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Typed Racket RFCs

Many changes, including bug fixes and documentation improvements can be implemented and reviewed via the normal GitHub pull request workflow.

Some changes though are "substantial" and should go through an RFC process to produce consensus within the (Typed) Racket team and community before substantial work begins.

When you need to follow this process

You need to follow this process if you intend to make "substantial" changes to Typed Racket. What constitutes a "substantial" change may include the following:

  • Any semantic or syntactic change to the language that is not a bugfix.

  • Any changes that have non-trivial interaction with other portions of the language.

Some changes do not require an RFC:

  • Rephrasing, reorganizing, refactoring, or otherwise "changing shape does not change meaning".
  • Additions that strictly improve objective, numerical quality criteria

What the process is

In short, to get a major feature added to Typed Racket, one must first get the RFC merged into the RFC directory as a markdown file. At that point the RFC is "active" and may be implemented with the goal of eventual inclusion into Typed Racket.

Here are the general steps for an RFC feature/change:

  • Fork the Typed Racket repository

  • Copy rfcs/ to rfcs/text/ (where "my-feature" is descriptive. don't assign an RFC number yet).

  • Fill in the RFC. Put care into the details: RFCs that do not present clear motivation, demonstrate understanding of the impact of the design, or are disingenuous about the drawbacks or alternatives tend to be poorly-received.

  • Submit a pull request for the RFC markdown document. As a pull request the RFC will receive design feedback from the larger community, and the author should be prepared to revise it in response.

  • Build consensus and integrate feedback.

The RFC life-cycle

Once an RFC PR is merged it becomes "active" and authors may implement it and submit the feature as a pull request to the Typed Racket repository. Being "active" is not a rubber stamp, however it does mean that in principle all the major stakeholders have agreed to the feature and are at least amenable to merging it.

Reasonable modifications to "active" RFCs can be done in follow-up pull requests to the RFC when necessary. Significant changes should be new RFCs, with a note added to the original RFC.

Why do I have to go through this?

Although the Typed Racket development community is relatively small, it is still extremely useful to have a clear place to openly discuss and describe significant new features to reduce wasted time and create descriptions which future maintainers and contributors can reference.

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