[openstack-dev] [all] Question for the TC candidates

Doug Hellmann doug at doughellmann.com
Wed Apr 29 14:28:08 UTC 2015

Excerpts from Maish Saidel-Keesing's message of 2015-04-29 12:59:35 +0300:
> Again my apologies for the incorrect format - since I am still not 
> receiving the messages from this thread.
> Please see my comments with the abstracts within (unfortunately not 
> necessarily in the correct order)
> I think that the point here was that Doug mentioned that there was 
> communication
> >/  > I believe all of the posts were on the main OpenStack foundation blog
> />/  > under the "technical committee" tag [1], and they also went to
> />/  > planet.openstack.org for folks who subscribe to the entire community
> />/  > feed.
> />/  
> /
> Doug - evidently this is not working as it should. As Chris said as well 
> - the posts are not tagged and are not regular.

The lack of tags is an oversight, and should be easy to correct.

> Regarding this
> >/For outgoing communication, during Kilo (and possibly Juno) we tried
> />/blogging meeting summaries. Did folks notice? Were the posts useful?/
> They were not noticed - because they didn't really happen.

I don't think that's a fair characterization of the effort put into
writing the posts. If you didn't see them because they didn't go to the
right channel, that's one thing. If you didn't see them because there
weren't enough of them, then I think we have different goals. I'm not
sure it's as useful to publish on a schedule as it is to publish at
meaningful milestones.

If we take this week's meeting [1] as an example, we made some
clarifications to existing rules for teams that want to join as
official OpenStack projects [2]; we tweaked the description of the
Congress project [3] to try to convey what it is for; we approved
5 repos as part of existing projects [4][5][6][7][8]; we updated
the PTLs for projects [9]; and then we discussed the cross-project
track at the summit.

It's not clear those things warrant blog posts.  Maybe they do, but
aside from the summit planning, and possibly the meeting rule
clarification, the others seem trivial enough that they would be
"noise" in a channel we should preserve for communicating more
"important" changes. I honestly don't know. If I was going to write a
blog post about that meeting, which topics would you want me to have

[1] http://eavesdrop.openstack.org/meetings/tc/2015/tc.2015-04-28-20.02.log.html
[2] https://review.openstack.org/175427
[3] https://review.openstack.org/169480
[4] https://review.openstack.org/175620
[5] https://review.openstack.org/172802
[6] https://review.openstack.org/175610
[7] https://review.openstack.org/177070
[8] https://review.openstack.org/176338
[9] https://review.openstack.org/175007

> Excerpts from Chris Dent's message of 2015-04-27 17:32:12 +0100:
> >/  The only way I've been able to get any sense of what the TC might be
> />/  up to is by watching the governance project on gerrit and that tends
> />/  to be too soon and insufficiently summarized and thus a fair bit of
> />/  work to separate the details from the destinations./
> If the audience that you are planning on communicating with is: not the 
> developers themselves and those who are already heavily involved in the 
> community - I think this certainly is not the place to publicize 
> changes. Do you seriously expect people who are trying to find 
> information (not as a regular code contributor) about what is going on 
> to start delving through Gerrit?

We have two audiences. The contributors who elect us, and the broader
community of deployers, users, etc. I think all of us do what we
can individually to engage with that broader community, through
meetups, our own blogs, and other channels. I don't expect them to
use or read gerrit, or even necessarily subscribe to this list.

On the other hand, the developer electorate is quite capable of
subscribing to notices about changes happening in the governance
repository and it does seem reasonable that if they really want to
watch the minutia of TC's deliberations that they *would* take advantage
of that capability. That's not to say it should be the only way we
communicate, just that the option is there for those interested in using

> Not going to happen.
> Does this mean that the TC has to change the way they make decisions? 
> The TC should do what what they find works for them. But they also need 
> to take into consideration that there are others who are interested in 
> the information - but have no idea how to access it.
> We need make this more accessible - to those who are not like us.

Yes, I don't think anyone is arguing against that point.

