About the Zcash R&D category

(Replace this first paragraph with a brief description of your new category. This guidance will appear in the category selection area, so try to keep it below 200 characters.)

Use the following paragraphs for a longer description, or to establish category guidelines or rules:

  • Why should people use this category? What is it for?

  • How exactly is this different than the other categories we already have?

  • What should topics in this category generally contain?

  • Do we need this category? Can we merge with another category, or subcategory?

Hi, thanks for setting this up!

My main goal for an area like this is to focus on open collaboration on proposals and research to improve Zcash with participation from across the Zcash community as well as other adjacent communities. I’d love to see more participants from a variety of backgrounds collaborating more actively on all important proposals for Zcash. (Most specifically right now, I want to ramp up proposals around proof-of-stake and cross-chain interop and that needs to involve builders across the ecosystem.)

The main forum is more broadly for all community interactions, not necessarily actively working on proposals and research.

I have a few questions:

Platform features:

Can we create sub-categories? Who has the ability to do so? Do all subcategories inherit the same set of permissions about who can post/visibility by default?

Can subcategory permissions be changed from the parent (e.g. top-level “Zcash R&D” is public-can-read, invitee-only-can-write, but a subcategory might be invitee-only-can-read-or-write?

Who can invite new writers to the Zcash R&D category or subcategories? Does it need to go through some “admin” or is there a way to allow any invitee to invite transitively?

Guidelines and Moderation:

I’d like to come up with contributor guidelines that are as permissive as possible, then revoke access through moderation when it seems necessary. For example, I’m a fan of inviting anyone who requests access, provided they’ve read the area’s contributor guidelines and agree to them.

This might not match other participants’ desired guidelines, so we should sort that out as a community.

Who will moderate this area? Will it be the same moderators as the overall site? Do we need category specific moderators or not?

The outline of what I’m thinking for guidelines looks something like:

  • Follow the main forum code of conduct,
  • This area is for collaborators who want to actively help build Zcash to be better. (You don’t need to be a coder or expert to help build Zcash, just a constructive attitude!)
  • This area is for sharing and analyzing research and proposals to improve Zcash. For broader discussion of Zcash please use the other areas of the forum.
  • Strive to make posts on-topic and contribute materially to the discussion at hand.
  • Some rhetorical guidelines:
    • Principle of Charity: assume everyone is working to improve Zcash. Before pushing back against an idea, make sure you understand what it is first, so asking clarifying questions is almost always a good idea. Before posting an alternative or criticizing an idea, ask yourself if you can think of good rationales behind the idea, and if you can list both benefits and drawbacks. A great way to verify your understanding is to ask an author if the rationales, benefits, and drawbacks you’ve brainstormed seem to match their understanding. Try arguing for an idea you personally disagree with to understand it better.
    • Transparent beliefs and motivations: if you ever notice underlying beliefs or motivations behind an idea you advocate, it can help readers if you name them explicitly.

I’d definitely like to hear from others if this approach works for them, especially people with moderation experience.

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