GADS Open Source Project Governance

This project is led and managed by a benevolent dictator. The benevolent dictator is responsible for the general strategic direction in addition to the day-to-day maintenance of the project. The community guides the decisions of the benevolent dictator through active engagement and contribution.

Roles and Responsibilities

Benevolent dictator (project lead)

Ronald Fluegge is self-appointed as Benevolent Dictator or project lead. However, because the community always has the ability to fork, this person is fully answerable to the community. The project lead is expected to understand the community as a whole and strive to satisfy as many conflicting needs as possible, while ensuring that the project survives in the long term.

In many ways, the role of the benevolent dictator is less about dictatorship and more about diplomacy. The key is to ensure that, as the project expands, the right people are given influence over it and the community rallies behind the vision of the project lead. The lead’s job is then to ensure that the committers (see below) make the right decisions on behalf of the project. Generally speaking, as long as the committers are aligned with the project’s strategy, the project lead will allow them to proceed as they desire.

Additionally, Outercurve Foundation staff considers the project lead primary point of contact or first point of contact for the project for purposes of business operations including domain registrations, and technical services (e.g. code-signing).


Committers are contributors who have made sustained valuable contributions to the project and are now relied upon to both write code directly to the repository and screen the contributions of others. In many cases they are programmers but it is also possible that they contribute in a different role. Typically, a committer will focus on a specific aspect of the project, and will bring a level of expertise and understanding that earns them the respect of the community and the project lead. The role of committer is not an official one, it is simply a position that influential members of the community will find themselves in as the project lead looks to them for guidance and support.

Committers have no authority over the overall direction of the project. However, they do have the ear of the project lead. It is a committer’s job to ensure that the lead is aware of the community’s needs and collective objectives, and to help develop or elicit appropriate contributions to the project. Often, committers are given informal control over their specific areas of responsibility, and are assigned rights to directly modify certain areas of the source code. That is, although committers do not have explicit decision-making authority, they will often find that their actions are synonymous with the decisions made by the lead.

A committer may not accept patches or commit to AnalysisLayer unless they are designated as an Analyst Committer (see Analyst Committers and Contributors)

How to become a Committer: Be a regular Contributor then be appointed by the Benevolent Dictator.


Contributors are community members who submit patches to the project. These patches may be a one-time occurrence or occur over time. Expectations are that contributors will submit patches that are small at first and will only grow larger once the contributor has built confidence in the quality of their patches.

Before a contributor's change to the code base is put into the repository they must sign a Contributor License Agreement or an assignment agreement. The change to the code base can be submitted and discussed but it cannot be committed to the repository without the appropriate paperwork in place.

Patches that are made to the AnalysisLayer project will only be accepted from Analyst Contributors (see Analyst Committers and Contributors)

How to become a Contributor: Submit a change to the code base to GADS Open Source Project at

Analyst Committers and Contributors

There are two categories of Committers/Contributors: Analyst Committers/Contributors and General Committers/Contributors.

General Committers/Contributors can work on any of the Visual Studio projects that are a part of the GADS Open Source applications' solutions EXCEPT the AnalysisLayer project in the Analysis & Reporting application solution [GADSNG Analysis].

The AnalysisLayer project in the Analysis & Reporting application solution can only be modified by Analyst Committers/Contributors, who are skilled at analyzing North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) Generating Availability Data System (GADS) data.

Analyst Committers/Contributors must have special knowledge in evaluating generator equipment performance on generating units, equipment groups, and major components as defined in the Data Reporting Instructions (DRI) that were developed to assist generating company personnel in reporting information to NERC GADS.

Specifically, Analyst Committers/Contributors must have a working knowledge of DRI appendices:

  • Appendix F - Performance Indices and Equations
  • Appendix G - Examples and Recommended Methods
  • Appendix L1 - Calculating Combined Cycle and Co-generation Block Data: Using the Synthesis Event and Performance Method
  • Appendix L2 - Calculating Combined Cycle and Co-generation Block Data: Using the Fleet-type Rollup Method: When Reporting Each Gas Turbine/Steam Turbine Unit

How to become an Analyst Committer/Contributor: Be a regular Committer/Contributor demonstrating the special knowledge described herein then be appointed by the Benevolent Dictator.


Users are community members who have a need for the project. They are the most important members of the community: without them, the project would have no purpose. Anyone can be a user; there are no specific requirements.

Users are encouraged to participate in the life of the project and the community as much as possible. User contributions enable the project team to ensure that they are satisfying the needs of those users. Common user activities include (but are not limited to):

  • advocating for use of the project
  • informing developers of project strengths and weaknesses from a new user’s perspective
  • providing moral support (a ‘thank you’ goes a long way)
  • writing documentation and tutorials
  • filing bug reports and feature requests
  • participating on the mailing list, discussion board or forum

Users who continue to engage with the project and its community will often find themselves becoming more and more involved. Such users may then go on to become contributors, as described above.

How to become a User: Download and use GADS Open Source software
and participate in the mailing lists.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
This work is based upon
 "Benevolent Dictator Governance Model" by University of Oxford.