Consultation and governance

As an open source project meant for the wider life science community, we are transparent about which components are canonized, what isn't and why decisions are made.

With this wide remit, the VF needs to be disciplined and flexible — empathy, consideration and consultation are key to our governance approach.

This process will help the overall quality of the VF and ensure users don’t need to fork code, can deliver quality sites and are able to deliver the correct corporate identity.

Key considerations

  1. What is the use case being addressed?
  2. What are some ways to facilitate the behaviour?
  3. What is the most flexible approach?
    • Will it prevent the ability to deliver a corporate brand?
    • Does it break existing functionality?
    • Is it of general use beyond a particular “specialist area”?
  4. What is the most technically compatible way?
  5. What should it look like?
    • Is it good best practice (technically, visually, UX)?
  6. Who will implement, how “expensive” is it?
    • We encourage code contributions

We aim to produce consistency and clear guidance on best practice. We also want to revise existing components to share lessons learned.

The decision process

  1. Quarterly virtual meetings
    • Agenda-driven discussions
    • Discuss changes that have already occurred, and new requests
    • Establish goals, priorities for next period of time
  2. Decisions stored in the VF documentation
    • What was agreed
    • Why it was agreed
  3. Document and circulate

At a high level it follows this flow diagram.



In addition to the quarterly consultation, we meet on regular basis in three channels:

These form initial discussion and debate on new ideas before they are further tested and actioned on the GitHub issue queue.

How to propose

If you have an idea you'd like to suggest, the best places to begin are:

In any case we'll help you convert it to an actionable proposal for the correct group of consultation.

What if my idea gets rejected?

The Visual Framework allows "local rule". You won't be blocked from adding and overriding components.

If an agreed implementation doesn't cover your needs, you can still:

If you need help understanding how to do this, reach out to the community on Slack or GitHub.

We aim to achieve

We work to avoid entropy and fragmentation of the VF through a consultative process that has been proven to work with the VF 1.x.

We strive for an inclusive process that guides the 300+ developers to make the right decisions. We avoid being website police — we know past experience that we neither have the resources to monitor all sites nor can we force services to do a re-development.

We remain mindful to support communicating, collaborating, engaging.

Find an issue on this page? Propose a change or discuss it.