Scope of the Octez repository

The Gitlab repository tezos/tezos contains the source code for Octez, as well as the embedded economic protocols for Tezos.

Following widespread software engineering principles, a major part of the code is structured in the form of libraries. Libraries foster code reuse, by allowing to share code between the various Octez components and/or the economic protocols, to build increasing levels of abstractions, and so on.

Some of these libraries, such as lib_rpc or lib_error_monad, constitute an integral part of the project, in that they are directly linked to Octez executables, while others, like lib_benchmark are used in the development process as tools which allow developers to make the software better.

Sometimes such a helper project is developed independently at first, but later during its development it becomes significantly coupled to one or more libraries developed as part of the Octez project. Maintaining such a tool is frustrating, because it often breaks due to changes in the Octez libraries it depends upon. A possible solution to this problem would be to include the tool in tezos/tezos repository and develop it together with Octez, which allows to discover breakages more quickly and prevent or fix them immediately.

Because the number of helper projects in the Tezos ecosystem is still growing, it’s impossible to develop all of them within the Octez repository. Therefore it is necessary to select which projects can be merged into the Octez repository and which cannot. The currently accepted rule is that to be merged into Octez, an external project should fulfill all the following criteria:

  1. The project should depend on internal Octez libraries, as opposed to public APIs such as inter-process communication via RPC.

  2. The dependency mentioned above should be unavoidable. That is, if there is another way to build the project, avoiding depending on internals of Octez, adding such an optional dependency won’t qualify a project to be included.

  3. The dependency should be on a feature or part of the codebase that is unstable enough to make it impractical to depend on released versions of Octez.

  4. The project should be used regularly as a helper in developing Octez (e.g. run in the CI pipeline).