Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Sahana Development Infrastructure (2009)

There have been a number of discussions regarding the updating of the infrastructure upon which the development of the Sahana ecosystem takes place. As the project continues to grow, our existing infrastructure decisions must be updated to continue to meet the needs of the development community.

These Terms of Reference (TOR) are designed to guide the process and the discussion that will be used to select the infrastructure that will be adopted by the Sahana developer community. It is to be a community-driven process, with a clear timeline for decisions and actions.


An infrastructure plan that will define and describe the implementation plan for adopting infrastructure for the Sahana development community.


These requirements have been chosen with the guiding goal that we ensure a relatively consistent experience for developers within the community. They have been developed in consultation with senior members of the Sahana development community and the Transition Board.

  • There is to be a single information respository (e.g. wiki) across all Sahana projects for documentation purposes. This is required to ensure that that only one account and one website contains all the design and development related information. This will also provide seamless access and provide a unified feel to all Sahana projects.
  • There is to be a single repository for all stable releases of Sahana branded products. This decision is primarily for archiving of stable releases. This does not preclude Sahana projects maintaining an independent repository (with potentially different infrastructure) for development purposes. The choice of distributed versus client/server revision control is an independent decision to be made by each project.
  • There should be a global approach taken to URL branding to ensure that a single consistent approach is taken to naming Sahana project and development resources.
  • It is possible that GSOC09 could use a temporary solution this year, recognising that there have been issues in past GSOCs using the existing Sourceforge repository. This has high priority as it needs to be in place by 22 MAY when official GSOC coding starts.
  • A single product (e.g. Mailman) or service (e.g. Sourceforge, Google Groups) should be used to provide all Sahana developer and user email lists. All lists should be public and create publically accessible list archives. A user must be able to manage their own list subscriptions. All Sahana projects must use the same list software.
  • An administration plan needs to be developed to outline how the infrastructure will be managed, and ensure timely response to infrastructure issues raised from within the development community.
  • The infrastructure decision should be made keeping in mind that it is likely that the chosen infrastructure will be in operation for 3 to 5 years. The existing infrastructure arrangements have been in place since mid-2005 (~4 years).
  • Products chosen should be free and open source software. Services selected should be free, and ideally open source software.
  • Community infrastructure discussion is to take place via the maindev email list, the #sahana channel on irc.freenode.net, and all details captured in a page on the existing wiki.
  • The community should develop a brief methodology to follow the selection process. E.g. outline their development infrastructure requirements, identify options, compare options to infrastructure requirements, and rate options.
  • Lazy consensus voting might not be used for the final infrastructure decision selection and a more formal voting process may be used as the infrastructure decision has to support the community for a number of years.
  • The Transition Board will take a hands-off approach to the process other than setting the Terms of Reference, and ensuring that timelines are met. The Transition Board will retain the right to veto the proposed plan if it believes it does not fit with the TOR.
  • Please include the magnet [infra09] in the subject line of all emails related to this discussion.


  • 15 APR Draft Sahana Infrastructure Terms of Reference created and discussed
  • 16 APR Community infrastructure discussion opened
  • 20 APR Google SOC 09 projects announced
  • 22 MAY Google SOC 09 coding starts - repository for GSOC09 needs to be agreed, in-place, operational and communicated to students
  • 31 MAY Draft Infrastructure Plan made available in existing wiki for discussion
  • 10 JUN Voting on options (if required)
  • 20 JUN Community finalises Infrastructure Plan and start implementation


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