Proposed updates to GitHub teams

Justin Obara obara.justin at
Thu Aug 18 13:52:21 UTC 2016

I have made the changes detailed in the previous e-mail. The one exception
is that currently only owners are able to create repositories. It seems
that GitHub’s permission structure does not allow repository creation based
on teams, but is rather based on organization status. This makes sense as
teams have access based on repository. However, their organization status
is not quite as fine grained as we’d like. Basically a user who is added to
an organization is set to be either an owner, member, or outside member.

Owners have access to all features of the organization, and as such should
be the most restricted.

Members and outside members are anyone else who is part of the organization
and are similar except that outside members cannot do the following:

   - Create teams
   - See all organization members and teams
   - @mention any visible team
   - Be a team maintainer

Permissions for members can be adjusted to allow for the creation of repos.
However the tradeoff I see is that only members can @mention teams. Do we
want a case were we have more collaborators who can @mention teams and only
allow owners to create repos, or allow more people to create repos and have
fewer who can @mention teams?

If it’s the latter I’ll perform some more clean up to do the following:

   - remove inactive contributors from being members of the organization
   - either remove membership from or convert to outside members active
   contributors who should not have access to create repos
   - change membership permission to allow repo creation.

Please note that none of the above should restrict github users from
forking, submitting PRs, or participating in the community in other ways.


On August 11, 2016 at 2:07:54 PM, Justin Obara (obara.justin at

When we first made the move to Git and started using GitHub to host our
source code we set up teams to help us organize the permissions for our
various repos. Over the years the contributors, maintainers, and
repositories have all undergone many changes. On top of that GitHub has
updated the way teams work and the permissions structure. (see: Setting up
and managing organizations and teams

I’d like to take some time to clean up our repository space so that it is
up-to-date. To that end, I propose the following changes:

   - Migrate all teams from legacy teams
   - Remove “Owners” team - owner permissions can now be set per user
   - Remove “Contributors” team - was an attempt to identify contributors
   to projects, but it’s hard to maintain and a list of contributors can be
   displayed in each repository
   - Rename “Committers” to “Maintainers” ( this is more idiomatic to dvcs )
   - Rename “Committer Emeriti” to “Maintainer Emeriti”
   - Update teams membership as needed ( note: this will not include
   changes that require formalized voting )
   - Transition of “acheetham” to the “Committer Emeriti” team
   - Restrict repository creation to the Maintainer and Ops teams.
   - Other minor tweaks as needed

One handy new feature from GitHub is that you can @mention public teams.
For example in a PR that needs some design help you could ping @Designers.

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