Let me preface this by saying the Rings concept is by no means set in stone in terms of what they mean. Most of the Council of Prague is dedicated to working that out. We do have some ideas though, and most of them think of Rings as atomic sub-categories of topics and proposals that a certain set of people are interested in and subscribe to through open membership. I sort of equate it to a “signaling group”.
Now, the motivation for this proposal is that EIPs are noisy. We have editors, who are basically there to mediate the conversation and make sure things are technically well-formed, and we have a process that culminates (for some EIPs) in acceptance through implementation by “core devs”, with final consensus by basically node operators and miners (and the rest of the community). For others (like ERCs) it is pure utility that drives “acceptance”. I may be making some gross generalizations here, but this is how I think about it.
We have a good process, but like any community interested in outcome-based measures of success, we are always thinking how it can be better. This is my motivations for this proposal.
The first part of this proposal is to add Ring tags to the GitHub EIP management topic. Anyone can propose a tag be added or removed from an EIP-based proposal, but editors ultimately ensure those suggestions make sense given the topic of the proposal. Tags can be filtered in GitHub search, so it removes a lot of the noise from the discovery process: those interested in a ring can find relevant EIPs quickly and easily.
The second part of this proposal is that EIP authors (aka champions) have to solicit comment from the Ring(s) tagged. This fits into the existing process of the Draft request for comments phase, but ideally by soliciting comments from each tagged Ring, you are generating discussion around a narrower and more focused group of members from our community and thus getting better feedback. Each Ring will upload the minutes from discussion of the topic to the EIP, including ALL relevant comments from it’s members (not a summary).
The ring can also agree unanimously to leave no comment at all if they don’t want to legitimize an EIP there are fundamental issues with. Editors can use the outcome of these discussions to gauge sentiment to move to “Last Call”. If all relevant Rings see no technical issues with a proposal by positively commenting to that effect, then I think there is a strong argument that this proposal is ready to move forward.
I didn’t want to post this as a formal proposal to modify the EIP process yet, because I am sure I am most definitely wrong about something and glossing over many other things, but I think this is a targeted change that will have real impact to the proceedings of the community, giving it some much needed structure without being too restrictive or formulaic in terms of process.
Let me know what you think!