The question remains, though: How? Is a blog post a useful medium,
or should we be doing something else?

> Excerpts from Jeremy Stanley's message of 2015-04-28 16:21:17 +0000:
> >/  On 2015-04-28 16:30:21 +0100 (+0100), Chris Dent wrote:
> />/  [...]
> />/  > What's important to avoid is the blog postings being only reporting of
> />/  > "conclusions". They also need to be invitations to participate in the
> />/  > discussions. Yes, the mailing list, gerrit and meeting logs have some
> />/  > of the ongoing discussions but often, without a nudge, people won't
> />/  > know.
> />/  [...]
> />/  
> />/  Perhaps better visibility for the meeting agenda would help? As in
> />/  "these are the major topics we're planning to cover in the upcoming
> />/  meeting, everyone is encouraged to attend" sort of messaging?
> />/  Blogging that might be a bit obnoxious, not really sure (I'm one of
> />/  those luddites who prefer mailing lists to blogs so tend not to
> />/  follow the latter anyway).
> /
> I am not sure that you want people chiming in every single TC meeting - 
> that will become quite chaotic.

We regularly have non-TC members attend and participate in the meetings.

> Excerpts from Chris Dent's message of Tue Apr 28 15:30:21 UTC 2015
> > I'm not trying to suggest that the TC is trying to keep people in
> > the dark, rather that it always takes more effort than anyone would
> > like to make sure things are lit.
> I don't think that anyone is implying that you are saying that the TC is 
> keeping it to themselves. I for one would also like to see more 
> communication coming out of the TC.
> And yes it does take effort.

Taking as given that we should be open and communicate more, I would
like to ask a concrete question.  It seems like there is a general
sense of concern about communication, but I want to make sure it's
not related to ongoing discussions.  Is there something specific
that happened over the last year that was a surprise, or that was
not communicated well? Something we could address in the short term
with a blog post or email discussion?

> Excerpts from Chris Dent's message of Tue Apr 28 18:11:44 UTC 2015
> > I wouldn't have joined the commentary on the blogging issue if there
> > hadn't already been a fair bit of talk about how fixing the feedback
> > loop was one of the roads to improving. Also, critically, when Doug
> > (who I can see is just trying to point out the current picture of
> > reality so I'm not criticizing him, in fact I'd like to laud his
> > efforts in pursuit of "write it down" which he has mentioned many
> > times) pointed out the existing situation there were, effectively, bugs:
> >
> > * disconnected taxonomy in the presentation of the blogs
> > * misconceptions about the frequency of postings
> >
> > If we can clear up those preconceptions then we can find the stable
> > state from which improvements can be made.
> I fully agree!
> > It is true that I have dissatisfaction about the visibility of the
> > TC and I think a lot of the candidates have made it clear that they
> > are concerned with that issue too. That's great!
> >
> > >/  It is detrimental to our overall electoral process if folks cloak
> /> >/  personal points of disagreement in the guise of open discussion.
> />
> > I would think that disagreements are in fact exactly the reason for
> > having open discussion and such discussion is one of the best ways
> > to know where people stand. I didn't, however, have that in mind
> > when I responded to clarify things with Doug.

For what it's worth, I'm not reading this discussion as us disagreeing
in any way. We made some reasonable starts at publicizing our ongoing
work, but it's clear we can do better from a technical standpoint
(tagging posts) and from a volume standpoint (publishing more often).
I'm interested in having more input into how best to improve
communication, so I keep asking questions and I'm glad you're all still
answering. :-)

> > Apparently my efforts to be lighthearted about that didn't quite
> > play as I planned, and for that I apologize. As I was looking for
> > blog postings I found so _few_ that I assumed any statements of
> > there's 3 here and 4 over there[1] (covering the last greater than a
> > year) were similarly lighthearted. I guess my expectations are way
> > off?

Er, yeah, if the "3 or 4" part was meant somewhat jokingly I missed
that in my reading of your email because it was pretty close to the
actual count and *I* was surprised.  I thought we had done more.


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