#653 Fixing the feature process: use the feature definition, and let FESCo declare changes to be features
Closed None Opened 9 years ago by adamwill.

There's a gap in the feature process!

As I never tire of pointing out on -devel, the strict requirements around the feature process ring slightly hollow when we have no mechanism for compelling things to follow the feature process. Changes sometimes get pushed into Fedora outside of the feature process which should have been features, with negative consequences; bad change management, or late landing of changes which would not have been allowed to land so late had they been considered features.

Toshio anticipates my proposed solution to this: http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel/2011-July/154849.html

Apparently, what I'm about to propose has actually been happening informally. So, let's make it formal! The proposal is simple: we have a feature definition, so we know what changes ought to be features. Let's very clearly grant FESCo the power to declare particular changes to be features.

It's simple enough: just expand the feature process wiki pages a bit to explicitly say this. We already have a feature definition - http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Policy/Definitions (it could maybe be improved a bit to use the critical path concept, but whatever, that can be a separate ticket). So edit that page or a different page or a new page to say 'FESCo has the power, at its discretion and on its own initiative or in response to a report, to examine any given change to a Fedora release, and if it meets the feature definition, to declare it a feature'. That makes the problems go away at a stroke: if someone is trying to smuggle a feature in after the feature deadline (or just doing it unknowingly), or there's a big change before the deadline which isn't declared as a feature and hence isn't getting all the cool change management stuff the feature process provides, FESCo can just go 'that's a feature', and instantly we get all the feature process mechanisms: they could say 'it's past the deadline, take it out', they could say 'it's past the deadline but let's grant it an exception and work to get it through the process'.

So, here's my actual proposed change. Add a new section to the page https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Policy/Definitions :

== The feature process is not optional ==

If your change meets the [[Features/Policy/Definitions#Definition_of_a_Feature|feature definition]] above, you '''must''' follow the feature process. To ensure compliance with the feature process, [[Fedora_Engineering_Steering_Committee|FESCo]] has the power, at its discretion, to examine any change to Fedora and declare it to be a feature if it meets this definition.

Also, we might want to change the sentence 'If yes to any of the above, please create a Feature page.' to 'If yes to any of the above, you must create a Feature page.'

Could this be reviewed at next Monday's FESCo meeting? Thanks!

This proposal was rejected by -6 votes.

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