Proposals are a means for suggesting changes to Bisq Network software components, infrastructure and processes.

Introduction

The Bisq DAO is a flat organization, with no command-and-control hierarchy available to make big decisions and carry them out. Usually this is not a problem, as most day-to-day changes happen without any need for organization-wide consensus. Certain kinds of changes, however, benefit from or even require it.

What’s needed is a mechanism that allows any contributor to propose a change, and all other contributors to review it in order to arrive at an IETF-style rough consensus.[1] Proposals are that mechanism, and this document covers everything that participants need to know about the process.

What proposals are good for

  • Creating an entire new Bisq component or making a significant change to an existing one

  • Changing something about the way contributors work together

What proposals are not good for

  • Smaller changes to existing components, infrastructure or processes, where a broad consensus of contributors is not required

Infrastructure

GitHub

Proposals are managed as GitHub issues in the bisq-network/proposals repository.

Slack

The #proposals Slack channel is available for discussion and notifications about proposal issue activity.

Roles

Submitter

The contributor(s) who write a proposal and carry it through to completion.

Submitters are 100% responsible for the success of their proposals.

Reviewer

Other contributors who read, discuss and react to proposals.

Any contributor may review a proposal, but no contributor is obligated to do so. This intentionally puts the onus on the submitter to ensure their proposal is relevant and well-written per the Guidelines below.

Maintainer

The contributor(s) responsible for proposals Infrastructure and Process.[2]

Role Issue

Duties

  • Enforce the proposals Process detailed below.

  • Monitor communications on the #proposals Slack channel.[5]

  • Keep this proposals documentation up to date.[6]

  • Write a monthly report on the proposals maintainer Role Issue.[7]

Rights

Process

Step 0. Research

Before you submit a proposal, do your homework!

  1. Discuss your idea with other contributors to see if a proposal is worth submitting at all;

  2. Search through existing proposals (both open and closed) to see whether something similar has already been proposed;

  3. Notice which among those proposals have been accepted and rejected, and why;

  4. Read this document to fully understand the proposal process and guidelines.

Step 1. Submit

Create a new GitHub issue in the bisq-network/proposals repository containing the text of your proposal, written and formatted per the guidelines below.

A maintainer will quickly review your proposal and will either (a) assign it to you to indicate your ownership and responsibility over it, or (b) close it and label it as was:incorrect if it does not follow the guidelines below.

Step 2. Review

Once a proposal is submitted, a two-week review period follows. During this period, interested reviewers should read, discuss and ultimately react to the proposal as follows:

  • 👍: I agree with the proposal and want to see it enacted

  • 😕: I am uncertain about the proposal and I need more information

  • 👎: I disagree with the proposal and do not want to see it enacted

When reacting with a 😕 or 👎, add a comment explaining why. If you don’t, then don’t expect your opinion to have much weight or get addressed.

If you do not understand or care about a given proposal, ignore it.

Use comments on the proposal issue to discuss, ask questions, and get clarifications. Take lengthy discussions offline to Slack or elsewhere and then summarize them back on the issue.

Remember that the proposal review process is all about reaching a rough consensus, meaning that there is a broad agreement that the proposal should be enacted, and that any dissenting opinions have been addressed, though not necessarily fully resolved.

Step 3. Evaluate

After the two-week review period is over, a maintainer will evaluate reactions to and discussions about the proposal and will close the issue with a comment explaining that it is approved or rejected based on whether a rough consensus was achieved.

Approved proposals will be labeled with was:approved. Rejected proposals will be labeled with was:rejected.

If rough consensus has not been achieved, e.g. because discussion is still ongoing, dissenting concerns have not been addressed, or the proposal has turned out to be contentious, the maintainer will indicate that they cannot close the proposal, and that it is up to the submitter to take next steps to move the proposal forward. If the proposal does not move forward after another two weeks, the maintainer will close and label it was:stalled.

If there have been no or very few reactions to a proposal after the two-week period, the maintainer will close it and label it as was:ignored.

Step 4. Enact

Assuming your proposal was approved, the next step is to actually enact the changes described in that proposal.

Guidelines

Write your proposal in a way that makes it as easy as possible to achieve rough consensus. This means that proposals should be as simple, focused, concrete and well-defined as possible. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for your fellow contributors to understand and agree with you.

Take full responsibility for your proposal. It is not the maintainers' job, nor anyone else’s, to see your proposal succeed. If people aren’t responding or reacting to your proposal, it’s your job to solicit that feedback more actively.

Never assume that anyone other than yourself is going to do the work described in your proposal. If your proposal does place expectations on other contributors, or requires them to change their behavior in any way, be explicit about that.

Provide context. Make a strong case for your proposal. Link to prior discussions. Do not make your reader do any more work than they have to to understand your proposal.

Format your proposal in Markdown. Make it a pleasure to read.

In general, good proposals take time to research and write. Every minute you spend clearly and logically articulating your proposal is a minute that you save other contributors in understanding it. This diligence on your part will be appreciated and rewarded by others' attention. Cheaply written, "drive by" proposals that waste others' time will be closed immediately as was:incorrect.


1. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rough_consensus
2. See roles.html#maintainer
3. See roles.html#issue
4. See roles.html#team
5. See roles.html#communication
6. See roles.html#documentation
7. See roles.html#reporting