Verified Commit d8c115d5 authored by Konstantin Gizdov's avatar Konstantin Gizdov
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add proposal to rename TU role

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Rename the Trusted User role
============================
- Date proposed: 2021-07-27
- RFC MR: https://gitlab.archlinux.org/archlinux/rfcs/-/merge_requests/7
Summary
-------
It is shown in some cases that the Trusted User role naming leads to some
confusion and misunderstanding in broader contexts outside Arch Linux. It is
furthermore recently been discussed that it also led to similar confusion
among members of Arch Linux as well internally. This RFC aims to remedy
that with a better suited term to reflect more accurately upon TUs' roles
and responsibilities as well as their position in the Arch Linux Organisation.
Motivation
----------
There have been several discussions among Arch Linux members both on IRC
and more recently (27th Jul 2021) on the staff@lists.archlinux.org mailing
list about the "Trusted User" naming (later referred to simply by
"the naming" or "the name") and its associated controversies.
Some relevant points of the discussion:
- The naming, i.e. "Trusted User", puts an unnecessary boundary between
Trusted Users and the rest of Arch Linux Staff, sometimes purely
conceptually but sometimes proved pivotally a burden. It suggests
Trusted Users are not full members of the project but external actors
purely related by a trust-only relationship to the rest of the staff.
While this is important during the application process, it becomes
detrimental to developing more meaningful and closer relationships
between team members.
- The name should represent being a full member of and having a stake
at Arch Linux.
- The name is also confusing when interpreted publicly by third parties,
e.g. on CVs, public profiles and pages. The naming cannot be directly
understood as a position with real work and responsibilities involved.
- There are also situations where the naming cannot represent the
contribution/work made by TUs themselves very well. TUs are shown as
the "user" of such work rather than the main body involved in the R&D
and implementation.
- The name impedes conveying the due diligence needed to become a TU:
the public tend to assume that a TU is just a user that happens to
know an Arch Linux Developer in person.
Specification
-------------
Rename the "Trusted User" role as is to become "Maintainer". As such, all
Arch Linux Trusted Users would become Arch Linux Maintainers. No other changes
about the position in question are included in this proposal.
Drawbacks
---------
The simple name change should have minimal impact internally and externally
for Arch Linux. In terms of their responsibilities and descriptions,
the roles remain unchanged making this the minimal incremental change
given the ideas discussed (Sections #Motivation and #Alternatives-Considered).
Possible difficulties exist in amending the legal documentation and making
sure all relevant Wiki and other public and private information is updated
timely to mitigate any confusion.
It should also be noted that this change should be allowed to propagate
internally and externally for enough time so that members and the public
become accustomed to the naming before allowing any further re-structuring
of the relevant roles. The drawback here is that any more considerable role
re-design will have to be delayed by some time. Judging by previous such
changes with significant impact, Arch Linux has usually provided about 6
months for everyone to adjust.
Unresolved Questions
--------------------
There should be no specific outstanding and unresolved questions. The new
naming has been chosen based on a semi-broad set of comments from TUs and
other Arch Linux members both on IRC and the mailing list. The broader
non-member community of Arch Linux and the public should possibly have
no impact on this decision. Unless, of course, there is a specific reason
raised to re-think this point.
Alternatives Considered
-----------------------
There have been multiple other suggestions that have been considered before
the above selection in the #Specification section, e.g.:
- Member
- Package Maintainer
- Proponent
- Paladin
Furthermore, there have been ideas towards renaming the role of "Developer"
to "Core Maintainer", the role of "Trusted User" to simply "Maintainer" and
creating a new role called "Developer" solely reserved for members of Arch
Linux who do code development work directly relevant to Arch Linux.
Another similar idea was to keep the role structure as is but rename the
current "Developer" role into "Core Developer" and re-labelling the
"Trusted User" role to "Developer".
Finally, this proposal has been seen by some as the first step towards
a larger, more meaningful re-design as so ("->" is to be read as "becomes"):
- package maintenance, in [core]/[extra] (Developer only)
and [community] (everyone, especially TU) -> (Core) Maintainer
- sysadmin (including dedicated tooling), which is partly dev but not only,
and even non-TU -> Devops (currently in Support Staff)
- tooling development, be it pacman, archweb, devtools -> Developers
- Wiki, forum, IRC/Matrix, bug wrangler, (...) -> Support Staff
- AUR handling, especially PRQ -> Trusted Users
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