I know we are all busy with Global Forum for the next week, but after that I think it would be good to come back to the topic of project incubation status versus lab in a future TSC meeting.
The line between labs and project incubation is too blurred, both for new contributors and for TSC members that must evaluate project proposals. Everybody I have talked to internally and externally has struggled to understand the difference. Even people that have been around a long time struggle with the question when making or evaluating a new code contribution. And as we saw with the latest project proposal, the lack of criteria exasperated what can already be a torturous process for all involved.
As a new TSC member who didn't have the benefit of precedent with respect to project proposal evaluations, it was a difficult decision for me whether to speak my mind or not when the process was moving faster than I was comfortable with given a number of unknowns. I've been trying to think about what might have improved the experience for all. I liked Hart's suggestion in RocketChat about project incubation guidelines. For example, for projects that have not been open source previously, perhaps they should be required to start as a lab for a short time so that they can contribute their code in a welcoming environment and get familiar with open source licenses and processes prior to the public scrutiny of a project proposal evaluation. And with the latest proposal, it may have also helped to facilitate some discussions and collaboration prior to the project proposal submission and evaluation.