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Polygon Improvement Proposals (PIPs)

What are PIPs?

Polygon Improvement Proposals (PIPs) describe standards for the Polygon ecosystem and govern the process through which the Polygon community introduces, finds consensus on, and implements changes to Polygon protocols. A PIP provides information to the Polygon community about suggested changes to the Polygon protocols. Authors use PIPs to document proposed changes, understand community sentiment, incorporate feedback, and provide technical specifications behind the suggested changes.

The PIP process

The Polygon Improvement Proposal (PIP) process is a preliminary approach for allowing the community to put forward-protocol upgrades that aim at improving Polygon PoS. This process is inspired by the PEP process, which has been used in the development of frameworks for other open-source projects, including Ethereum and Bitcoin. As a guiding rule, it is recommended that all changes originate from the Polygon Community Forum and the PIP GitHub repository in the form of a proposal written in line with PIP-1. It is suggested to consult with the Governance processes board regarding implementing different types of PIPs, as separate classifications of PIPs have other implementation flows.

Who can propose a PIP?

Anyone can propose a PIP.

Why submit a PIP?

  • To introduce changes to the Polygon protocols.
  • To offer new standards to the ecosystem.
  • To encourage open and transparent discussion and decision-making about changes to the Polygon protocols, ensuring that any changes are well thought-out and aligned with the goals of the Polygon community.

Where are the PIPs hosted?

The PIPs are available on GitHub.

What should I do before submitting a PIP?

Before submitting a PIP, look through the PIP list and the Polygon Community Forum to see if someone has had a similar idea. If so, join the discussion. If there is a different proposal, submit the PIP yourself.

What do I need to do if I want to write a PIP?

Go to GitHub and use the suggested template to draft your PIP. After writing your proposal, follow the steps described in PIP-1 and PIP-8.

What does the PIP process look like?

Take a look at the flowchart that explains how the PIP process works.

What are the types of PIPs?

There are four types of PIPs that differ based on the changes the author wants to introduce. More specifically:

  • The Core category is for changes to the Heimdall and Bor protocols, which are the backbone of the Polygon network. This category is for discussing, proposing, and implementing modifications to these protocols to improve the overall functioning of the Polygon network.

    Examples include but are not limited to:

    i. Proposal to upgrade Heimdall to a new version to improve security and scalability.

    ii. Discussion on changing the block size limit in Bor to accommodate more transactions (PIP-5 & PIP-6).

    iii. Implement a new consensus algorithm to improve the efficiency of the Polygon network.

  • The Contracts category is for changes to the Core contracts deployed on the Ethereum network. This includes discussing and proposing changes to the smart contracts that run on the Ethereum network and changes to the security and functioning of these contracts.

    Examples include but are not limited to:

    i. Proposal to add new functionality to the Core staking contracts.

    ii. Discussions on changes related to bridge security.

  • The Interface category is for client API/RPC specifications and standards improvements. This includes changes to the way that clients interact with the Polygon network, as well as changes to the way that data is transmitted and received by these clients.

    Examples include but are not limited to:

    i. Contract standards - PRCs.

    ii. Proposal to improve the API/RPC specification for transmitting data between clients and the Polygon network.

    iii. Discussion on changes to the way clients interact with the Polygon network to make it more user-friendly.

    iv. Implement a new data format for transmitting information between clients and the Polygon network.

  • The Informational category is for issues and ideas that the Polygon community can adopt. This includes discussions and proposals on new features, changes to existing features, and best practices for using the Polygon network. This category is meant to be a place for members of the Polygon community to share information and collaborate on new ideas and improvements to the network.

    Examples include but are not limited to:

    i. Sharing information and resources on integrating a specific type of Dapp to the Polygon protocols.

    ii. Discussion on best practices and risk management for Dapps.

What is the difference between a PIP and a PRC, and how to decide which one I am submitting?

There is little of a difference.

Polygon Improvement Proposal (PIP) and Polygon Request for Comments (PRC) are similar in that they both serve as a standard for proposing Polygon protocol improvements and additions. However, the scope of the proposals they represent differs slightly.

PIPs have a broader scope and can include proposals for Polygon protocol improvements such as protocol changes, blockchain upgrades, and new features.

Conversely, PRC is primarily concerned with proposals for standardizing smart contracts based on the Polygon protocols. PRCs define smart contract development and deployment standards, such as token standards, and serve as a foundation for developers to build on.

In summary, PIPs are for proposals that aim to improve the Polygon protocols as a whole, while PRCs are for proposals that aim to standardize smart contract development on Polygon protocols.

If you are still determining which category your proposal falls under, don't worry; PIP Editors can help you with that.

Where can I see the proposed PIPs?

What to do after submitting a PIP to the PIP GitHub repository?

  • Share the PIP with the community at the Polygon Community Forum. Present your PIP as submitted, and focus your discussion by highlighting why it should be implemented. Why is your PIP different from other similar PIPs or PRCs? What are the benefits of adopting your proposal?

  • Once doing so, remember to engage in the discussions. Address the comments posted and (if applicable) incorporate them in the following versions of the PIP.

How long does the whole process of a PIP, from submission to finalization, take?

  • The timeline may vary depending on the community's response and the author's responsiveness to the comments received.

My PIP is still in draft. What to do to make it final?

  • Moving the PIP through the different stages is the responsibility of the author(s). Once you are happy with the state of the proposal, you should move the proposal to Review and start receiving comments from the community.

Who are the PIP Editors, and what do they do?

A PIP editor's role is to facilitate the PIP process, and they DON'T hold the authority to decide if the PIP is finally approved (whether by on-chain consensus or ecosystem adoption).

PIP Editors ensure that:

  1. PIP is well formatted and technically complete.
  2. The PIP repository is maintained, and the standards for PIPs are met.

How to become a PIP Editor, and what does the selection process look like?

Everyone can apply to become a PIP editor, given they match the following requirements.

  • Understands Polygon protocols at an expert level.
  • Is familiar with the PIP and similar frameworks used on other decentralized blockchains.
  • Is proficient in using GitHub.
  • Is a good communicator.
  • Can appropriately handle contentious discourse.

Read more about it here.