[openstack-dev] [nova] minimum review period for functional changes that break backwards compatibility

Robert Collins robertc at robertcollins.net
Thu Jan 2 20:43:11 UTC 2014

On 3 January 2014 04:30, Jeremy Stanley <fungi at yuggoth.org> wrote:
> On 2014-01-02 11:53:23 +0000 (+0000), Day, Phil wrote:

> For many of us who started working as Unix sysadmins in the 1980s or
> earlier, there was no hard line between a "developer" and an
> "administrator" (though the term "operator" had a much different
> connotation back then). This divisive mindset which has more
> recently plagued the computing industry is primarily the result of
> educational institutions and corporate management focusing on
> skillset over-specialization, and has caused detrimental effects,

I disagree here - educational institutions have followed the trend,
not set it. Likewise corporate management. The trend setting occured
IMNSHO through organisations like Novell and Microsoft disrupting the
computing marketplace through their products {itself neither good or
bad} but what was bad was their choice to not ship the source code:
their products then became both better (from a commercial value
perspective) and worse (from a organisations-can-fix-their-own-issues)
perspective. Taken over 20 years while Unix has struggled to learn the
lessons offered by those products and you get a culture of product
consumption and the expectation that there are hard boundaries where
debugging and improvements stop.

> even damage, to our technical effectiveness as a culture. I see the
> more recent "devops" movement as simply a return to the idea that
> you run systems by writing and debugging software rather than
> waiting for someone else to write/fix it for you.

I think that mischaracterises devops :). One of the crucial
sea-changes that has occurred in the intervening period between early
Unix administration and now is the broad acceptance of untested code
as unprofessional, broken, bad. When I first got involved in Open
Source only a few projects had test suites. Now a test suite is a
standard expected part of software development, and a key part of the
'infrastructure as code' concept that is deeply embedded into devops
is the idea of automated testing of the infrastructure definitions
themselves: this is new and extremely valuable :)


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

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