A plan to help TC39 become more open up to community contributions and participations

G. Kay Lee balancetraveller+es-discuss at gmail.com
Thu May 26 12:06:38 UTC 2016

(This is a continuation of [a previous discussion](

So, to summarize, while rules and platforms currently in place do allow for
community contributions, they are hardly friendly ones. A few issues:

* The mailing list is a really awkward platform for community participants
to collaborate, especially when debates and discussions can span months,
even years; threads, reasonings, and important conclusions tend to become
buried over time, resulting in a never-ending reincarnation of dead ideas
and, more importantly, lose of precious lores and insights.

* Self-contradictory rules about the processing of community proposals in
official documents, because these rules were [authored by a few different
individuals without a definitive source](

* The most widely circulated version of these rules demands community
proposals to find "champions", ie. member representatives willing to serve
as lobbyists; the real story, however, is that member representatives are
very busy and, when they do have time, they will almost always lobby for
proposals that their organizations or themselves are interested in. No
blaming here because this is just the way human society works, which brings
the conclusion that this requirement is simply antihuman.

In the previous discussion, Allen mentioned that a lot of efforts have
already been put in place to make TC39 as open as possible under the bylaws
and rules of Ecma International, for which I am sure every non-member
participant of the standardization process is really appreciated. But I
think there is still room to do better.

For that reason I intend to form a nonprofit organization and apply for
Ecma membership to help further opening up the standardization process of
ECMAScript to interested participants who currently do not enjoy the
privilege of becoming member representatives.

I've been in contact with Secretary General Istvan and apparently this is
doable as long as the General Assembly vote in favor of my application, so
I think it's a good thing to raise this plan here and see if anyone has any
good feedbacks or concerns, so we can iron out these issues during the
early stage - or put an early end to it if there are some good reasons. A
legally registered nonprofit with an official "tax exemption" status is the
acceptance criteria for Ecma NFP members, but also requires me to go
through a hell lot of bureaucracy and legal works and hold a few physical
meetings with the presence of government dudes, so I'd really like to make
sure we all like the idea (**especially if you're a representative of an
Ordinary member organization**) before I'll go ahead.


The plan is (roughly) like this:

Once formed, this nonprofit organization will help TC39 by voluntarily
overseeing and shepherding community participations. There will be a single
set of clear rules on how to contribute.

Community proposals will be asked to be formatted as GitHub repos and be
submitted in the form of GitHub issues to the nonprofit's GitHub project,
and all discussions are expected to take place on GitHub. Dupes will be
closed, related topics can be easily referenced, and past discussions can
be easily searched.

Everyone can become a member of this nonprofit as long as an image copy of
passport is provided (required by my home country's law). Members can
rightfully become the nonprofit's representatives to TC39, and present
their own proposals (or others' if they would) in official TC39 meetings.
No longer do we need to force other member representatives to become
"champions" or lobbyists - proposers will be their own best advocates.

In order to prevent TC39 from being flooded, some throttle mechanism will
also be installed. Only 3 community proposals for one TC39 meeting at most.
In case of more than 3 pending community proposals, we'll decide the
priority of presentation by their GitHub stars. We'll also have a threshold
on minimal star counts to weed out really bad proposals.

The nonprofit will delegate anyone who wish to attend a certain TC39
meeting as its representative to help make the standardization as open as
possible; these representatives can help by participating in the
discussions and providing more diverse insights to topics at hand; they
will not however bring in additional proposals for that specific meeting.


This is still a rough plan, and everyone's feedback is welcomed so that the
plan can be adjusted if needed to make this thing work as intended.

Again, if you're a representative of an Ordinary member organization, your
input will be more than valuable.

Let's see if we can make things work even better for the community and the

*G. Kay Lee*
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