A couple Neovim org questions

Hello! I’ve a couple org related questions that I wasn’t able to find answers to, so I was curious if maybe anyone had insight on them.

Funds

The website mentions that 100% of the GitHub Sponsors goes to developers, but the GitHub Sponsors page has no info about this, nor the open collective page. It seems that the only expense has been work last year by @vigoux. Since there is a pretty large sum of money shown in the budget, are there plans to use this? Are there efforts of dispersing this to those on the core team or anything? I personally sponsor and alway recommend others to as well, but I’m a bit curious about how this money will actually be used as it seems to not really be being utilized.

Core team

In a few different places I’ve seen reference to “team members” and instructions to just ping them on Matrix, but it’s not really clear who that is. The website mentions Neovim team and it leads to this page, but I’m going to guess not everyone on this list wants to be directly pinged with questions. So is there a core group of people that are contact points for things?

Any sort of code of conduct?

In the past I spoke with a maintainer about his and was informed that there wasn’t such a thing, but with as large of an organization as Neovim is, I’m curious if there is any sort of code of conduct you follow for maintainers or contributors? I’ve had some incredible interactions while contributing to Neovim and the ecosystem, but also some pretty negative ones, and if someone does have concerns, where do they go to with them? This sort of relates to the above point about the core team, who handles this sort of stuff?

I ask all of this in good faith, not out of any sort of animosity or anything. It’s just answers to some of these questions might help encourage more people to donate or contribute, which in the end makes for a richer more robust ecosystem that everyone wants.

Cheers!

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Those are all reasonable questions, which I’ll try to answer to the best of my (personal!) ability.

Funds

The main use of sponsorship money is for funding someone to work full-time on Neovim development for a limited time; this has proved to be the biggest return-on-investment with the least administrative hassle. The last one was indeed @vigoux a while back, but there will likely be someone (@bfredl) over the course of the summer. (These two happen to be members of the Neovim org, but anybody can in principle be funded.) We definitely plan on putting the money to good use sooner rather than later :wink:

We have also since changed the wording on the sponsorship page to allow using these funds for other project-related costs; one possibility (that has not been decided in any way; just as an example) would be to pay for hosting of this Discourse when the free tier runs out.

What does not and will not happen is a blanket dispersing of the funds over (part of) the team. The money will be spent for things that directly help the Neovim project in a specific way.

Core team

The linked Github page is in fact the best public resource on this. Some people on that list have push access to the Neovim repository and in particular are able to merge pull requests; those are usually referred to as the “core team”. (As far as I know, who specifically has this access is not public information, for some reason that only Github knows.) Outside of this technical role, I think it is a feature of the project not to make a strong distinction between the different privilege levels of the community. Some topic-specific “points of contact” are mentioned on the corresponding Neovim project boards, but that list is neither complete nor always up-to-date.

On Matrix, the team members that are active there will see comments even without pinging (and can forward issues to other, not so active, members); I think you’ll quickly pick up on who is active and can help you with specific question. This goes double for the Neovim dev chat, which has a relatively high signal-to-noise-ratio.

(But we could set up a shared keyword that will notify team members; I’m not quite sure that this is really needed, but am happy to be convinced otherwise.)

Code of conduct

That’s a… complicated point. We indeed do not have a formal code of conduct, and I at least have never felt the need for one – the default “don’t be a jerk” goes without saying and does the job well enough. I’d like to think that we’re a very community-oriented and transparent project, so if someone (especially on the team) forgot for a moment that they’re interacting with actual human beings and fell short of that, you should be able to (respectfully) remind them in a public channel (the Matrix dev chat is likely a good venue). For more complicated situations, I think you will necessarily have to rely on your discretion about the best course of action.

I wouldn’t characterize Neovim as a “large organization”, at all. As I wrote, there is no formal “chain-of-command”; we’re all just people who enjoy working on the most-loved text editor of 2021, only some for longer than others. (This also means that the “project” sometimes does not speak with a common voice; I understand how frustrating that can be to contributors…)

I’m very sorry to hear about the negative experiences, though. If you think that these follow a pattern that can be addressed, feel free to let me know privately.

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Thanks a lot for the response! Very helpful.

I wouldn’t characterize Neovim as a “large organization”, at all.

Sure, poor phrasing on my part. I more meant to just imply, “there’s a lot of users and people in the ecosystem”.

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