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How to become a Trusted Contributor

December 03, 2023 4 min. read

During the past team meetings, we have reworked the process for becoming a Trusted Contributor (TC). To make it easier, more transparent, and to allow the postmarketOS community to continue to grow as we review and integrate an increasing amount of patches to improve stability, bring cool new features and support more and more devices and usecases.

What is a Trusted Contributor?

In postmarketOS, a Trusted Contributor is somebody who:

They have the responsibilities and permissions to:

Additional perks for TCs:

Why we needed a new process

The previous process was not documented anywhere. But it was more or less: be very active in the project for a long time until a Core Team member notices your activity and asks you if you would like to become a Trusted Contributor.

This had several downsides:

The new process

From now on we have this three step process for becoming a TC:

  1. Be active in the community (postmarketOS, Alpine or related projects) for at least six months, doing all of these:

    • Submit your own patches, and take part in the code review process from patch author's side.
    • Do code reviews of other people's patches.
    • Help out in issues, community chats, etc.
  2. Take note of the Core Team members and Trusted Contributors that you have interacted most with (who?). You will need two people from TC or the Core Team to endorse you becoming TC.

  3. Apply as Trusted Contributor by creating a confidential issue. A template asks you about your prior experience in postmarketOS etc.

Who are these Core Team members you have been talking so much about?

In addition to TCs, the governance model of postmarketOS also has a Core Team. They have the same duties as TCs, but additionally:

We considered making a process for becoming a Core Team member as well. But given that we currently have eight Core Team members and the overhead actually increases to organize and do related team meetings with each new team member (contrary to the code review process, where more TCs mean faster code review), we do not plan to accept new team members at the moment. However if somebody already is a TC and is convinced that it would be good for postmarketOS if they became a Core Team member, and they would have the time to actually do it: reach out to the Core Team via private message on matrix or email, and we may consider it.

Moving forward

So this is the process we came up with, and it may change as we refine and learn from the results. We have a lot more exciting things planned, but let's get the v23.12 release out first. Happy hacking!