[openstack-dev] Proposal to recognize indirect contributions to our code base

Robert Collins robertc at robertcollins.net
Thu Nov 14 01:29:17 UTC 2013

On 14 November 2013 13:34, Colin McNamara <colin at 2cups.com> wrote:
> Not to be contrarian, but 92% of the commits in Havana came from
> non-individual contributions. The majority of those came from big name
> companies (IBM, RedHat, etc).
> What I see as a great thing is the increasing number [and diversity] of
> companies committing, especially from end user/operators.
> In the operator case, there are examples where an operator uses another
> companies Dev's to write a patch for their install that gets commited
> upstream. In this case, the patch was sponsored by the operator company,
> written and submitted by a developer employed by another.
> Allowing for tracking if the fact that an operator/end user sponsored a
> patch to be created further incents more operators/end users to put funds
> towards getting features written.
> This is a positive for the project, it's Dev's and the community. It also
> opens up an expanded market for contract developers working on specifier
> features.
> My perspective - I work at and operator / integrator. I have my teams
> working on multiple projects including OpenStack. Peers of mine in Silicon
> Valley who have funded major OpenStaxk development Efforts have required
> that code to be released, but have had trouble verifying. The sponsored by
> tag would provide an easy way of tracking, as well as further incent the
> behavior of funding improvements.
> My 2 cents.

It's not *at all* clear that the publicity from having commits tagged
as 'sponsored by FOO' are valuable for organisation Foo. There are two
scenarios I can see where this turns up:

a) Operator/Deployer X wants a bugfix/feature and their supporting
organisation Y delivers the work for them.
b) Vendor X wants a bugfix/feature and they contract to another
OpenStack connected organisation Y to do the work for them.

For case a) the reward of getting the work done is it's own benefit.
There is perhaps a tiny bit of kudos they get by upstreaming the code,
but as being a contributor to OpenStack isn't key to their business
model, it's marginal at best: if being a contributor was key, they
would be resourcing the work themselves.

For case b) again the feature/bugfix is it's own benefit - the vendors
users get the ability to use the bugfix/feature and the vendor can
sell more of their product. And again, if being part of the OpenStack
community is core to their plans, they will be doing that!

So - there are intrinsic motivators for doing this work. Do we need to
track the (I suspect) small fraction of patches with this provenance
in an explicit fashion at all?


Robert Collins <rbtcollins at hp.com>
Distinguished Technologist
HP Converged Cloud

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