[openstack-dev] The Evolution of core developer to maintainer?

Maru Newby marun at redhat.com
Wed Apr 1 20:14:13 UTC 2015

> On Apr 1, 2015, at 2:52 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:
> - Some people are core reviewers and maintainers (or "drivers", to reuse
> the openstack terminology we already have for that)
> - Some people are core reviewers only (because they can't commit 90% of
> their work time to work on project priorities)
> - Some people are maintainers/drivers only (because their project duties
> don't give them enough time to also do reviewing)
> - Some people are casual developers / reviewers (because they can't
> spend more than 30% of their day on project stuff)
> All those people are valuable. Simply renaming "core reviewers" to
> "maintainers" (creating a single super-developer class) just excludes
> valuable people.

I hear that you believe that the proposal to rename 'core
reviewer' to 'maintainer' in Neutron was intended to entrench
privilege.  Nothing could be further from the truth - it was
actually intended to break it down.

As per Joe’s recent reply, ‘drivers’ in Nova have to be core
reviewers.  This is true in Neutron as well.  I think a more
accurate taxonomy, at least in Neutron, is the following:

- Everyone that participates in the project is a 'contributor'

- Some contributors are 'core reviewers' - members of the team
  with merge rights on a primary repo and a responsibility to
  actively review for that repo.

- Some core reviewers are 'drivers' - members of a team with
  merge rights on the spec repo and a responsibility to actively
  review for that repo.

This is obviously a gross simplification, but it should serve for
what I'm trying to communicate.  Many of us in the Neutron
community find this taxonomy restrictive and not representative
of all the work that makes the project possible.  Worse, 'cores'
are put on a pedastal, and not just in the project.  Every summit
a 'core reviewer dinner' is held that underscores the
glorification of this designation.  By proposing to rename 'core
reviewer' to 'maintainer' the goal was to lay the groundwork for
broadening the base of people whose valuable contribution could
be recognized.  The goal was to recognize not just review-related
contributors, but also roles like doc/bug/test czar and cross-project
liaison.  The statue of the people filling these roles today is less 
if they are not also ‘core’, and that makes the work less attractive 
to many.

Given the TC's apparent mandate to define the organizational
taxonomy that a project like Neutron is allowed to use, I would
ask you and your fellow committee members to consider addressing
the role that the current taxonomy plays in valuing reviewing
ahead of other forms of contribution.  It provides disincentive against
other forms of contribution, since they aren’t recognized on an equal 
footing, and I think this needs to change if we want to ensure the 
long-term viability of projects like Neutron (if not OpenStack as a whole).


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