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

Flavio Percoco flavio at redhat.com
Thu Nov 14 09:22:05 UTC 2013

On 13/11/13 17:20 -0800, Stefano Maffulli wrote:
>On 11/13/2013 04:34 PM, Colin McNamara 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).
>ow, that's harsh. Despite what US Supreme Court Judges may think,
>Companies are not people: in the contest of this discussion (and for the
>purpose of reporting on development activity) companies don't *do*
>anything besides pay salaries of people. Red Hat, IBM, Rackspace, HP,
>etc happen to pay the salaries of hundreds of skilled developers. That's
>it. I happen to have started reporting publicly on companies activity
>because I (as community manager) need to understand the full extent of
>the dynamics inside the ecosystem. Those numbers are public and some
>pundits abuse of them to fuel PR flaming machines.

Couldn't agree more!

>> 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.
>I am not convinced at all that such thing would be of any incentive for
>operators to contribute upstream. The practical advantage of having a
>feature upstream maintained by somebody else should be more than enough
>to justify it. I see the PR/marketing value in it, not a practical one.
>On the other hand, I see potential for incentive to damaging behaviour.
>As others have mentioned already, we have a lot of small contributions
>coming in the code base but we're generally lacking people involved in
>the hard parts of OpenStack. We need people contributing to 'thankless'
>jobs that need to be done: from code reviewers to QA people to the
>Security team, we need people involved there. I fear that giving
>incentives to such small "vanity contributions" would do harm to our

Agreed here as well.

There's nothing wrong with small contributions but I can see them
being abused.

>> 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.
>I also don't see any obstacle for any company to proudly issue a press
>release, blog post or similar, saying that they have sponsored a
>feature/bug fix in OpenStack giving credit to developers/company writing
>it. Why wouldn't that be enough? Why do we need to put in place a
>reporting machine for what seems to be purely a marketing/pr need?

+1 here as well!


Flavio Percoco

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