Hi, I'm Richard! I created Roc in 2018 and am currently its BDFN.
BDFN stands for Benevolent Dictator For Now. There's a whole group of wonderful people collaborating to advance Roc, and we discuss major decisions together before committing to a particular direction. That said, once we reach the point in our discussions where a decision has to be made, I—as BDFN—have the final say...for now.
The difference between BDFN and Benevolent Dictator For Life is that I plan to transition away from being in charge of Roc with plenty of time left in my life to watch others take the helm and see how they run things. My last act as BDFN should be to hand over decision-making responsibility to a new system, whatever that ends up being.
Something that needs figuring out between now and then is how to keep the language from growing excessively complex over time. Many committee-driven languages accumulate new features at a rate that would be bad for Roc's long-term health, and I hope we can find a system which minimizes the erosion of simplicity that seems to happen by default.
(This would be easy to solve if zero happened to be the optimal number of new features to add over time, but unfortunately the programming landscape will change around the language, so remaining static is unlikely to be best. As such, the goal becomes finding a system which keeps the number of new features low without artificially forcing it to zero.)
I don't have any plans for when the transition away from BDFN will happen, other than that I expect it to be well after a 1.0 release of the language!