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Simplicity, reliability, and interoperability are the core values of the Connect RPC libraries. We'd like the same values to characterize the Connect project's governance:

  • Simple, open decision-making,
  • Reliable, vendor-neutral stewardship, and
  • Openness to community contributions.

To those ends, this document outlines the rules by which the Connect project governs itself.

Code of conduct

The Connect community abides by the CNCF code of conduct and statement of values. We are open, curious, and collaborative with each other and with other communities.

Making decisions

Connect is an open source project, so we make decisions in the open. Connect's governance, protocols, and APIs are defined in GitHub, so making decisions requires changing source code. Thus, all decisions follow the same four steps:

  1. Optionally, create an issue or discussion. Anyone can do this.
  2. Open a pull request. Anyone can do this.
  3. Discuss the pull request. Anyone can do this.
  4. Merge or refuse the pull request. Only maintainers can do this.

Each repository lists the current maintainers in a file. (The process for adding and removing maintainers is detailed below.)

We prefer to work out decisions among the involved community members, keeping in mind Connect's values and code of conduct. If the involved community members can't reach consensus, any community member may call for a vote among the current maintainers:

  • Votes are implemented as GitHub pull request reviews.
  • Pull requests with an ongoing vote must have the vote tag and remain open for at least two weeks, unless a decision is reached sooner.
  • Each maintainer may cast one vote, with a simple majority required for approval.
  • Any decisions affecting multiple repositories must be discussed in an RFC, described below.

Project-wide decisions

To make decisions affecting multiple repositories, Connect uses RFCs: pull requests adding a public design document to the website and governance repository. The mechanics of opening an RFC are documented in the contribution guide.

The decision-making process for RFCs is the same as it is for other pull requests discussion, followed by consensus or a formal vote among maintainers. However, the list of maintainers for the governance repository is handled specially: it includes all the maintainers of Connect implementations, but not maintainers of ancillary projects. This policy considers the needs of each language ecosystem while keeping votes lightweight and minimizing disincentives to expanding the project.

Implementations vs ancillary projects

The authoritative list of Connect implementations whose maintainers may vote on RFCs is the governance repository's file. Thus, changing the list of implementations requires a pull request, which must be approved and merged by the current governance repository maintainers.

Implementations are the foundation of the Connect project. They typically build atop a widely-used HTTP library and implement the Connect RPC protocol. Implementations may be client-only, like the Swift implementation, or they may support both servers and clients, like the Go implementation. The maintainers of each Connect implementation represent the interests of their language community in the RFC process.

Ancillary projects build atop implementations to provide optional features or conveniences. Examples include interceptors, Envoy filters, and runtime Protobuf descriptor access. Maintainers of ancillary projects may vote on pull requests in their individual repositories, but may not vote on Connect RFCs (unless they are also maintainers of an implementation).

Becoming a maintainer

Maintainers (or "committers" in CNCF parlance) are contributors devoted to the long-term success of a Connect project. In addition to opening pull requests, maintainers can:

  • Triage pull requests, issues, and discussions, assigning labels and reviewers.
  • Run continuous integration testing and merge pull requests.
  • Cast a vote when the project must make a formal decision.

To become maintainers, contributors must:

  • Contribute code, comment on pull requests, respond to issues, and answer ad-hoc user questions for a period comparable to other maintainers (and no less than 3 months),
  • Predictably devote a portion of their time to Connect,
  • Demonstrate deep understanding of the project they'd like to maintain, and
  • Have two-factor authentication enabled on their GitHub account.

As always, the decision to add a maintainer is made by opening a pull request in this case, to The current project maintainers then reach consensus or vote on the pull request. If the project has no active maintainers, the governance repository maintainers may vote to approve the pull request. Generally, prospective maintainers discuss their candidacy with the current maintainers before opening a pull request.

Losing maintainer status

Maintainers may step down by opening a pull request to change files in one or more repositories. If they wish, they may continue to list themselves as former maintainers.

If a maintainer has stopped contributing for three months, any other maintainer may open a pull request to remove them from the maintainers list. No prior notice is required, but the pull request must @-mention the absent maintainer, remain open for two weeks, and be approved by a majority of the project's maintainers.

In the unusual case when a repository has no active maintainers, inactive maintainers can be removed by a pull request approved by a majority of the governance repository maintainers.

Adding new repositories

As long as it adheres to the CNCF code of conduct and charter, repositories may be added to the Connect GitHub organization by following the RFC process outlined above. RFCs for new Connect implementations, whose maintainers will also become maintainers of Connect's governance repository, must include an amendment to the governance repository's file in the pull request.


Any change to Connect's governance must go through the voting process above: either as a pull request to this document, or as an RFC.