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

Ian Wienand iwienand at redhat.com
Thu Apr 2 00:07:31 UTC 2015

On 04/02/2015 09:02 AM, Jeremy Stanley wrote:
> but since parties who don't understand our mostly non-hierarchical
> community can see those sets of access controls, they cling to them
> as a sign of importance and hierarchy of the people listed within.

There is no hierarchy for submitting code -- that is good.  We all know
situations in a traditional company where people say "that's foo's
area, we don't work on that".

Once code is submitted, there *is* a hierarchy.  The only way
something gets merged in OpenStack is by Brownian motion of this
hierarchy.  These special "cores" float around and as a contributor
you just hope that two of them meet up and decide your change is
ready.  You have zero insight into when this might happen, if at all.
The efficiency is appalling but somehow we get there in the end.

IMO requiring two cores to approve *every* change is too much.  What
we should do is move the responsibility downwards.  Currently, as a
contributor I am only 1/3 responsible for my change making it through.
I write it, test it, clean it up and contribute it; then require the
extra 2/3 to come from the "hierarchy".  If you only need one core,
then core and myself share the responsibility for the change.  In my
mind, this better recognises the skill of the contributor -- we are
essentially saying "we trust you".

People involved in openstack are not idiots.  If a change is
controversial, or a reviewer isn't confident, they can and will ask
for assistance or second opinions.  This isn't a two-person-key system
in a nuclear missile silo; we can always revert.

If you want cores to be "less special" then talking about it or
calling them something else doesn't help -- the only way is to make
them actually less special.


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