second draft of OWIN governance document

OWIN Governance

This is a meritocratic, consensus-based community project. Anyone with an interest in the project can join the community, contribute to the project design and participate in the decision making process. This document describes how that participation takes place and how to set about earning merit within the project 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. No decisions about the project's direction, bug fixes or features may be done without community involvement and participation. Discussions must begin at the earliest possible point on a topic; the community's participation is vital during the entire decision-making process.

Roles and Responsibilities

In order to have a smoothly running project, formal roles with corresponding responsibilities are established. A member of the community may have multiple roles.


Users are community members who have a need for the project. They are the most important members of the community: without them, the project would have no purpose. Anyone can be a user; there are no specific requirements.

Users should be encouraged to participate in the life of the project and the community as much as possible. User contributions enable the project team to ensure that they are satisfying the needs of those users. Common user activities include (but are not limited to):

Users who continue to engage with the project and its community will often find themselves becoming more and more involved. Such users may then go on to become contributors, as described below.

How to become one: Use OWIN or create an OWIN consumer or host.


Contributors are community members who contribute in concrete ways to the project. Anyone can become a Contributor, and contributions can take many forms. There is no expectation of commitment to the project, no specific skill requirements, and no selection process.

How to become one: Since OWIN defines a non-binary specification, contributions are mostly based on user consensus and open discussion between the users. As Contributors gain experience and familiarity with the project, their profile within, and commitment to, the community will increase. At some stage, they may find themselves being nominated for committership by an existing Committer.


Committers are contributors who have shown dedication to OWIN, high technical prowess and the ability to work well with contributors and users. The committers have responsibilities beyond the contributors. In particular, committers formally decide on whether patches are entered into the main code repository and add those requests. A committer will use lazy consensus to decide on whether to commit a patch from a contributor. If the discussion is no longer moving towards a consensus, the Management Committee (see next section) will decide on the patches inclusion via lazy consensus. Patches in the case of OWIN will primarily be to either example code or to the specification and OWIN web site itself.

Management Committee

Beyond the responsibility of merging contributions, committers as a group (called the Management Committee) participate in strategic planning, release planning, and approving changes to the governance model. The management committee also makes decisions on patches when community consensus cannot be reached. The management committee has final say over who can become a committer and will use lazy consensus for approval. Discussion over committer nominations will be done in private.

How to become one: Be a contributor and be nominated as a committer. Nominations should be sent to any member of the Management Committee or to You may nominate yourself.

Management Committee Chairperson

The Management Committee Chairperson is a committer and the project leader whom people interested in the project can consider the primary point of contact or first point of contact for the project. The Chairperson does not have any increased authority and is simply a convenient point of contact for the Foundation.

How to become one: Have nomination approved by the Management Committee.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

This work is based upon "Meritocratic Governance Model" by University of Oxford.