SIP 1: SIP Purpose and Guidelines Source

AuthorKain Warwick
Discussions-Tohttps://discord.gg/aApjG26
StatusImplemented
Created2019-06-10

What is an SIP?

SIP stands for Synthetix Improvement Proposal, it has been adapted from the EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposal). The purpose of this process is to ensure changes to Synthetix are transparent and well governed. An SIP is a design document providing information to the Synthetix community about a proposed change to the system. The author is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.

What is an SCCP?

SCCP stands for Synthetix Configuration Change Proposal. SCCP’s are documents for making a case for modifying one of the system configuration variables. The intent is to provide a clear and detailed history behind each configuration change and the rationale behind it at the time it was implemented. The author of the document is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.

SIP & SCCP Rationale

We intend SIPs and SCCPs to be the primary mechanisms for proposing new features, collecting community input on an issue, and for documenting the design decisions for changes to Synthetix. Because they are maintained as text files in a versioned repository, their revision history is the historical record of the feature proposal.

It is highly recommended that a single SIP contain a single key proposal or new idea. The more focused the SIP, the more successful it is likely to be.

An SIP or SCCP must meet certain minimum criteria. It must be a clear and complete description of the proposed enhancement. The enhancement must represent a net improvement.

SIP Work Flow

Parties involved in the process are the author, the SIP editors, and the Synthetix Engineering Team.

:warning: Before you begin, vet your idea, this will save you time. Ask the Synthetix community first if an idea is original to avoid wasting time on something that will be rejected based on prior research (searching the Internet does not always do the trick). It also helps to make sure the idea is applicable to the entire community and not just the author. Just because an idea sounds good to the author does not mean it will have the intend effect. The appropriate public forum to gauge interest around your SIP or SCCP is the Synthetix Discord.

Your role as the champion is to write the SIP using the style and format described below, shepherd the discussions in the appropriate forums, and build community consensus around the idea. Following is the process that a successful SIP will move along:

[ WIP ] -> [ PROPOSED ] -> [ APPROVED ] -> [ IMPLEMENTED ]

Each status change is requested by the SIP author and reviewed by the SIP editors. Use a pull request to update the status. Please include a link to where people should continue discussing your SIP. The SIP editors will process these requests as per the conditions below.

  • Work in progress (WIP) – Once the champion has asked the Synthetix community whether an idea has any chance of support, they will write a draft SIP as a pull request. Consider including an implementation if this will aid people in studying the SIP.
  • Proposed If agreeable, SIP editor will assign the SIP a number (generally the issue or PR number related to the SIP) and merge your pull request. The SIP editor will not unreasonably deny an SIP. Proposed SIPs will be discussed on governance calls and in Discord. If there is a reasonable level of consensus around the change on the governance call the change will be moved to approved. If the change is contentious a vote of token holders may be held to resolve the issue or approval may be delayed until consensus is reached.
  • Approved – This SIP has passed community governance and is now being prioritised for development.

  • Implemented – This SIP has been implemented and deployed to mainnet.

What belongs in a successful SIP?

Each SIP or SCCP should have the following parts:

  • Preamble - RFC 822 style headers containing metadata about the SIP, including the SIP number, a short descriptive title (limited to a maximum of 44 characters), and the author details.
  • Simple Summary - “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Provide a simplified and layman-accessible explanation of the SIP.
  • Abstract - a short (~200 word) description of the technical issue being addressed.
  • Motivation (*optional) - The motivation is critical for SIPs that want to change Synthetix. It should clearly explain why the existing specification is inadequate to address the problem that the SIP solves. SIP submissions without sufficient motivation may be rejected outright.
  • Specification - The technical specification should describe the syntax and semantics of any new feature.
  • Rationale - The rationale fleshes out the specification by describing what motivated the design and why particular design decisions were made. It should describe alternate designs that were considered and related work, e.g. how the feature is supported in other languages. The rationale may also provide evidence of consensus within the community, and should discuss important objections or concerns raised during discussion.
  • Test Cases - Test cases may be added during the implementation phase but are required before implementation.
  • Copyright Waiver - All SIPs must be in the public domain. See the bottom of this SIP for an example copyright waiver.

