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Note: This is my attempt to update Requests for comment with something a bit more succinct. As of this writing on 2016-05-10, it doesn't represent the consensus of the MediaWiki/Wikimedia engineering community.


The Wikimedia developer community conducts all of its official design decision work on wikitech-l. Developers are free to modify code, file bugs, or submit patches without permission from anyone. Sometimes it is helpful to get early advice before submitting a patch to ensure efficient use of developer time.

The Wikimedia Architecture Committee (ArchCom) is a group of engineers responsible for the overall design of the software deployed to the Wikimedia cluster. Filing an ArchCom-RFC is one way of building engineering community consensus for a design choice. ArchCom reviews and shepherds RFCs.

A quick cheatsheet for submitting an RFC:

  1. Have an idea about something you want to change in Wikimedia software (e.g. MediaWiki)
  2. File a task in Phabricator, using the #ArchCom-RFC tag
  3. Pay attention to the status of the RFC on the ArchCom-RFC workboard.
    • Items in the "Backlog" or "Needs shepherd" column may need discussion on wikitech-l as a means of spurring interest and urgency. If the RFC doesn't have a shepherd, one may need to be assigned to ensure greater attention; however, that will likely mean that another RFC will receive less attention.
    • Items in the "Under discussion" column should have an assigned "shepherd" who can be consulted for next steps.
    • (xxxfixme - link to a more detailed description)
  4. Watch the comments on your RFC, and work with the assigned shepherd to ensure timely discussion of your idea
  5. Get a decision (or advice) from ArchCom, which will be noted on your #ArchCom-RFC Phab issue