Re: Taking another look at project maturity rating
Hi Arnaud (and everyone),
Thanks for the email.
Yes, this was something that I brought up when we were discussing moving the Besu project from incubation to active status (although I don't believe the idea was entirely mine). The motivation was the following: active status is essentially a single bit of information that says whether or not the TSC believes that a project has a healthy and robust community. Since different people and groups may care about different facets of the community, the argument was that it might make sense to just make public all of the community metrics that we could and then let people decide for themselves.
At the time, the TSC thought it was still important to give projects the active status "stamp of approval," so we didn't change anything, although we did agree that it would be good to make more community metrics public. Since then, Ry and the other community architects have done a great job setting up the community bridge analytics for projects (https://lfanalytics.io/projects/hyperledger if you haven't seen it), which provides pretty much all of the metrics we asked for in the original discussion. So I'd argue that much of the information is, in fact, already public like we wanted.
The big question for me at this point is whether active status is worth achieving for projects. We aren't seemingly tying it to a "featured release" (i.e. 1.0 anymore) or any kind of marketing restrictions, so I don't believe there are a lot of incentives for projects to shoot for active status. The approval process itself was seemingly long and difficult for Besu, and, at least in my experience, people outside Hyperledger seem to not know (or care) about active versus incubation status, so it doesn't seem like something that projects are trying to achieve. A project like Aries, at least from my perspective, seems like it should be able to easily clear the bar for active status with a little bit of work (although there are some milestones they are missing--like the CII badge). I obviously can't speak for them, but I'm guessing there's not a lot of urgency for active status due to the lack of incentives.
So personally, I do think we should take a look at active status, although we may not want to end up getting rid of it. I don't know if others feel this way, though, or if a new TSC will feel this way either, so I'm not sure whether we should dig into this discussion in detail. It may be something that we can't finish before the new TSC starts, at which point there may be large deviations in TSC opinion. I'll defer to others as to the general level of interest in this discussion.
This brings me to another point that I wanted to bring up: I think it will be useful to spend a bit of time (maybe half a TSC meeting) discussing the past year in terms of what the TSC has accomplished, what it has discussed, what it has decided to do, and what it decided not to change. The current TSC could then present this to the new TSC in some form, either as a document or during a meeting verbally.
There are two factors in play here: one, due to the expansion of the TSC and some existing members not running for reelection, we are guaranteed to have a lot of new members on the new TSC, some of whom may not currently regularly attend TSC meetings, and thus may not be as familiar with the discussions of the past year as old members. In addition, the TSC sometimes spends a lot of time rehashing topics that were previously discussed. Having a "cheat sheet" for the big topics of the year might be very useful for avoiding duplicating work/discussion, since most people probably don't want to have to go back and read the individual minutes of all of the meetings of the year. In other words, we probably don't want to have the subprojects discussion for the 20th time without at least first filling people in on the past decision-making process.
What do people think about this? Does it seem like a good idea, or a waste of time?
If you've made it this far, thank you very much for reading. Please feel free to respond with questions, comments, or criticism.
From: tsc@... <tsc@...> on behalf of Arnaud Le Hors <lehors@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 1:56 AM
To: TSC <tsc@...>
Subject: [Hyperledger TSC] Taking another look at project maturity rating
During the Member Summit that recently took place a proposal that surfaced and gained quite a bit of support was to investigate the possibility of moving away from the current approach based on the binary Incubation/Active status in favor of a maturity rating system where various items could be measured with a level of completion as a percentage.
This is not an entirely new idea as we've discussed something like that in the past, Hart I think first came up with the idea of some kind of badging mechanism that could be displayed on the website, giving the reader the info to judge on the maturity of a project by themselves rather than trying to encompass all the different dimensions at play into a single metric.
As we know, several projects are stuck in Incubation due to a lack of diversity and the current rating system doesn't provide for a way to communicate that two projects in Incubation might be very different with regard to activity level, size of user community, etc. A finer grained rating system would address this problem.
I'd like us to start a discussion on this on this week's call and see whether there is enough interest to warrant investing in developing a proposal.
Arnaud Le Hors - Senior Technical Staff Member, Blockchain & Web Open Technologies - IBM