All Hyperledger repositories MUST have a file at the top-level directory of the source code. The can be used as a template by projects creating a new repository.

The Hyperledger Foundation GitHub organization administrators SHOULD periodically send out notifications about missing files.

The following provides guidelines and suggested content to include in the file.

Maintainer Scopes and GitHub Roles

Becoming a Maintainer for a repository implies being granted special privileges within that repository to do the additional scope(s) of work required of a Maintainer. In most cases, the additional privileges are implemented by giving maintainers one of the elevated GitHub roles within the repository.

In most repositories, the “Maintainer” scope is given to all repository Maintainers. The “Maintainer” scope is defined as the “Maintain” GitHub role. This is usually sufficient to do all of the work required of a Maintainer. From time to time, Maintainers may have to request certain administrative tasks by performed by the Hyperledger GitHub organization administrators.

In some repositories, the maintainers may decide to define additional scopes and each Maintainer given one or more of those designated scopes:

  • In rare cases, Maintainers in a repository may request that the Hyperledger Foundation GitHub organization administrators enable designating some Maintainers with different GitHub roles, such as “Admin” (more capable than “Maintain”) or “Triage” (less capable than “Maintain”).
    • Each elevated GitHub role needed in a repository requires the Hyperledger Foundation GitHub organization administrators to create and maintain an additional GitHub Team.
    • The Hyperledger Foundation GitHub organization administrators manage a team per Hyperledger Project that includes all contributors to the project. That team is given the “Read” GitHub role in all project repositories. This team need not be documented in the “MAINTAINERS” file.
  • Maintainers MAY define Maintainer scopes within a repository that don’t require elevated GitHub privileges. For example, a scope might include hosting community meetings, or contributing to the Hyperledger Project’s Quarterly report.

If there is more than the single “Maintainer” scope used in a repository, there MUST be a list of the repository specific scopes in the MAINTAINERS file. The list must include the scope name, the definition of the scope, and if applicable, the related GitHub Role and Team for the scope.

Scope Definition GitHub Role GitHub Team
Maintainer The GitHub Maintain role Maintain <repository> committers

List of Repository Maintainers

Lists of active and emeritus maintainers MUST be included in the file.

Changes to the maintainers lists MUST be made via Pull Requests. Once a new file is created or a PR changing the maintainer lists within the file is merged, a corresponding update to the affected GitHub Teams within the Hyperledger GitHub organization must be made. This is a manual process and the maintainers must ensure that it occurs.

It is recommended that the lists be sorted alphabetically and MUST contain at least the Maintainers name, GitHub ID, Scope, and at least one contact method. The reasons for populating columns are:

  • A GitHub ID MUST be provided to add the Maintainer to a GitHub Team, and to recognize the action the Maintainer takes in the repository.
  • The Scope MUST be provided to know the role of each Maintainer, and to know the GitHub Team to update when adding/removing Maintainers.
  • A LFID (Linux Foundation ID), Discord ID and/or Email are the most effective ways for the Hyperledger Foundation to contact the Maintainer when necessary.
  • A Company Affiliation is helpful for monitoring the diversity of the Maintainer community for a project.

The following table format MUST be used for both Maintainers lists (active and emeritus):

Active Maintainers

Name GitHub ID Scope LFID Discord ID Email Company Affiliation

Emeritus Maintainers

Name GitHub ID Scope LFID Discord ID Email Company Affiliation

Maintainer Duties

The file SHOULD contain information about the different maintainer scopes, and for each, the maintainers duties (e.g., maintainers calls, quarterly reports, code reviews, issue cleansing). See the Sample Maintainers for an example of what to include in this section for an open source software project. Feel free to evolve that text to match the needs of the repository and project.

If the repository is for a community specification, or other governance or documentation purpose, the tasks of the Maintainers (often called “Editors” in such cases) might be different than for Maintainers of an open source code project. The Maintainer role is more about approving and merging pull requests that reflect the agreement of the community, as opposed to code related metrics (quality, fit for purpose, tests, etc.). In some cases, a file like the AnonCreds Methods Registry governance file might further define the duties of the maintainers.

How to Become a Maintainer

The file SHOULD contain information about how to become a maintainer for the project. This section SHOULD list specific information about what is required. Information that SHOULD be included in this section:

  • What is required before someone can be considered to become a maintainer.
    • Include a statement on how an emeritus maintainer can be changed to active again.
  • Consider whether there should be different requirements based on the scope of a given maintainer.
  • Whether sponsorship by an existing maintainer is required.
  • How maintainers are proposed to the community. Proposals are typically done by creating PR against the file, and including information in the PR about how the proposed contributor meets the criteria to be a maintainer.
  • How many maintainers must approve the proposed maintainer.
  • How long the existing maintainers have to respond to the proposal.

How Maintainers are Removed or Moved to Emeritus Status

The file SHOULD contain information about how a maintainer is removed from the list of active maintainers. Information that SHOULD be included in this section:

  • The reasons a maintainer would be removed from the list of active maintainers.
  • How a removal is proposed. Typically, this is similar to the way in which maintainers are added, such as via a PR against the file.