[openstack-dev] [api] API-WG summit session recap

michael mccune msm at redhat.com
Mon May 9 15:12:07 UTC 2016

hello all,

We had a great session for the API working group in Austin, and I wanted 
to give a brief recap and extend a thank you to all who attended.

There were about 20-30 people in attendance for the double session 
fishbowl that took place on monday. This turnout was one of the larger 
we have had for the past few summits and it was exciting to see this 
level of engagement from the community. again, thank you =)

Full notes from the session can be found on the etherpad from summit[1].

The session began with a recap of the group's activities for the Mitaka 
cycle. We discussed the guidelines that have been added, as well as our 
success stories with regards to projects that have sought advice from 
the group.

With the old business out of the way, we moved on to discuss topics that 
are of importance to the group moving forward.

Promoting the guidelines

The heart of the API-WG has always been the guidelines that are 
produced, we had a nice discussion about how we can increase the 
awareness and usage of the guidelines.

One big request that came out of this discussion is the need to cleanup 
the group's guideline page to make it clearer which pages are just place 
holders and which contain guidelines.

The group talked about if, and how, we can better integrate with other 
working groups to help create a broader network for the guidelines and 
better APIs in general. The two main groups that were identified as 
possible partners are the Application Ecosystem WG and the SDK WG. 
Although these groups have different focuses than just APIs, there is 
certainly some room for collaboration and consensus among all the groups.

There was also a strong discussion about how the group could advocate 
for more projects to use the guidelines. The main result of this talk 
was the idea of an API-WG related governance tag. Having this tag would 
make a nice signal to end-users about the maturity and development 
status of a project's APIs. Although the details are still in flux, the 
main criteria of a tag were related to projects self-electing into the 
tag, and then creating a series of tests that would prove how their APIs 
follow the guidelines, as well as providing proper API documentation. 
This is still very much a work in progress.

Reviewing the guideline process

If the guidelines are the heart of the WG, then our review process is 
the pacemaker ;)

Within the group, a discussion had started before summit about the level 
of email we produce and if it is sufficient. When brought to the table 
at summit, this conversation continued and was well received by the 

There were several good suggestions about how we can more easily 
communicate what is happening within the group, the state of guidelines 
and reviews that need attention from the group.

the ultimate result of this discussion is that the API-WG will work over 
the Newton cycle to create a weekly email similar to the "What's Up Doc" 
emails from the doc team. These emails will include a summary of 
guidelines that are in freeze, those that have been recently merged, and 
a list of reviews with APIImpact as well as any other business the WG 
might have.

Improving WG participation

A constant note from many groups within the OpenStack community is 
participation. The API-WG is no stranger to this topic as we have 
continually searched for methods of improving participation from 
interested parties.

Although there were no clear solutions on this topic, there was wide 
agreement that relying on the CPLs for better engagement with the WG is 
a strong way forward. To this end, the WG will work to make it easier 
for CPLs to bring their APIImpact reviews, and their special interest 
topics, to the group. The methods for doing this will mainly center 
around being more focused in our mailings, and improving our 
communication with respect to guideline reviews.

Dropping the 0000UTC meeting

Somewhere around the Kilo cycle, the API-WG added a second meeting time 
to help our friends in the Asian and Pacific regions join the 
discussion. Unfortunately, after a few cycles of this meeting, its 
attendance is nearly always zero. After some discussion during the 
summit, we have agreed to remove this meeting and return to a single 
weekly meeting at 1600UTC on Thursdays. If the need arises in the 
future, the API-WG will be more than happy to reinstate this meeting.

That about wraps up the review from our summit session, hopefully I 
haven't left out too many details ;)

Thanks again to everyone who attended the session, and thanks to the 
OpenStack community for another excellent summit.


[1]: https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/austin-api-wg-session-plans

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