Any Software requires to be maintained and upgraded. These maintainences and upgrades in the Enterprise world come in the form of versions of those software and Release notes as something which describe the released changes or enhancement. These decision around the changes and enhancement happens behind closed doors.
Now if we look similar kind of thing for the open source world how the changes and enhancement can be brought about. These require series of steps the very first step is someone submitting the Proposal for changes or enhancement.
The Proposal for change in the Ethereum world is brought about by submitting the Ethereum Improvement Proposal - EIP.
An EIP is a design document providing information to the Ethereum community, or describing a new feature for Ethereum or its processes or environment. The EIP should provide a concise technical specification of the feature and a rationale for the feature. The EIP author is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.
The EIPs are versioned and maintained at - https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs
The following is the standardization process for all EIPs in all tracks:
EIPs are broadly categorized into the following categories
There are three types of EIP:
A Standards Track EIP - these are the changes which affect almost all the Ethereum implementation, such as—a change to the network protocol, a change in block or transaction validity rules, proposed application standards/conventions, or any change or addition that affects the interoperability of applications using Ethereum. Further Standards Track EIPs can be broken down into the following categories:
- Core: improvements requiring a consensus fork
- Networking: includes improvements around devp2p (EIP-8) and Light Ethereum Subprotocol, as well as proposed improvements to network protocol specifications of whisper and swarm.
- Interface: includes improvements around client specifications and standards, and also certain language-level standards like method names and contract ABIs.
- ERC: application-level standards and conventions, including contract standards such as token standards (EIP-20), name registries (EIP-137), URI schemes, library/package formats, and wallet formats.
A Meta EIP describes a process surrounding Ethereum or proposes a change to (or an event in) a process. Process EIPs are like Standards Track EIPs but apply to areas other than the Ethereum protocol itself. They may propose an implementation, but not to Ethereum’s codebase; they often require community consensus; unlike Informational EIPs, they are more than recommendations, and users are typically not free to ignore them. Examples include procedures, guidelines, changes to the decision-making process, and changes to the tools or environment used in Ethereum development. Any meta-EIP is also considered a Process EIP.
An Informational EIP describes an Ethereum design issue, or provides general guidelines or information to the Ethereum community, but does not propose a new feature. Informational EIPs do not necessarily represent Ethereum community consensus or a recommendation, so users and implementers are free to ignore Informational EIPs or follow their advice.