XGBoost Community Guideline

XGBoost adopts the Apache style model and governs by merit. We believe that it is important to create an inclusive community where everyone can use, contribute to, and influence the direction of the project. See CONTRIBUTORS.md for the current list of contributors.

General Development Process

Everyone in the community is welcomed to send patches, documents, and propose new directions to the project. The key guideline here is to enable everyone in the community to get involved and participate the decision and development. When major changes are proposed, an RFC should be sent to allow discussion by the community. We encourage public discussion, archivable channels such as issues and discuss forum, so that everyone in the community can participate and review the process later.

Code reviews are one of the key ways to ensure the quality of the code. High-quality code reviews prevent technical debt for long-term and are crucial to the success of the project. A pull request needs to be reviewed before it gets merged. A committer who has the expertise of the corresponding area would moderate the pull request and the merge the code when it is ready. The corresponding committer could request multiple reviewers who are familiar with the area of the code. We encourage contributors to request code reviews themselves and help review each other’s code – remember everyone is volunteering their time to the community, high-quality code review itself costs as much as the actual code contribution, you could get your code quickly reviewed if you do others the same favor.

The community should strive to reach a consensus on technical decisions through discussion. We expect committers and PMCs to moderate technical discussions in a diplomatic way, and provide suggestions with clear technical reasoning when necessary.


Committers are individuals who are granted the write access to the project. A committer is usually responsible for a certain area or several areas of the code where they oversee the code review process. The area of contribution can take all forms, including code contributions and code reviews, documents, education, and outreach. Committers are essential for a high quality and healthy project. The community actively look for new committers from contributors. Here is a list of useful traits that help the community to recognize potential committers:

  • Sustained contribution to the project, demonstrated by discussion over RFCs, code reviews and proposals of new features, and other development activities. Being familiar with, and being able to take ownership on one or several areas of the project.

  • Quality of contributions: High-quality, readable code contributions indicated by pull requests that can be merged without a substantial code review. History of creating clean, maintainable code and including good test cases. Informative code reviews to help other contributors that adhere to a good standard.

  • Community involvement: active participation in the discussion forum, promote the projects via tutorials, talks and outreach. We encourage committers to collaborate broadly, e.g. do code reviews and discuss designs with community members that they do not interact physically.

The Project Management Committee(PMC) consists group of active committers that moderate the discussion, manage the project release, and proposes new committer/PMC members. Potential candidates are usually proposed via an internal discussion among PMCs, followed by a consensus approval, i.e. least 3 +1 votes, and no vetoes. Any veto must be accompanied by reasoning. PMCs should serve the community by upholding the community practices and guidelines XGBoost a better community for everyone. PMCs should strive to only nominate new candidates outside of their own organization.

The PMC is in charge of the project’s continuous integration (CI) and testing infrastructure. Currently, we host our own Jenkins server at https://xgboost-ci.net. The PMC shall appoint committer(s) to manage the CI infrastructure. The PMC may accept 3rd-party donations and sponsorships that would defray the cost of the CI infrastructure. See Donations.


Reviewers are individuals who actively contributed to the project and are willing to participate in the code review of new contributions. We identify reviewers from active contributors. The committers should explicitly solicit reviews from reviewers. High-quality code reviews prevent technical debt for long-term and are crucial to the success of the project. A pull request to the project has to be reviewed by at least one reviewer in order to be merged.