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Proposing Committers

The following paragraphs contain an advice from Konstantin Belousov, member of the Core Team, who summarizes what constitutes a good proposal, how you as potential mentor, could increase your chances to have your mentee granted a commit bit.

When proposing somebody, you should just forget for a moment that you know the candidate personally. After that, look unprejudiced on the person's activity on the mailing lists, and evaluate the patches submitted.

Now, you can ask yourself, is it enough confidence in both technical abilities and the social behavior of the candidate, from what you see only on the media? If you do, then write down the reasons why are you sure, using the said list of the contributions as the evidence, and do include the reasoning in the commit bit application.

Due to several failures of the premature granting of commit bits, the Core Team became quite sensitive to these criteria. Most of the members only see the activity of applicants on the lists, and not seeing much there causes the cautious choice.

The Core Team wants to see a good list of the work already done for FreeBSD (e.g., the long list of the commits, submitted by the applicant, the list of PRs opened etc.), which can make us confident that the person has an established interest in the project, backed by the technical ability and work done.

Also, the history of the good engagement with the community on the public media, such as mailing list, is a deciding factor too. The Core Team wants to filter out the controversial personalities, since it is almost impossible and highly undesirable to revoke the commit bit, once granted.

Vendor-proposed maintainers for the hardware drivers usually approved without applying the listed criteria. Still, the Core Team requires an experienced mentor for a vendor committer to avoid unwanted tension and to make sure that vendor commits follow the Project procedures and community expectations.