Drupal is one of the most successful open source projects in the world. Governance is fundamental to the project’s success.
The community and the code has been built from the ground up. And as the code has grown, so has the community.
When communities are first emerging it’s easy to bring newcomers along, but over time the community begins to mature, change, and then needs to adapt. Challenges and opportunities emerge as evolution occurs, and our community needs to navigate them strategically.
A Governance Task Force has been meeting weekly since May to put together the strategic proposal we now share with you. We’ve synthesized ideas, discussions, and experiences from people we’ve interviewed, and we’ve revisited the themes that emerged from the community listening project run by Whitney Hess and by previous governance discussions.
This Drupal Governance Task Force 2018 Proposal serves two purposes.
Firstly, it’s clear that for community evolution to occur there needs to be broad agreement and buy-in. People are comfortable jumping in and building a new module, but community change and action is hard. People talked to us openly about the unclear processes and barriers holding back community progress.
We heard strong perceptions that support from Dries or the Drupal Association is needed before initiatives could be created or scaled; real or otherwise, this is affecting community progress and action. Speaking to people from the Drupal Association, the Community Working Group and other initiative leaders, they also feel limitations. But to change their terms of reference and priorities they also need to have a community directive.
The community is stronger and more influential than we sometimes assume — when we are speaking together.
That’s why at the heart of this proposal is a new community governance structure.
The second purpose of the proposal is to create a starting point — a framework. We’ve been practical, highlighting a range of actions that form a backbone for community evolution. It’s not a defined roadmap, and it’s not a list of every idea we had or heard. We welcome the discussion, debate and idea generation that this document will spark. We want to hear your solutions on how to get change done, and what you would like to contribute.
We strived to make practical recommendations with the potential to make progress, lower barriers, and help our community to continue to evolve with time.
Throughout this process we have heard people say they believe change is necessary. Change is necessary for the longevity of Drupal the project and the code. Change is necessary to create a new generation of Drupallers — the people we want to help build ambitious things and to have the chance to build a career within our community.
It is hard to not feel the project is at a crossroads. We’ve climbed the mountain of Drupal 8, we sit at the peak and look to the valley below.
Where we go next, and who we take with us, is up to you.
We hope this proposal helps.
David, Ela, Stella, Lyndsey, Rachel, Hussain, and Adam