SIP Formats and Templates

SIPs should be written in markdown format. Image files should be included in a subdirectory of the assets folder for that SIP as follows: assets/sip-X (for sip X). When linking to an image in the SIP, use relative links such as ../assets/sip-X/image.png.

SIP Header Preamble

Each SIP must begin with an RFC 822 style header preamble, preceded and followed by three hyphens (---). This header is also termed “front matter” by Jekyll. The headers must appear in the following order. Headers marked with “*” are optional and are described below. All other headers are required.

sip: (this is determined by the SIP editor)

title:

author: <a list of the author’s or authors’ name(s) and/or username(s), or name(s) and email(s). Details are below.>

* discussions-to: <a url pointing to the official discussion thread>

status: < WIP PROPOSED APPROVED IMPLEMENTED >

created:

* updated:

* requires: <SIP number(s)>

* resolution: <a url pointing to the resolution of this SIP>

Headers that permit lists must separate elements with commas.

Headers requiring dates will always do so in the format of ISO 8601 (yyyy-mm-dd).

author header

The author header optionally lists the names, email addresses or usernames of the authors/owners of the SIP. Those who prefer anonymity may use a username only, or a first name and a username. The format of the author header value must be:

Random J. User <address@dom.ain>

or

Random J. User (@username)

if the email address or GitHub username is included, and

Random J. User

if the email address is not given.

discussions-to header

While an SIP is in WIP or Proposed status, a discussions-to header will indicate the mailing list or URL where the SIP is being discussed.

created header

The created header records the date that the SIP was assigned a number. Both headers should be in yyyy-mm-dd format, e.g. 2001-08-14.

updated header

The updated header records the date(s) when the SIP was updated with “substantial” changes. This header is only valid for SIPs of Draft and Active status.

requires header

SIPs may have a requires header, indicating the SIP numbers that this SIP depends on.

Auxiliary Files

SIPs may include auxiliary files such as diagrams. Such files must be named SIP-XXXX-Y.ext, where “XXXX” is the SIP number, “Y” is a serial number (starting at 1), and “ext” is replaced by the actual file extension (e.g. “png”).

SIP Editors

The current SIP editors are

* Kain Warwick (@kaiynne)

* Justin Moses (@justinjmoses)

* Clinton Ennis (@clints)

SIP Editor Responsibilities

For each new SIP that comes in, an editor does the following:

  • Read the SIP to check if it is ready: sound and complete. The ideas must make technical sense, even if they don’t seem likely to get to final status.
  • The title should accurately describe the content.
  • Check the SIP for language (spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc.), markup (Github flavored Markdown), code style

If the SIP isn’t ready, the editor will send it back to the author for revision, with specific instructions.

Once the SIP is ready for the repository, the SIP editor will:

  • Assign an SIP number (generally the PR number or, if preferred by the author, the Issue # if there was discussion in the Issues section of this repository about this SIP)

  • Merge the corresponding pull request

  • Send a message back to the SIP author with the next step.

Many SIPs are written and maintained by developers with write access to the Ethereum codebase. The SIP editors monitor SIP changes, and correct any structure, grammar, spelling, or markup mistakes we see.

The editors don’t pass judgment on SIPs. We merely do the administrative & editorial part.

History

The SIP document was derived heavily from the EIP Ethereum Improvement Proposal document in many places text was simply copied and modified. Any comments about the SIP document should be directed to the SIP editors. The history of the EIP is quoted below from the EIP document for context:

  • “This document (EIP) was derived heavily from Bitcoin’s BIP-0001 written by Amir Taaki which in turn was derived from Python’s PEP-0001. In many places text was simply copied and modified. Although the PEP-0001 text was written by Barry Warsaw, Jeremy Hylton, and David Goodger, they are not responsible for its use…” *

June 10, 2019: SIP 1 has been drafted and submitted as a PR.

See the revision history for further details, which is also available by clicking on the History button in the top right of the SIP.

Bibliography

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.