[webkit-dev] Proposal for an "intent to" process for web-exposed features

Frédéric Wang fwang at igalia.com
Wed Feb 26 22:33:28 PST 2020


The idea of an "intent to" process has been raised several times in the
past(e.g. in our 2020 goals [1])and some people already use it
informally, but it does not seem that we have any agreement right now.
Such a process would help to coordinate changes internally (between port
maintainers and contributors) and externally (with standard groups,
users and other implementers). For the former point, see [2][3][4] for
examples of how coordination is not smooth right now.The latter point
will give a better understanding of what's happening in WebKit and help
web developer advocacy.

The Mozilla and Chromium projects have their own process [5] [6]. We can
probably start with minimal rules and refine them in the future. We can
even make it mandatory only for new web platform features developed
under a runtime preference for now (i.e. excluding small features for
which it's not worth introducing a flag, behavior changes or
deprecation/removal). Below is a proposal based on Mozilla's one.


Frédéric, on behalf of Igalia's web platform team

[1] https://trac.webkit.org/wiki/WebKitGoalsfor2020
[2] Behavior change: https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=201641#c49
[3] Deprecation/Removal: https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=204125#c7
[4] New feature: https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=157743landed in
April 2019 and only enabled in
[5] https://wiki.mozilla.org/ExposureGuidelines
[6] https://www.chromium.org/blink/launching-features


I/ General process

1. Email webkit-dev with an intent to prototype.
2. Implement the feature normally behind a off-by-default preference.
3. Email webkit-dev with an intent to ship.
4. If there's no negative feedback, ship (ports maintainer can still
disable the feature if they want to).

II/ Intent to prototype template

Subject: Intent to prototype: <your feature goes here> 

Summary: Elevator pitch for the new functionality.
Bug: Link to https://bugs.webkit.org
Standard: Link to standard or public discussions with other browser vendors.
Preference: name of flag.
Status in other browsers: "shipped", "intent emailed" or "considering".
web-platform-tests: Test suite for this feature.

III/ Intent to ship template

Subject: Intent to ship: <your feature goes here> 

As of <today + 1 week> I intend to turn <name of feature> on by default:
<link to https://bugs.webkit.orgto turn the flag on>. This has
originally been proposed in <link to
https://lists.webkit.org/pipermail/webkit-devintent to prototype>.*If
anything changed since that thread please include that information in
this email*.

It's acceptable to merge the "intent to prototype" into the "intent to
ship" email as long as all the relevant requirements are met.

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