[openstack-dev] [all][tc][ptl] establishing project-wide goals

John Dickinson me at not.mn
Thu Aug 11 22:00:56 UTC 2016

On 10 Aug 2016, at 8:29, Doug Hellmann wrote:

> Excerpts from Doug Hellmann's message of 2016-07-29 16:55:22 -0400:
>> One of the outcomes of the discussion at the leadership training
>> session earlier this year was the idea that the TC should set some
>> community-wide goals for accomplishing specific technical tasks to
>> get the projects synced up and moving in the same direction.
>> After several drafts via etherpad and input from other TC and SWG
>> members, I've prepared the change for the governance repo [1] and
>> am ready to open this discussion up to the broader community. Please
>> read through the patch carefully, especially the "goals/index.rst"
>> document which tries to lay out the expectations for what makes a
>> good goal for this purpose and for how teams are meant to approach
>> working on these goals.
>> I've also prepared two patches proposing specific goals for Ocata
>> [2][3].  I've tried to keep these suggested goals for the first
>> iteration limited to "finish what we've started" type items, so
>> they are small and straightforward enough to be able to be completed.
>> That will let us experiment with the process of managing goals this
>> time around, and set us up for discussions that may need to happen
>> at the Ocata summit about implementation.
>> For future cycles, we can iterate on making the goals "harder", and
>> collecting suggestions for goals from the community during the forum
>> discussions that will happen at summits starting in Boston.
>> Doug
>> [1] https://review.openstack.org/349068 describe a process for managing community-wide goals
>> [2] https://review.openstack.org/349069 add ocata goal "support python 3.5"
>> [3] https://review.openstack.org/349070 add ocata goal "switch to oslo libraries"
> The proposal was discussed at the TC meeting yesterday [4], and
> left open to give more time to comment. I've added all of the PTLs
> for big tent projects as reviewers on the process patch [1] to
> encourage comments from them.
> Please also look at the associated patches with the specific goals
> for this cycle (python 3.5 support and cleaning up Oslo incubated
> code).  So far most of the discussion has focused on the process,
> but we need folks to think about the specific things they're going
> to be asked to do during Ocata as well.
> Doug
> [4] http://eavesdrop.openstack.org/meetings/tc/2016/tc.2016-08-09-20.01.log.html
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Commonality in goals and vision is what unites any community. I
definitely support the TC's effort to define these goals for OpenStack
and to champion them. However, I have a few concerns about the process
that has been proposed.

I'm concerned with the mandate that all projects must prioritize these
goals above all other work. Thinking about this from the perspective of
the employers of OpenStack contributors, and I'm finding it difficult
to imagine them (particularly smaller ones) getting behind this
prioritization mandate. For example, if I've got a user or deployer
issue that requires an upstream change, am I to prioritize Py35
compatibility over "broken in production"? Am I now to schedule my own
work on known bugs or missing features only after these goals have
been met? Is that what I should ask other community members to do too?

I agree with Hongbin Lu's comments that the resulting goals might fit
into the interests of the majority but fundamentally violate the
interests of a minority of project teams. As an example, should the TC
decide that a future goal is for projects to implement a particular
API-WG document, that may be good for several projects, but it might
not be possible or advisable for others.

I know the TC has no malicious intent here, and I do support the idea
of having cross-project goals. The first goals proposed seem like
great goals.  And I understand the significant challenges of
coordinating goals between a multitude of different projects. However,
I haven't yet added my own +1 to the proposed goals because the
current process means that I am committing that every Swift project
team contributor is now to prioritize that work above all else, no
matter what is happening to their customers, their products, or their


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