Wikimedia Technical Committee/Architecture Forum

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The Wikimedia Architecture Forum (Arch Forum) is a venue for discussing high-level technical topics across teams, departments, disciplines, and roles. It is aimed primarily at interest stakeholders around the RFC Process, but is open to anyone.

The Architecture Forum is intended to be more a lightweight venue than the RFC process (and more limited in scope than Wikitech-l). Its scope and purpose are derived from the TechCom Charter.

Purpose[edit]

The Arch Forum is an extension of TechCom to provide a space for the discussion of technical topics. Its purpose is to facilitate high-level technical discussions about the software that supports the Wikimedia projects (as defined by the TechCom Charter).

Examples of threads that might take place in the Arch Forum:

  • Raise awareness of higher-level technical problems.
  • Take part in high-level technical discussions and consensus building, for example before or during an RFC process. These free-flowing conversations in structured threads might, if successful, replace conversations currently taking place during IRC office hours, wiki talk pages, ad-hoc Google Hangouts meetings, etc. This does not change Phabricator as the central place to track the current state of the open RFCs, and major conclusions will continue to be posted there. Participants are also welcome to continue to ask questions and raise concerns via Phabricator. The Arch Forum however is intended to be provide an easier and less daunting way to enter the conversation.
  • Announce and provide feedback on RFCs during their Last Calls (dedicated thread).
  • Discuss development policies and guidelines, coordinate and spread awareness of practices between teams.
  • Ad-hoc discussions to get input from TechCom and/or other stakeholders about technical issues. If successful, this might be preferred over creating (non-RFC) tasks tagged as #TechCom in Phabricator.

Operation[edit]

The forum operates primarily through the mailing group, which can also be browsed and participated in via the Google Group interface.

  • TechCom will ensure a dedicated thread exists for new RFCs when they are triaged (by creating or notifying such thread).
  • TechCom will post detailed minutes of their meetings.
  • TechCom will ensure a dedicated thread exists for the Last Call phase of an RFC.
  • TechCom will announce approved RFCs and other decisions.

Membership[edit]

Membership is self-selected, and anyone is free to sign up. Membership is not restricted to Wikimedia Foundation staff, everyone is welcome.

You can subscribe to be notified about RFCs and TechCom meeting notes, start conversations and ask questions, or engage with RFCs as an interest stakeholder.

Join the Google Group, or subscribe by e-mailing.

Interested stakeholder[edit]

If you identify as an interested stakeholder, add yourself to the list of Stakeholders to indicate that it is okay for forum threads or RFC tasks to call on you for input.

It is customary for interested stakeholders to be introduced in a welcome e-mail on the forum. This lets others know that a particular area now has an active participant, and what perspective they might bring to the forum. After subscribing, email and provide a brief introductory sentence. One of the moderators will introduce you in the next batch e-mail!

To ensure active participation across teams, disciplines, and interest areas TechCom may ask members every now and then whether they still consider themselves active in their interest area(s). This way, gaps can be identified for which additional members can be sought out, thus ensuring a broad array of perspectives.

Individuals violating the CoC or otherwise engaging in counter-productive behavior can be excluded from the group at the discretion of TechCom, in consultation with the CTO and/or CoC Com as needed. The ultimate decision over membership lies with the CTO.