• 05 What Is The SIP Process?

The Stacks Improvement Proposal (SIP) process offers a clear and organized path for individuals within the Stacks community to put forward ideas, receive input from peers, and collectively work toward enhancing the blockchain.

  • This SIP process itself, initially proposed by Jude and Ken in 2020 as SIP-000, was inspired by the BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) process and the governance principles of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.

  • The SIP process consists of several key stages and involves three committees and the rest of the community. The act of deciding the “status of a SIP” is handled by these committees.

1️⃣ SIP Editor Committee: Manages the SIP process, reviews and refines proposals, and employs rubrics to assess their potential impact.

  • Proposal Submission: The SIP process begins with a community member or developer submitting a draft proposal for a change, improvement, or addition to the Stacks blockchain ecosystem.

  • Initial Review: The SIP Editor, an individual responsible for managing the SIP process, reviews the proposal to ensure it meets the basic requirements, such as clear documentation and adherence to the SIP template.

  • Feedback and Iteration: The SIP Editor plays a crucial role in facilitating feedback gathering from stakeholders. This iterative process helps refine the proposal before it moves forward. They also employ rubrics to assess the impact of each SIP, helping the community evaluate the potential effects of the proposal.

2️⃣ Consideration Advisory Board (CAB): Provides feedback, engages in discussions, and votes on whether to accept or reject proposals.

  • CAB Feedback: Once the SIP proposal passes the initial SIP Editor's review, it is shared with the CAB, which is composed of knowledgeable community members from various corners of Stacks ecosystem.

  • Discussion and Consensus: The proposal undergoes a period of open discussion and debate within the CAB. Individual CAB members offer their perspectives, and the SIP proposal may be revised based on this feedback.

  • CAB Vote: After discussions and any necessary revisions to the proposal, the CAB members vote on whether to accept or reject the proposal. A proposal must receive majority support from CAB members to proceed.

3️⃣ Steering Committee (SC): Oversees the evolution of the Stacks blockchain's development and governance, guided by community input and focusing on the greater good.

  • Final Decision: The SC conducts a final review and makes the ultimate decision on whether to accept or reject the proposal. Their decision takes into account the feedback from the CAB, technical feasibility, alignment with ecosystem's goals, and potential impacts on the ecosystem.

🟠 Activation-in-Progress and Activation Criteria: After the SC’s approval, the proposal advances to the activation-in-progress phase. Here, the proposed changes are actively implemented. Simultaneously, the SC evaluates whether the proposal meets specific activation criteria before moving to Ratification. For consensus-breaking changes, network-wide voting is necessary as part of activation criteria.

🟢 Ratification and Documentation: Once the activation criteria have all been confirmed as met, the SIP is then Ratified. Throughout this entire process, meticulous documentation is maintained and consistently updated to ensure the community remains well-informed about the progress of each SIP.

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