Menu

Getting Board of jQuery

November 19th, 2011

TL;DR The body responsible for overseeing jQuery’s finances and administration, which was until today known as the jQuery Team, is now called the jQuery Board. The jQuery Team is for anyone who invests a significant amount of time contributing to jQuery and its related projects.

As jQuery has grown from a cool idea in 2005 to the most widely used piece of JavaScript on the Internet today, so too has the organizational structure required to support its development and its community. Over time, e-mail chains became mailing lists, and out of those lists evolved a casual confederation known as the jQuery Team. To join this team, all you had to do was make a consistent contribution to some aspect of the project and eventually John would add your name to a page in our docs wiki.

By 2009, the team wanted to solidify the long-term future of the project, so we accepted an invitation to join the Software Freedom Conservancy, from whom we’ve since received great amounts of administrative and legal support. Though the SFC offers that “Projects can continue to operate in the same way they did before joining the Conservancy without having to select a board of directors or any other layer of corporate management,” the team chose to implement a governance system whereby the project’s official decisions would be communicated to the Conservancy after a public vote by the members of the “core team,” which initially had 21 members. This conferred a significant amount of formality onto what had been a relatively ad hoc process, and while the system has worked well, it has been accompanied by some confusion.

  • On one hand, there’s the voting membership, responsible primarily for financial and managerial decisions concerning the entire project. On the other, there’s an actual group of people who are working on jQuery Core itself. Both of these groups are sometimes called the jQuery Core Team, which is fairly misleading.
  • As new people come along and become active contributors to some part of the project, it’s not fun to tell them, “Hey, great job, but you’re *not* on the team!”
  • Just because you are really interested in hacking on jQuery Core, UI, or Mobile (or working on docs, or any of the many other ways you can help out the project) doesn’t mean you have the slightest desire to sit in long meetings, discussing how to allocate funds and how to improve beverage service at the next conference.
  • As people’s lives ebb and flow, it’s normal that their capacity to contribute changes. What’s the right correlation between being a genuinely active contributor in the present tense and having a vote in the project’s big-picture management?

In order to attempt to resolve some of this confusion and make clearer the group’s purpose, the jQuery Team is now known as the jQuery Board, and all the governance rules that applied to the Team now apply to the Board. The Board is responsible for

  • approving and appropriating expenditures
  • representing the intentions of the jQuery Project to the SFC
  • overseeing and directing the Subteams and selecting the Subteam Leads responsible for each of the facets of the project
  • voting on its own composition

If you’ve always wanted to be “on the team,” but were unsure of what it meant or what you would do, this is good news! We’re fully embracing the Wikipedia definition of team: a group of people (or animals!) linked in a common purpose. As such, anyone who volunteers, over a sustained period of time, to serve actively on a jQuery Subteam will be invited to join the jQuery Team (at the discretion of the Subteam Lead), so you can feel good putting that on your slide decks, refrigerators, and so forth.

What isn’t changing is the fact that if you are passionate about web development and trying to find a way to make a difference to developers around the world, there is a place for you in the jQuery community. Hop onto the forum and give another developer a hand. Head over to our various bug trackers and help triage the open issues — or dive in and see if you can provide a patch. If you just want to get a lay of the land, join the weekly IRC meetings. Want to work on a particular project? Take a look through the updated team page and get in touch with the right subteam lead! One thing’s for sure:

jQuery wants you!