We’ve heard interest from both maintainers and subscribers in the ability to have conversations around roadmap or specific issues. Loud and clear from the maintainer side is that nobody wants to be obligated to take a specific fix or request, but that many people would love to have feedback from users.
What we’d like to do as a first step on this is a concierge type of program where we’ll allow subscribers to contact our support team and frame the discussion they’d like to have with upstream, including any parameters such as whether they want to stay anonymous. This could be a specific bug they’d like to get attention on, or questions about how to use a library, or questions/suggestions about roadmap.
We’d then reach out to the relevant maintainers and figure out a sensible way to help that subscriber out. It would be opt-in on the maintainer side whether they felt they could help in a particular case, not required.
After a period of experience with this as a concierge program, we might standardize common situations as a formal program maintainers could opt into in advance.
In the near future we’d like to add this on tidelift.com as a bullet point around “Roadmap Input,” and we’d want to be sure nobody worries that they’re now obligated to take roadmap direction from subscribers—that’s not the plan. (In fact most subscribers don’t even want that, because they know the overall result would be bad technical decisions. They want maintainers to make good decisions considering the whole ecosystem.) We’d be sure to continue to set the right expectations on this in support conversations and policies.
Would like to hear concerns, questions, or ideas around this first step (or the broader direction of creating maintainer-subscriber conversations when both parties are interested).