[openstack-dev] [Cinder] [stable] [all] Changing stable policy for drivers

Matthew Treinish mtreinish at kortar.org
Wed Aug 10 02:21:19 UTC 2016

On Tue, Aug 09, 2016 at 05:28:52PM -0700, John Griffith wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 4:53 PM, Sean McGinnis <sean.mcginnis at gmx.com> wrote:
> > .
> > >
> > > Mike, you must have left the midcycle by the time this topic came
> > > up. On the issue of out-of-tree drivers, I specifically offered this
> > > proposal (a community managed mechanism for distributing driver
> > > bugfix backports) as an compromise alternative to try to address the
> > > needs of both camps. Everyone who was in the room at the time (plus
> > > DuncanT who wasn't) agreed that if we had that (a way to deal with
> > > backports) that they wouldn't want drivers out of the tree anymore.
> > >
> > > Your point of view wasn't represented so go ahead and explain why,
> > > if we did have a reasonable way for bugfixes to get backported to
> > > the releases customers actually run (leaving that mechanism
> > > unspecified for the time being), that you would still want the
> > > drivers out of the tree.
> > >
> > > -Ben Swartzlander
> >
> > The conversation about this started around the 30 minute point here if
> > anyone is interested in more of the background discussion on this:
> >
> > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3MEDFp08t4
> >
> > __________________________________________________________________________
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> >
> ​I don't think anybody is whining at all here, we had a fairly productive
> discussion at the mid-cycle surrounding this topic and I do think there are
> some valid advantages to this approach regardless of the QA question.  Note
> that it's been pointed out we weren't talking about or considering
> advertising this *special* branch as tested by the standard means or gate
> CI etc.
> We did discuss this though mostly in the context of helping the package
> maintainers and distributions.  The fact is that many of us currently offer
> backports of fixes in our own various github accounts.  That's fine and it
> works well for many.  The problem we were trying to address however is that
> this practice is rather problematic for the distros.  For example RHEL,
> Helion or Mirantis are most certainly not going to run around cherry
> picking change sets from random github repos scattered around.
> The context of the discussion was that by having a long lived *driver*
> (emphasis on driver) branch there would be a single location and an *easy*
> method of contact and communication regarding fixes to drivers that may be
> available for stable branches that are no longer supported.  This puts the
> burden of QA/Testing mostly on the vendors and distros, which I think is
> fine.  They can either choose to work with the Vendor and verify the
> versions for backport on a regular basis, or they can choose to ignore them
> and NOT provide them to their customers.
> I don't think this is an awful idea, and it's very far from the "drivers
> out of tree" discussion.  The feedback from the distro maintainers during
> the week was that they would gladly welcome a model where they could pull
> updates from a single driver branch on a regular basis or as needed for
> customers that are on *unsupported* releases and for whom a fix exists.
> Note that support cycles are not the same for the distros as they are of
> the upstream community.  This is in no way proposing a change to the
> existing support time frames or processes we have now, and in that way it
> differs significantly from proposals and discussions we've had in the past.
> The basic idea here was to eliminate the proliferation of custom backport
> patches scattered all over the web, and to ease the burden for distros and
> vendors in supporting their customers.  I think there may be some concepts
> to iron out and I certainly understand some of the comments regarding being
> disingenuous regarding what we're advertising.  I think that's a
> misunderstanding of the intent however, the proposal is not to extend the
> support life of stable from an upstream or community perspective but
> instead the proposal is geared at consolidation and tracking of drivers.

I fully understood the proposal but I still think you're optimizing for the
wrong thing. We have a community process for doing backports and maintaining
released versions of OpenStack code. The fundamental problem here is actually
that the parties you've identified aren't actively involved in stable branch
maintenance. The stable maint team and policy was primarily created as a
solution to the exact problem you outlined above, that it providing a place for
vendors, distros, etc to collaborate on backports and stable branch maint.
while following our communities process. Regardless of framing it as being only
for drivers it doesn't change that you're talking about the same thing. (this is
why in-tree vs out-of-tree was coming up from others, because if it was
out-of-tree then you don't have to respect the stable policy)

What I was getting at before was if instead of ignoring all the previous
conversations we've had about this exact topic (including 2 sessions in Austin)
and people actually stepped up and got involved we wouldn't be having this
discussion today. More than likely we'd have enough people to actually maintain
a stable branch for longer than we can today. But, instead it feels like our
community process for code review and actually testing proposed backports is too
much of a burden for any of these parties you've identified to bother getting
involved. So we're instead in a situation where we have a proposal to actively
circumvent our community policy and procedures for maintaining stable branches.

Creating a free space where vendors can push whatever they want without any
gating is not only contrary to our stable branch policy but also goes against
some of the fundamental tenants of OpenStack. It's not something I think we
should ever be doing.

> If this isn't something we can come to an agreement on as a community, then
> I'd suggest we just create our own repo on github outside of upstream and
> have it serve the same purpose.

If you're dead set on doing this then I think that's your only recourse, because
what you're attempting to do is something outside our community processes and
I don't think it has any place in upstream. But, I really think it'd be much
better if instead of going off into a corner that all of the people who have
complained about the state of our current stable support windows and stable
policy actually got involved in this space. That way over time we can make
the stable branches something where we can have longer support windows. 

-Matt Treinish
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