Foundation governance over Nuget project


#1

I’m not sure if this is a correct place to ask for an official comment of .NET Foundation, but I did not find any better communication channel on the Foundation website. If I missed it, please let me know.


I would like to ask the Foundation a few questions regarding its’ relations with Nuget project and Nuget team currently working on redesigning the Nuget library website. Questions are listed below, but first I would like to establish some context.

Please take a look at this Pull Request on Nuget gallery Github repository. The PR introduces installation instructions for a popular Paket package manager, which uses public Nuget server API. As you can see, the PR gathered loud and positive support from the .NET community (at the time of writing, almost 250 “thumbs up” and more than 100 comments).

Despite large support for merging the PR, it was closed by joelverhagen (from Nuget team) without participating in the discussion. After his post, there was no response to any of the community comments since the very beginning (currently 12 days) from any of the Nuget team members. Note that the PR was closed 7 days ago without any comment, when there already where several questions posted by the community members.

Note that there are similar small PRs to Nuget gallery open: 4448 and 4089. All the PRs have one thing in common - they mention 3rd party (not developed by Microsoft) tools operating within the Nuget ecosystem.


The reason why I am asking .NET Foundation about this issue is that the official Nuget documentation mentions the Foundation as a governing body over the Nuget project.

Combined, these form the NuGet project which is governed by the .NET Foundation.
All contributions made by Microsoft employees are also open source and are donated (including copyrights) to the .NET Foundation.

Note that the Nuget documentation contains also a Governance document describing the Nuget obligations towards the community.

Building community trust in the governance of an open-source project is vital to its success. To that end, decision making must be done in a transparent, open fashion. Discussion about the project’s direction must be done publicly.


These are the questions I wanted to ask the Foundation:

  1. What is the official channel of communication with the .NET Foundation?
  2. What does it mean that the Nuget project is “governed by the .NET Foundation”? What are the Foundation responsibilities and rights?
  3. Does the Foundation approve the way the PR was handled by Nuget team?
  4. Does the Foundation agree with the apparent policy of not mentioning 3rd party tools on a Nuget gallery page? (I call it “apparent” policy, since it was not explicitly stated - but as there are no comments from the Nuget team, I have to judge it by the actions)
  5. How is the Governance model encouraged/enforced in projects governed by .NET Foundation? What happens if a project maintainer (of a project governed by the .NET Foundation) decides to stop working together with the project community?

I saw on Twitter that @jongalloway was “working on it”[the issue], so I’m pinging him here. I also wanted to ping Robin Ginn, since she is the spokeperson of the Foundation (if I understand the description correctly), but she doesn’t seem to have an account here, so I’m going to ping @migueldeicaza instead.


Last but not least, I would like to ask for a civil and on-topic discussion here. It is not about Paket vs Nuget clients, it is about the responsibilities and governance of Foundation, and the relations between the Nuget team and .NET open source community as a whole. Thank you.


#2

These are great questions, and I appreciate both the civil tone and time you put into writing this up. The NuGet team has responded on the specific pull request. I’d like to cover your questions on .NET Foundation governance in general.

The .NET Foundation has a lightweight governance model, as spelled out here: https://github.com/dotnet/home/tree/master/governance and https://dotnetfoundation.org/about. We recommend some basic structure and best practices to projects, but each project is free to work out the governance model that is most appropriate for them. Our model is to support self-governing projects.

Aaron Stannard expressed this pretty well in his comment in the referenced thread (https://github.com/NuGet/NuGetGallery/pull/4437#issuecomment-320021085). In short, the .NET Foundation can facilitate conversations and recommend practices, but it does not dictate high level policies or low level issue / pull request responses.

Hopefully that covers questions 1-4. For question 0, you can post on the forum, e-mail at contact@dotnetfoundation.org, file issues on github.com/dotnet/home or contact on twitter at @dotnetfdn. Sounds like we need to make that more clear on the site.

Thanks,
Jon


#3

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions. I saw Aaron’s posts in the Github thread, but I believe it’s good that his words were officially confirmed here.

I believe that the source of confusion here was that the word “governance” is used to describe both relationship between Nuget team and the Foundation and the relationship between Nuget team and the community (aka Governance Model). Those two seem to be totally separated things.

Out of curiosity - who is the Project Leader of Nuget project (Project Leader as described here https://github.com/dotnet/home/blob/master/governance/foundation-structure.md)?


#4

Unni does, he mentioned that in his response on the thread: https://github.com/NuGet/NuGetGallery/pull/4437#issuecomment-320285321


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