Many changes, including bug fixes and documentation improvements can be implemented and reviewed via the normal GitHub pull request workflow.
Some changes though are "substantial", and we ask that these be put through a bit of a design process and produce a consensus among the Rust community and the sub-teams.
The "RFC" (request for comments) process is intended to provide a consistent and controlled path for new features to enter the language and standard libraries, so that all stakeholders can be confident about the direction the language is evolving in.
You need to follow this process if you intend to make "substantial" changes to Rust, Cargo, Crates.io, or the RFC process itself. What constitutes a "substantial" change is evolving based on community norms and varies depending on what part of the ecosystem you are proposing to change, but may include the following.
Some changes do not require an RFC:
If you submit a pull request to implement a new feature without going through the RFC process, it may be closed with a polite request to submit an RFC first.
For more details on when an RFC is required for the following areas, please see the Rust community's sub-team specific guidelines for:
A hastily-proposed RFC can hurt its chances of acceptance. Low quality proposals, proposals for previously-rejected features, or those that don't fit into the near-term roadmap, may be quickly rejected, which can be demotivating for the unprepared contributor. Laying some groundwork ahead of the RFC can make the process smoother.
Although there is no single way to prepare for submitting an RFC, it is generally a good idea to pursue feedback from other project developers beforehand, to ascertain that the RFC may be desirable; having a consistent impact on the project requires concerted effort toward consensus-building.
The most common preparations for writing and submitting an RFC include talking the idea over on our official Discord server, discussing the topic on our developer discussion forum, and occasionally posting "pre-RFCs" on the developer forum. You may file issues on this repo for discussion, but these are not actively looked at by the teams.
As a rule of thumb, receiving encouraging feedback from long-standing project developers, and particularly members of the relevant sub-team is a good indication that the RFC is worth pursuing.
In short, to get a major feature added to Rust, one must first get the RFC merged into the RFC repository as a markdown file. At that point the RFC is "active" and may be implemented with the goal of eventual inclusion into Rust.
text/0000-my-feature.md(where "my-feature" is descriptive). Don't assign an RFC number yet; This is going to be the PR number and we'll rename the file accordingly if the RFC is accepted.
Once an RFC becomes "active" then authors may implement it and submit the feature as a pull request to the Rust repo. Being "active" is not a rubber stamp, and in particular still does not mean the feature will ultimately be merged; it does mean that in principle all the major stakeholders have agreed to the feature and are amenable to merging it.
Furthermore, the fact that a given RFC has been accepted and is "active" implies nothing about what priority is assigned to its implementation, nor does it imply anything about whether a Rust developer has been assigned the task of implementing the feature. While it is not necessary that the author of the RFC also write the implementation, it is by far the most effective way to see an RFC through to completion: authors should not expect that other project developers will take on responsibility for implementing their accepted feature.
Modifications to "active" RFCs can be done in follow-up pull requests. We strive to write each RFC in a manner that it will reflect the final design of the feature; but the nature of the process means that we cannot expect every merged RFC to actually reflect what the end result will be at the time of the next major release.
In general, once accepted, RFCs should not be substantially changed. Only very minor changes should be submitted as amendments. More substantial changes should be new RFCs, with a note added to the original RFC. Exactly what counts as a "very minor change" is up to the sub-team to decide; check Sub-team specific guidelines for more details.
While the RFC pull request is up, the sub-team may schedule meetings with the author and/or relevant stakeholders to discuss the issues in greater detail, and in some cases the topic may be discussed at a sub-team meeting. In either case a summary from the meeting will be posted back to the RFC pull request.
A sub-team makes final decisions about RFCs after the benefits and drawbacks are well understood. These decisions can be made at any time, but the sub-team will regularly issue decisions. When a decision is made, the RFC pull request will either be merged or closed. In either case, if the reasoning is not clear from the discussion in thread, the sub-team will add a comment describing the rationale for the decision.
Some accepted RFCs represent vital features that need to be implemented right away. Other accepted RFCs can represent features that can wait until some arbitrary developer feels like doing the work. Every accepted RFC has an associated issue tracking its implementation in the Rust repository; thus that associated issue can be assigned a priority via the triage process that the team uses for all issues in the Rust repository.
The author of an RFC is not obligated to implement it. Of course, the RFC author (like any other developer) is welcome to post an implementation for review after the RFC has been accepted.
If you are interested in working on the implementation for an "active" RFC, but cannot determine if someone else is already working on it, feel free to ask (e.g. by leaving a comment on the associated issue).
Some RFC pull requests are tagged with the "postponed" label when they are closed (as part of the rejection process). An RFC closed with "postponed" is marked as such because we want neither to think about evaluating the proposal nor about implementing the described feature until some time in the future, and we believe that we can afford to wait until then to do so. Historically, "postponed" was used to postpone features until after 1.0. Postponed pull requests may be re-opened when the time is right. We don't have any formal process for that, you should ask members of the relevant sub-team.
Usually an RFC pull request marked as "postponed" has already passed an informal first round of evaluation, namely the round of "do we think we would ever possibly consider making this change, as outlined in the RFC pull request, or some semi-obvious variation of it." (When the answer to the latter question is "no", then the appropriate response is to close the RFC, not postpone it.)
The process is intended to be as lightweight as reasonable for the present circumstances. As usual, we are trying to let the process be driven by consensus and community norms, not impose more structure than necessary.
This repository is currently in the process of being licensed under either of:
Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.