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OutcomeUnanimously approved
Minutes Link2021 04 15 TSC Meeting Record

Overview of Proposal

Finding a lab sponsor has been a barrier to creating labs. This issue is not new and has been discussed at length multiple times. Despite several attempts to remedy this situation things have not improved. Only a small number of people qualify as sponsor and even fewer are willing to volunteer as sponsor. Yet, the role of sponsor as currently defined is very limited and in fact is already carried by the Labs Stewards. Indeed, despite varying expectations by some people, the role of the sponsor is defined as follows in the Process To Propose A New Lab:

The sponsor(s) are responsible for reviewing the proposal. Sponsors do not have a responsibility beyond this; ongoing work like contributing code or reviews is not tied to their role as sponsors. In reviewing the proposal, the sponsor(s) make sure that the proposal is cogent, and novel (in conception, proposed execution, or interested community).

So, the proposal is to simply eliminate the requirement to have a sponsor to create a lab and leave to the stewards to keep doing the initial filtering and possible hand holding of newcomers.

In addition, clear instructions on what is expected of the labs, such as what license to use, ought to be developed when missing and linked from the proposal template for full awareness.

See Sponsors For Labs-Proposal for additional background.

Formal Proposal(s)

Eliminate the requirement to have a sponsor to create a lab.

Develop clear instructions on what is expected of the labs, such as what license to use, when missing, and link these instructions from the proposal template.

Action Items

Reviewed By


  1. Agreed that the Sponsor position as it stands now is confusing. I like the idea of Lab Stewart / sponsors being responsible for guiding lab applicants through the steps to becoming a recognized lab project. As to keep the pipeline for new ideas flowing into the labs, I would like to see all the TSC Members and project maintainer become LAB CHAMPIONS .  The role of Lab Champion is to keep an eye out for new projects that have the potential to become Lab Projects and steer the folks to Lab sponsors for further evaluation. This way new ideas have no barriers to the labs.  

  2. I agree with the assessment by Arnaud J Le Hors in the write-up above.  And given he's been one of the folks that does the most with labs projects, this should be seriously considered.

    I would think that at some point if a lab actually wants to move to the standard project lifecycle, they would want/need to get sponsor(s) then.

    Somewhat off topic, but I also think there is a (subtle?) difference between an existing project/code which wants to come under labs for more exposure in the community versus a "brand new" project.  Just because a project may not initially become a labs project does not mean they can't still create their own Github repos as well as use the HL mailing lists to gain support/community for their project.