[openstack-dev] [Nova] Frustrations with review wait times
davanum at gmail.com
Wed Aug 28 16:25:09 UTC 2013
If each "little group" had at least one active Nova core member, i think it
would speed things up way faster IMHO.
On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM, Shawn Hartsock <hartsocks at vmware.com>wrote:
> tl;dr at the end... I can ramble on a bit.
> I agree with Daniel.
> I'm not a core reviewer, but I'm trying to think like one. Over the last
> few weeks I've divested myself of almost all coding tasks, instead trying
> to increase the size of the community that is actively contributing to my
> area of expertise. I have indeed gone batty! I've caught myself a few
> times, and the frustration of feeling like I couldn't contribute code even
> if I wanted to is getting to be a bit too much.
> The common refrain I've heard is, "That's OpenSource" as if this is a
> natural state of affairs for OpenSource projects. I've been either on or
> around OpenSource projects for nearly 20 years at this point and I really
> feel this doesn't have to be the case. Any project is doomed to have an
> internal structure that mirrors the organization that maintains it. That
> means software beyond a certain scale becomes part engineering and part
> In OpenSource projects that I have worked on recently, the way scale was
> handled was to break up the project into pieces small enough for teams of 1
> to 5 to handle. The core framework developers worked on exposing API to the
> plugin developers. Each plugin developer would then focus on how their
> plugin could expose both additional API and leverage framework API.
> Feedback went from the application developers to the plugin developers and
> up to the core developers. This whole divide-and-conquer strategy was aided
> by the fact that we could lean heavily on a custom dependency management
> and code/binary distribution system leveraged inside the framework itself.
> It meant that package structure and distribution could be controlled by the
> community directly to suit its needs. That makes a powerful combination for
> building a flexible system but requires a fair amount of infrastructure in
> code and hardware.
> It wasn't a perfect solution. This strategy meant that an application or
> deployment became the coordination of plugins mixed at run-time. While
> efforts were made to test common combinations, it was impossible to test
> all combinations. That often meant people in the field were using
> combinations that nobody on official teams had ever considered. Because the
> plugins weren't on the same release cycle as the core framework (and even
> in different code repositories and release infrastructures) a plugin could
> release weekly or once every few years depending on its needs and
> There is a separate dysfunction you'll see if you go down this path. Core
> API must necessarily lead plugin implementation ... which means you
> sometimes get nonsense API with no backing. To solve this a few plugins are
> deemed "core" plugins and march in-step with the API release cycle. Then
> there's the added burden of longer backward compatibility cycles that
> necessarily stretch longer and longer leaving deprecated API lying around
> for years as plugin developers are coaxed into leaving them behind (and
> subsequent plugin users are coaxed to upgrade). Some things slow down while
> others speed up. The core API's evolution slows, the plugin/driver speeds
> up. Is that a fair trade off? It's a judgement call. No right answer.
> In the end you trade one kind of problem for another and one kind of
> coordination for another. There's no clean answer that just works for this
> kind of problem and its why we have so many different kinds of governments
> in the world. Because, ultimately, that's what human coordination becomes
> if you don't watch out and "one size does not fit all".
> Based on my experiences this last cycle, I think nova is pretty well
> broken down already. Each driver is practically its own little group, the
> scheduler is surprisingly well fenced off, as are cells. As for our
> sub-team I think we could have moved much faster if we had been able to
> approve our own driver blueprints some of which have been in review since
> May and others which have 30+ revisions updated every few days hoping for
> attention. It's part of why I moved to watching over people's work instead
> of doing my own and I now spend most of my time giving feedback to reviews
> other people are working on and seeking out expert opinions on other
> people's efforts.
> It's not a pleasant place to be and every time I pick up something to work
> on I either get pulled away or someone else picks up the job and finishes
> before I can even get started. I imagine this is much like what it is to be
> a core developer and that this contest of interest is the same strain the
> core-reviewers feel. You end up picking your own work and neglecting others
> or falling on the sword so other people can do their work and doing none of
> your own. Frankly, I don't want to use this strategy next cycle because it
> is far too unsatisfying for me.
> Anyone interested in this on an academic level, most of these ideas I have
> are from vague recollections of college readings of the work of W. Edwards
> Deming, Coase theorem, and more humorously and directly: Conway's law. But,
> I don't do that for a living so I may not understand it too well. Mostly, I
> was interested in how to coordinate large numbers of developers.
> tl;dr please don't create a reviewer caste (it's not fun), break the
> project into pieces, give the pieces autonomy... for me, that tends to be
> more fun.
> # Shawn Hartsock
> ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Robert Collins" <robertc at robertcollins.net>
> > To: "Daniel P. Berrange" <berrange at redhat.com>
> > Cc: "OpenStack Development Mailing List" <
> openstack-dev at lists.openstack.org>
> > Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:51:22 AM
> > Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [Nova] Frustrations with review wait times
> > On 28 August 2013 22:39, Daniel P. Berrange <berrange at redhat.com> wrote:
> > > No, IIUC, Joshua was suggesting that core team members spend one cycle
> > > doing reviews only, with no coding, and then reverse for the next
> > > That is just far too coarse/crude. Core team members need to be free to
> > > balance their time between reviews and coding work on an ongoing basis,
> > > just as any other member of the community can.
> > Oh! Yes, thats way too heavy.
> > I do wonder about tweaking the balance more [or scaling the review
> > team :)], but only-reviews would drive anyone batty.
> > -Rob
> > --
> > Robert Collins <rbtcollins at hp.com>
> > Distinguished Technologist
> > HP Converged Cloud
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Davanum Srinivas :: http://davanum.wordpress.com
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