PHP RFC: Third-Party editing of RFCs


Discussion of contested RFCs on the internals mailing lists sometimes creates a cycle of repeating the same arguments ad nauseam. Ideally the RFC author will summarize these arguments (pro and con) accurately in the RFC, but this layer of translation can lead to inaccurate representation of arguments. Conversely, ad hoc editing of another's RFC can lead to confusion and unintended altering of meaning, which is why participants currently tend to avoid doing so.


This proposal suggests the introduction of a new section to the standard RFC template for “Third Party Arguments”, with subsections for “In Favor” and “Opposed”. The understanding being that any content under “Third Party Arguments” may be edited by anyone with wiki karma to add a summary of their argument in their own words.

It is the RECOMMENDATION of this RFC that summaries placed in the “Third-Party Arguments” section be constrained to concise summaries, possibly as bullet points.

If taken advantage of (and it would be optional to all parties), then not only does this provide a unified and consistent place to find established arguments during the voting phase, it ensures a historical record of the discussion in a more accessible format than searching mail archives.

Note that point 5 of https://wiki.php.net/rfc/howto already calls for updating RFCs with arguments made on the list. This proposal seeks to extend point 5:

  • Codify how summaries be presented into a rough format
  • Update the default template to encourage RFC proponents to actually DO it.
  • Grant implicit permission for parties other than the RFC author to make a class of edits to an RFC without explicit permission

RFC Impact

Add the following headers near the bottom of the “New RFC” template on wiki.php.net

===== Third-Party Arguments =====

==== In Favor ====
  * Concise list of arguments
  * Summarized for easy review
==== Against ====
  * Longer paragraphs are permitted, but brevity should be considered where possible.

Proposed Voting Choices

Adopt these new headings and codify scope-limited editing of other's RFCs during discussion phase. Requires 50% + 1

rfc/rfc.third-party-editing.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/22 13:28 (external edit)