Update to the i3 project structure / organisation
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Ingo Bürk
2017-02-07 19:41:39 UTC
There have been a few organisational changes to i3 over the past couple
days. In the spirit of transparency, I'd like to outline them here and
explain what they mean both for users and contributors. The first couple
of paragraphs will be more of some background information, feel free to
skip them if you just want to read about the changes.

Michael Stapelberg has been the maintainer of the i3 project and all of
its tools for eight years; in fact, if you look at |git log|, you will
find that, to the day, eight years ago today he made the first git
commit to the i3 window manager. Throughout this time, collaborators
came and went, but Michael always remained and kept the project going.

It was only in Dec'14 when I first joined the i3 project as a
contributor, but having stayed on ever since and constantly contributing
to the projects, Michael was quickly kind enough to make me a core
contributor which did give me some authority to moderate the issue
tracker; but really the biggest part of it has been the symbolic
component of belonging to the project.

However, Michael is quite the busy bee and as he continued juggling more
and different things, he had less and less time to spend on i3. This
became especially apparent as pull requests would wait for longer time
periods before being reviewed and merged. By no means did he stop
dedicating his time to open source software in this time, but in his own
words: »[
] there is so much software, which doesn't [yet do what I want
it to do] :-)«

So first and foremost, I would like to thank Michael for his years of
dedication to the community and I hope there are many more years to
come. I very much admire and value his ability to weigh factors and
arguments, stay true to the principles on which i3 has been built and
his thorough and detailed code reviews which turned i3 into the kind of
quality project that it is today. If you're a software developer, you
probably know how easy it usually is for code to decay after almost a

The changes

So, what does this mean? Most importantly, Michael is not abandoning the
i3 project. Instead, he simply acknowledges the status quo and will
merely retreat from the project organisation such that he is more in a
background / stand-by position and can use his time for other projects.

In consequence, he chose me to take over more responsibilities of the
project – and of course I gladly accepted and am very appreciative of
this decision. So, effective immediately, I will take a more active role
in i3 development, meaning I can make final decisions on bugs, features
and pull requests. It also means that I will be making the decision to
merge contributions as well as prepare and publish future releases.

One important factor for this is that for you as a user this should mean
that nothing changes. I will do my best to uphold the values the i3
project is based on (a little more on that later on). For you as a
contributor, ideally the only thing changing would be faster response
and decision times.

However, it also means that the biggest driving factor in code reviews –
an essential tool for quality control – will mostly disappear. So
because of that I encourage anyone reading this to start participating
in the i3 project if you haven't already; whether it be issues,
documentation improvements, bug fixes or code reviews. There's always a
good place to start – I know, because it hasn't been too long since I
started. :-)

But just to clarify once more: I am not replacing Michael, who will
continue being the BDFL (see »governance model« below) for the i3
project. I merely take on more responsibilities previously only held by him.

Some more changes

A couple of paragraphs ago I talked about values i3 is based on. For as
long as I have been with i3, there has been a list of values on the main
page of the i3 website. However, there have also been things that
haven't been clearly stated anywhere. With the discussed changes to the
project, Michael changed this:

* i3 will soon adopt a clearly defined code of conduct.
* The governance model
<https://github.com/i3/i3/blob/next/.github/GOVERNANCE.md> has been
clearly defined.
* The values on the main page have been extended with values for

Again, this shouldn't change anything with regards to how you perceive
i3 on a daily basis, but we hope to make the project organisation of i3
more transparent this way.


In summary, I would like to thank both the community and Michael in
particular. I very much enjoy working with and on i3 and I love how
useful this software is to the users.

One question coming to some people's minds might now be what this means
for i3-gaps. The simple answer is: nothing. As I outlined above I will
uphold the values i3 is based on and this 100% rules out merging i3-gaps
into i3. Of course I will continue to maintain i3-gaps just like I have
been doing until now.

If you do have any questions, please feel free to ask them.
Martin Cigorraga
2017-02-07 21:12:38 UTC
Hello Ingo,

Thank you very much for this concise and clear `State of i3` presentation, I’m confident that under your guidance i3 will continue to mature and be as awesome as it is today.

Best of lucks on your new role and of course same goes to Michael on his other endeavors.

Much love!
2017-02-07 22:35:49 UTC
Congratulations !

And thank you for your commitment to i3 :-)

-- Layus.
2017-02-09 16:17:54 UTC
Congrats on the new role in the project.