CGAL Open Source Project Rules and Procedures


With this document, the CGAL Open Source Project sets forth its own rules and procedures. The rules and procedures define the different groups of persons involved in CGAL, how to become one of them, and how decisions are made. This document regulates how important and final decisions are made by the editorial board. It does not cover the less formal way how many decisions are actually made among developers, and it is not the intention to regulate those. There is no precise definition, but some examples of decisions that should be handled by the editorial board are given throughout this document.


The CGAL Open Source Project consists of four groups of people based on technical criteria and relation to CGAL.

(Financing the people, the project, or other types of resources is not discussed in this document, but see here, and the current list of people can be found here.)


A developer is a person that develops at least one CGAL package. He/she has access to the member resources of the CGAL project. He/she has write access on the CGAL SCM server for his/her package(s).

A candidate becomes a developer after a proposal (short description of the project the candidate developer is working on) from an editorial board member and no objection by any editor within fifteen days. If an objection is raised, the matter is to be discussed in the editorial board and the decision is made by an anonymous vote; absolute majority is required for the candidate to become a developer.

A person seizes to be a developer after either his/her personal request or upon proposal of an editorial board member and a subsequent anonymous vote with an absolute majority.

Editorial Board


Becoming an Editor

A candidate is considered for becoming an editor upon recommendation by an existing editor. The criteria for selection are:

In addition to above criteria, the editorial board considers also the following criteria:

The criteria described above are guidelines. The editorial board discusses the candidacy and makes the final decision by an anonymous vote; a two-thirds majority is needed for a candidate to become an editor

Leaving the Editorial Board

An editor leaves the editorial board after either his/her personal request or upon proposal of an editorial board member and a subsequent anonymous vote with a two-thirds majority. Such a proposal may for example be motivated by the repeated failure of an editor to fill his duties.

Dedicated Positions in the Editorial Board

Editors might hold special task-related positions in the editorial board, such as:

Appointment for the position of board manager is done for a period of six months following a round-robin process.

Appointments for the positions of review manager and release manager are done for a period of 2 years. The board manager organizes elections for these two positions. In a two weeks period new candidates announce their candidacy and an editor for organizing the election and collecting the votes is determined.

A decision for these positions requires absolute majority. If absolute majority was not reached in the first election round and we have more than one candidate, more election rounds are held. If we have more than two candidates, all candidates with less votes than the two highest ranking candidates are excluded and we repeat the first election round. If we have two candidates, a decision in a second election round requires only relative majority. This round can be skipped if the candidate with less votes in round one accepts this result on the basis of relative majority.

Board Manager


Review Manager


Release Manager


Decision Procedures

Votes for a decision are initiated with a proposal by an editor. Decisions that are not specifically covered elsewhere in this document need an absolute majority.

Votes on personnel decisions are anonymous. An editor is appointed to collect such votes (and systematically confirms them to avoid mails getting lost) and announce the result, see also the role of the Board Manager in these matters. Proposals specify a deadline for voting, usually two weeks and respecting usual vacation and holiday times and editors that announced their absence. Votes that are not casted within the time frame are counted as abstention. The editor appointed to collect anonymous votes will also provide the names of the editors who did not vote.

The voting choices in a proposals need to be phrased in a manner that abstention has no influence, in particular, abstention does not support a change of an existing status.

Let N be the cardinality of the current editorial board. We distinguish the following definitions of majorities:

Change of Rules and Procedures

A two-thirds majority is needed to change any part of this document.


This document was started at the SoCG meeting 2004 in New York and refined subsequently under the guiding principle of not to over-specify our procedures but rather to refine them when the need arises. After a period of internal evaluation, including an election for a new editor and an election for a new chair, the editors approved this document in an unanimous vote on October 28, 2005.
On March 5, 2009, the roles of Editor-in-Chief and Release Manager were created after an unanimous vote.
During the 30th Developer Meeting, on June 4, 2010, in Sophia Antipolis, the Editorial Board decided by two-thirds majority to remodel the position of Chair, and to rename the positions of Chair and Editor-in-chief to Board Manager and Review Manager, respectively.