[openstack-dev] [tc] persistently single-vendor projects

Sean Dague sean at dague.net
Mon Aug 1 17:43:51 UTC 2016

On 08/01/2016 12:24 PM, James Bottomley wrote:
> On Mon, 2016-08-01 at 11:38 -0400, Doug Hellmann wrote:
>> Excerpts from Adrian Otto's message of 2016-08-01 15:14:48 +0000:
>>> I am struggling to understand why we would want to remove projects
>>> from our big tent at all, as long as they are being actively
>>> developed under the principles of "four opens". It seems to me that
>>> working to disqualify such projects sends an alarming signal to our
>>> ecosystem. The reason we made the big tent to begin with was to set
>>> a tone of inclusion. This whole discussion seems like a step
>>> backward. What problem are we trying to solve, exactly?
>>> If we want to have tags to signal team diversity, that's fine. We
>>> do that now. But setting arbitrary requirements for big tent
>>> inclusion based on who participates definitely sounds like a
>>> mistake.
>> Membership in the big tent comes with benefits that have a real
>> cost born by the rest of the community. Space at PTG and summit
>> forum events is probably the one that's easiest to quantify and to
>> point to as something limited that we want to use as productively
>> as possible. If 90% of the work of a project is being done by a
>> single company or organization (our current definition for
>> single-vendor), and that doesn't change after 18 months, then I
>> would take that as a signal that the community isn't interested
>> enough in the project to bear the associated costs.
>> I'm interested in hearing other reasons that we should keep these
>> sorts of projects, though. I'm not yet ready to propose the change
>> to the policy myself.
> Making no judgments about the particular exemplars here, I would just
> like to point out that one reason why projects exist with very little
> diversity is that they "just work".  Usually people get involved when
> something doesn't work or they need something changed to work for them.
>  However, people do have a high tolerance for "works well enough"
> meaning that a project can be functional, widely used and not
> attracting diverse contributors.  A case in point for this type of
> project in the non-openstack world would be openssl but there are many
> others.

I think openssl is a good example of what we are actually trying to
avoid. Over time that project boiled down to just a couple of people.
Which seemed ok, because everything seemed to be working fine, but only
because no one was pushing on it too hard. Then folks did, and we
realized that there was kind of a house of cards here, that's required
special intervention to address some of the issues found.

Keeping a diverse community up front helps mitigate some of this. It's
not a silver bullet by any means, but it does help ensure that the goals
of the project aren't only the goals of a single product team inside a
single entity.


Sean Dague

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