed, but need not be completed before the FIP is merged as Draft, Last Call, or Accepted. While there is merit to the approach of reaching consensus on the specification and rationale before writing code, the principle of “rough consensus and running code” is still useful when it comes to resolving many discussions of technical details. In other words, it may be advantageous to a FIP to include technical implemetation details like code syntax, but is not required and may be left up to developers between the Accepted and Completed phases.

  • Appendix - may include research, report, data, test cases, community discussions, and/or other supporting documentation for the FIP.

  • Copyright Waiver - All FIPs must be in the public domain. See the bottom of this FIP for an example copyright waiver.

FIP Formats and Templates

FIPs should be written in [markdown] format. Image files should be included in a subdirectory of the assets folder for that FIP as follow: assets/FIP-X (for FIP X).

Note: When linking to an image in the FIP, use relative links such as ../assets/FIP-X/image.png. It is preferable that diagrams be generated as ascii such as svgbob. This allows git versioning and collaboration with a renderable high-resolution image.

FIP Header Preamble

Each FIP must begin with a header preamble, preceded and followed by three hyphens (---). The headers must appear in the following order. Headers marked with an asterisk are optional and are described below. All other headers are required.

FIP: (this is determined by the FIP editor)


author: <a list of the author's or authors' name(s) and/or username(s), or name(s) and email(s). Details are below.>

* discussions-to: <a url pointing to the official discussion thread>

status: <Work in Progress | Draft | Last Call | Accepted | Completed | Active | Deferred | Rejected>

* review-period-end:

type: <Standard Track | Informational | Meta>

* category: <TCR Parameter Adjustment | Smart Contract Upgrade | Other>


* updated:

* requires: <FIP number(s)>

* replaces: <FIP number(s)>

* superseded-by: <FIP number(s)>

* resolution: <a url pointing to the resolution of this FIP>

Headers that permit lists must separate elements with commas.

Headers requiring dates will always do so in the format of ISO 8601 (yyyy-mm-dd).

author header

The author header optionally lists the names, email addresses or usernames of the authors/owners of the FIP. Those who prefer anonymity may use a username only, or a first name and a username. The format of the author header value must be:

Random J. User <address@dom.ain>


Random J. User (@username)

if the email address or GitHub username is included, or

Random J. User

if the email address is not given.

resolution header

The resolution header is required for standard track FIPs only. It contains a URL that should point to an email message or other web resource where the pronouncement about the completion of the FIP is made.

discussions-to header

While an FIP is a draft, a discussions-to header will indicate the mailing list or URL where the FIP is being discussed. As mentioned above, examples for places to discuss your FIP include FOAM topics on Gitter, an issue in this repo or in a fork of this repo.

No discussions-to header is necessary if the FIP is being discussed privately with the author.

As a single exception, discussions-to cannot point to GitHub pull requests.

type header

The type header specifies the type of FIP: Standard Track, Meta, or Informational.

category header

The category header specifies the FIP's category. This is required for standard track FIPs only.

created header

The created header records the date that the FIP was assigned a number. Both headers should be in yyyy-mm-dd format, e.g. 2001-08-14.

updated header

The updated header records the date(s) when the FIP was updated with "substantional" changes. This header is only valid for FIPs of Draft, Last Call, and Active statuses.

requires header

FIPs may have a requires header, indicating the FIP numbers that this FIP depends on.

superseded-by and replaces headers

FIPs may also have a superseded-by header indicating that an FIP has been rendered obsolete by a later document; the value is the number of the FIP that replaces the current document. The newer FIP must have a replaces header containing the number of the FIP that it rendered obsolete.


FIPs may include auxiliary files such as diagrams, research, report, data, test cases, community discussions, and/or other supporting documentation for the FIP. Such files must be named FIP-XXXX-Y.ext, where “XXXX” is the FIP number, “Y” is a serial number (starting at 1), and “ext” is replaced by the actual file extension (e.g. “png”).

Note: It is preferable that diagrams be generated as ascii such as svgbob. This allows git versioning and collaboration.

Transferring FIP Ownership

It occasionally becomes necessary to transfer ownership of FIPs to a new champion. In general, retention of the original author as a co-author of the transferred FIP is preferable. Good reasons to transfer FIP ownership include the original author no longer having the time, interest, or ability to drive the FIP to conclusion.

If you are interested in assuming ownership of an FIP, send a message to the author asking to take over, addressed to both the original author and the FIP editor. If the original author doesn't respond to email in a timely manner, the FIP editor will make a unilateral decision (it's not like such decisions can't be reversed :)).

FIP Editors

The current FIP editors are

* John Smith (@twitter_address_here)

FIP Editor Responsibilities

FIP editors do the following:

  • Review the FIP for soundness and completeness
  • Provide editorial or supplementary inputs to enhance the FIP
  • Verify that the FIP adheres to the formal FIP specifications, as outlined in this document, and has correct spelling, grammar, sentence structure, markup (Github flavored Markdown), code style, etc.
  • Merge pull requests for changes to FIP statuses adhering to process above

For Draft FIPs, if the FIP isn't ready, the editor will send it back to the author for revision, with specific instructions. Once the FIP is ready for the repository, the FIP editor will:

  • Assign an FIP number (generally the PR number or, if preferred by the author, the Issue # if there was discussion in the Issues section of this repository about this FIP)
  • Merge the corresponding pull request
  • Send a message back to the FIP author with the next steps

The ultimate decision as to whether or not an FIP should be included into FOAM as Accepted is decided by community vote. FIP editors merely provide administrative & editorial support (but are not excluded from casting votes as community members during FIP votes).


This document was derived heavily from EIP, and [Bitcoin's BIP-0001] written by Amir Taaki which in turn was derived from [Python's PEP-0001]. In many places text was simply copied and modified. Although the PEP-0001 text was written by Barry Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger, they are not responsible for its use in the FOAM Improvement Process, and should not be bothered with technical questions specific to FOAM or the FIP. Please direct all comments to the FIP editors.

Enter history here...

See the revision history for further details, which is also available by clicking on the History button in the top right of the FIP.


[formal specification]: linked needed to technical whitepaper? [the Issues section of this repository]: [markdown]:


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

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