RFC Steering Committee Rotation 2019/20


as mentioned in my lightning talk at NixCon the NixOS RFC Steering Committee (RFCSC) rotation will happen soon, approximately at the end of the year.

Details of responsibilities and the rotation process are listed below.

We are looking for people who are willing to join the RFCSC, it is both fine to nominate yourself or other people who you think are suitable! Ideally you’d ask them first if they’d be interested, so that we don’t have the burden of needing to ask everyone. For nominations just comment on this thread!

Generally the team holds weekly video conference meetings of ~30mins, you should try and find enough time for that and also at least for the most part keep updated on open RFCs and the state of discussion.

Responsibilities of the RFCSC

A team of people defined by RFC 36. This committee is responsible for forming an RFC Shepherd team from the available nominations on each RFC. This team also names the leader of the Shepherd team. This has to happen within 1 week after the PR has been opened. Until then the Steering Committee is responsible for guiding the discussion. In case of the Shepherding Team not doing its work the Steering Committee shall encourage them or step in and assign new Shepherds. They also are in charge of merging accepted and rejected RFCs. Generally by these expectations they should find time to meet once a week for about an hour.

They have no special responsibility with regard to the content of an RFC, they can weigh in on them, the same as any other community member, but are only in charge of:

  • selecting the Shepherds unanimously
  • supervising that the Shepherds are carrying out their work
  • committing the final RFC

Rotation of the RFCSC

The RFC Steering Committee shall always have five members. If membership drops below five members (for example by resignation of a member as detailed below), a new member shall be elected without delay after a nomination period of at least two weeks (see below for nomination and selection process). If the number of members of the RFCSC drops below 4 people, it cannot proceed with shepherd team selections until new members have been selected.

The members chosen through the original implementation as specified in RFC 36 are regular members as specified in this RFC. They will stay on as members until replaced by new members as outlined below.

If a seat has to be filled earlier than at the yearly vote, the new member will only serve for the rest of the term.

Each year at the first meeting of the RFCSC in December (starting 2019, approximately a year after establishment in RFC 36) they unanimously decide on the succeeding committee members. If unanimous agreement cannot be reached, the RFCSC votes on each nominee, ranking them by votes in favour of the candidate and further holds run-off votes if there is a tie for the fifth & sixth spot. Nominations are open to anyone, and one can either nominate themself or any other person who accepts the nomination. Members of the previous RFCSC explicitly can stand again, but should reflect on their free time and commitment to their role. The nomination period starts at the beginning of November, a minimum of four weeks before election, and is announced on all relevant communication channels (as of April 2019, discourse.nixos.org, IRC #nixos and #nixos-dev, and NixOS Weekly). The new RFCSC takes over in the first week of January.

Additionally to RFC 36 a new restriction formally comes into effect. In order to avoid conflict of interest there is an upper cap of appointing 2 members working for a single employer.


I’d like to add that this is a good way to give back to the community.

There’s also opportunity to learn and to get know better of the people around Nix.

Time commitment is ~30min per week (although that can change, I’d probably recommend meeting taking place every 2 weeks instead of every week).

Let me know if you have some other questions :slight_smile:

We’ve made the decision to make RFC SC meeting bi-weekly next year, as meeting weekly is quite a commitment.

I’d like to add that it often happened that someone didn’t have time to attend, since this is voluntary work, skipping a meeting now and then is totally reasonable.

We haven’t received any nominations yet, so I’d kindly ask everyone to speak out if you have some doubts or questions, but are considering being part of the steering committee.

You mentioned bi-weekly for frequency, but what time zone are these likely to occur in? I’m west coast in the USA so (GMT -8) which means im 9 hours behind central EU.

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We’ve moved the meeting back and forth, but this time we had only Shea on the east coast.

West coast would be a challenge, but don’t think it’s a blocker.

If you could do 8 am (or earlier if possible), that’s 5 pm CEST. Since it’s bi-weekly, that seems doable to me (can’t speak for the others ofc), I’d expect a bit less attendance due to life logistics at the end of the working day, but again that seems to me like not a blocker.

I nominate @lheckemann for the RFCSC. He accepted the nomination already. :smiley:


Well if we’re doing nominations I’d be crazy not to mention @worldofpeace. I could rant at least two or three paragraphs about how their care and attitude toward people and community would be such an asset to the steering committee… but I just can’t imagine anyone would disagree so I’ll stop here assuming the nomination speaks for itself :star_struck:


Hi, I would like to nominate myself!

I’m generally interested in being involved in and helping shape the RFC process. I’m also involved in the Rust project in a few ways and since we’re looking at other projects’ organisational structures to steal be inspired by, this would also be very interesting for me.

edit: oh, my timezone is CEST.


I’d like to accept, I’m just not sure what I’d be getting myself into :grin:
Which tbh is my preferred way to handle any engagement.

And yes, I think you get my style for nominations is to always let it speak for itself.
No self advertisement needed :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: