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In this episode of “Bitcoin, Explained,” hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discussed the Bitcoin Core development process, and more specifically, the different roles that are involved in this process.
At the start of the episode, van Wirdum and Provoost explained what Bitcoin Core is, both in a practical sense as well as in a more definitional sense, and they touched on some slightly different ideas about this as well. They then went on to explain the roles of three distinct types of Bitcoin Core contributors: “regular” Bitcoin Core contributors, Bitcoin Core maintainers and the Bitcoin Core lead maintainer.
Since there are no barriers to entry, anyone can become a Bitcoin Core contributor, van Wirdum and Provoost pointed out: anyone can start contributing to the Bitcoin Core project by offering code, review of code or perhaps other types of contributions like text translations. Bitcoin Core maintainers, then, are Bitcoin Core contributors who can merge new code into the Bitcoin Core codebase. The hosts explained what this means exactly, and how someone can become a Bitcoin maintainer. Finally, va Wirdum and Provoost went over some of the typical tasks of the Bitcoin Core lead maintainer, which includes managing the release process, adding and removing (other) Bitcoin Core maintainers to the project, and updating the bitcoincore.org website. They also discussed which of these tasks are in fact still done by the Bitcoin Core lead maintainer, and which tasks have over the years become more distributed.