(see workflow on the board here: https://github.com/act-rules/act-rules.github.io/projects/5)
Note: The steps in the process, as outlined above, are agreed upon by the ACT Rules Community Group on teleconference calls. This document however, is still work in progress.
Initial review of the general concept and validity of the rule.
The purpose of this stage is to avoid that people spend a huge amount of time on writing rules and reviewing details in them to then see the whole concept of the rule rejected when looking for a final review.
- A new rule is first proposed.
- Currently no explicit criteria for passing this stage, but 3 intial approvals from different organisations is recommended. This should give an indication on whether the rule can get 3 final approving reviews and get through Final Call later.
- There is general disagreement that the rule is a valid test for the accessibility requirement it supposedly maps to.
- Creating the pull request (PR) for the rule already at this stage is recommended, but for content of the rule it should be enough to have e.g. a title, a description and success criteria listed, for reviewers to be able to evaluate the idea for the rule. Creating the rule as a pull request already here allows for keeping the discussion of the rule in one place. However, if a rule writer prefers using issues at this stage, this is also allowed.
- Focus on whether the rule is a valid test for the accessibility requirements (WCAG success criteria) that it lists.
- Focus on whether you can agree to the general concept of the rule, or if the idea needs to be tweaked or rejected all together.
- Be honest about your concerns, since rejecting a rule at this point will save a lot of resources compared to rejecting it at the Final Call later.
Rules waiting to be picked up and worked on.
- Rule ideas: Rules that have passed the "Ideas looking for initial approvals" stage, or
- Published rules: Bugs that have been reported in for published rules.
- When someone has picked up the rule and started working on it.
- The author decides that more discussion of the initial idea is needed.
- Decide whether this is a rule the author would like to pick up.
- Work on a "To do" item is being picked up by someone.
- There are no open comments from reviewers.
- Work on the rule is put on hold for a significant amount of time. The "On hold" label can be used to signal this to potential reviewers.
- Write and refine rule.
- Resolve all comments from reviewers.
- None, unless specifically asked by the author to give feedback on something particular.
Rules that have been fixed up by the author and are ready for review again, aiming to get 3 approvals.
- All open comments have been resolved, and all "Changes requested" reviews dismissed.
- 3 approvals from different organisations have been given.
- "Changes requested" reviews comes in, which moves it back to "In progress / Changes Requested"
- Assign reviewers to the rule in Github.
- IMPORTANT: Dismiss any outdated reviews and re-assign the person as a reviewer (this helps reviewers see, that the rule is ready for review again).
- If reviews are missing, take it up on CG mailing list or teleconference calls.
- Review the rule thoroughly.
- Use the Definition of Done as a checklist for the review.
If you consider the rule to be:
- ... ready for publication --> Use "Approve" status
- ... in need of changes, big or small (even if you didn't do a full review) --> Use "Request changes" status (and make comments)
- ... anything else --> Use "Comment" status
Final gatekeeping mechanism where the whole community gets to object to a rule, if they don't agree to it, and implementors get a shot at trying it out in practice and giving feedback based on real-life experience with the rule.
We encourage initial implementations BEFORE publishing the rule, so that all the feedback from the implementation can get included in the original pull request, instead of being raised as new issues for already published rules - making even published rules quite unstable.
- Rule has 3 approvals from other organisations.
- Rule author considers the rule to be in its final form.
- Rule is either a new rule or an already published rule where substantial changes have been made.
Substantial changes, that require a "Final call", are in general changes that can affect the outcome of a rule. This includes, but might not be limited to changes that changes, extends or limits the scope of what is considered for these sections:
- Accessibility Requirements (success criteria)
- Test cases (Passed/Failed/Inapplicable)
These changes are considered non-substantial and will not require a "Final call" before being published:
- Editorial changes, that does not change the meaning of a rule (also if it's in the Applicability or Expectations)
- Changes to the Assumptions, Background, Accessibility Support. If changes to these sections seem to impact the possible outcomes of a rule, probably these sections have been misused.
- No changes or only changes that do not require a "Final call" is made to the rule after "Final Call" is launched.
- Changes that do require a final call is made to the rule after Final Call is launched.
If this happens, a new final call should be launched after the first one. It is recommended to let the first final call expire first, before launching a new one, to get a broad range of reviewers on board already in the first round to hopefully avoid multiple rounds of final calls for the same pull request.
- Send email out to all of ACT Rules Community Group that rule is in "Final call" for the next 2 weeks.
Follow up on feedback during the Final Call, and handle requested changes, evaluating whether they are of a type that MUST spawn a new "Final call":
- For changes that does not require a "Final call" (see above): Implement changes as soon as possible, and dismiss outdated reviews (to let all reviewers know that the pull request is review ready), and request a new review from that person.
- For changes that does require a new "Final call": Evaluate whether "Final call" should be allowed to run out before changes are made, or if changes should be made right away, but with a note that a new "Final call" will be required.
- Thorough reviews, take time to dive into the rule.
- When commenting, please note whether you consider the suggested changes to be substantial or not (whether the change falls into the category of changes that do require a final call, or the ones the do not require a final call).
For tool vendors and testing methodology owners: Implement rule in tools and methodologies
- At this stage, the rule should be quite stable, minimising the risk of doing a too-early implementation, that has to be re-done from scratch later due to changes in the rule.
- Implementations are important at this stage, since we often find things that needs to be changed in rules as soon as we start implementing them, e.g. issues with test cases, ambiguities in applicability or expectations, missing definitions etc.
- Be aware that this is last chance to object to the rule, on everything from spelling and grammar to accessibility requirements mapping and use of definitions.
- Keep up to date on Final Calls using this list: https://github.com/act-rules/act-rules.github.io/labels/Final%20call
- A rule has received 3 approvals from 3 different organisations and successfully survived its 2 week Final Call (if applicable), and has been merged and is now shown on rules overview on the website: https://act-rules.github.io/rules/ (might take a few minutes to update after merge).
Rules that have been rejected due to different reasons.
- Initial rules don't get the backing they need to move on through the process.
- When a rule at any stage is dropped because it lacks backing in the Community Group, e.g. because it is not considered feasible, or is subject to disagreement on whether the rule is actually testing for something that can improve accessibility.