[openstack-dev] Split of the openstack-dev list (summary so far)

Adrian Otto adrian.otto at rackspace.com
Fri Nov 15 15:58:51 UTC 2013

On Nov 15, 2013, at 2:06 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:

> Wow, lots of different opinions! let's try to summarize:
> Arguments in favor of splitting openstack-dev / stackforge-dev
> * People can easily filter out all non-openstack discussions
> * Traffic would drop by about 25%
> * Removes confusion as to which projects are actually "in openstack"

Few of us actually try to read all the email sent to openstack-dev. Category filtering features are available in our list server already, and I expect all of us routinely use filtering techniques to manage email volume.

> Arguments in favor of keeping it the same
> * Provides a cross-pollination forum where external projects can learn
> * More chaos creates more innovation

The value of cross-pollination and innovation is profound, and should not be understated.

These are key aspects of the OpenStack community ecosystem that make it attractive to new innovators. If you erode the value of community collaboration by making a second class community, it will certainly stunt growth, and the total value of the community will fade. In my view the community aspects of open design and development are the magic that has made OpenStack successful. The current setup encourages new projects that are closely integrated with other OpenStack projects.

For example, when I have a Heat+Solum integration concern, I can label the message with [Heat][Solum] and we can easily have a cross-group conversation. If there were two separate lists, this would require me to cross post, and all of us that participate on both teams would get two copies of the message and every reply to each of the threads. It would show up in two different message archives. Yuck! That would motivate us to have the conversation only on openstack-dev which would probably reduce the number of Solum developers that would see it. This would certainly slow down innovation.

I am bringing new developers into this ecosystem, and teaching them the OpenStack way of doing things. These developers will integrate into the community and begin working on other OpenStack projects like Keystone, and Oslo, and Heat, and other community projects that are not yet incubated. Everyone benefits.

So you should add:

* supports growth of community
* results in the improvement in the overall quality of OpenStack

> Personally I was fine with having everyone in the same "burgeoning city"
> (to quote the lyrical Clint) until we recently crossed the bar of making
> that city painful for a lot of people. Especially the people who work on
> serving the needs of all OpenStack projects (think release management,
> doc, QA, infra) and who have to pay some level of attention to every thread.
> Yes, those people can filter out all stackforge discussions into a
> separate folder: identify all the corresponding prefixes and setting
> filters for them (and praying that they would all just use the right
> suffixes).

We do actually use the right tags in the subject. This solution would work fine for reduction of volume.

> But rather than forcing everyone to go through that setup,
> why not set up a list and make it more convenient for everyone to apply
> different (or similar !) reading rules to the two different groups.

Because the value of innovation in our community justifies some email client configuration by those of us who have special roles.

If OpenStack starts a culture of exclusion instead of inclusion, that would start a dangerous trend that sets the wrong tone. It would quickly reach the point where new projects like mine would simply not come here. We would go somewhere else that does have a culture of inclusion. We would not employ the values of open design and open collaboration, and we would be back to the "throw stuff over the wall" approach to open source. That would be a tragedy. Don't destroy the things about OpenStack's community that make it awesome.

> Because they ARE two different groups.

That thinking is backwards. From a community perspective we are not two different groups. Making us into two groups is a huge mistake.

> One is "OpenStack" and must get
> the extra attention of all the people working on horizontal functions
> (that is what incubation is about, carefully controlling access to extra
> common resources). The other is "not yet OpenStack", free-for-all. The
> latter group clearly benefits from being on the same list: they get
> extra attention from all those smart OpenStack people, and their
> marketing can benefit from the very blurry line between openstack and
> not-yet-openstack we maintain on the list.
> In summary, I certainly see the benefits of a single list for stackforge
> developers (and why people working on a limited number of vertical
> projects don't really mind either way...). But I fear that we maintain
> those benefits at the expense of the sanity of the horizontal programs
> in openstack, and therefore lower the quality of OpenStack as a result.

If we take the action you are suggesting, we are swallowing a poison pill. We will not die immediately, but we may gradually become very sick.



> PS: I don't think we can reach consensus on that one -- we might need to
> push it to the TC to make a final call.
> -- 
> Thierry Carrez (ttx)
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