[openstack-dev] [all] Switching to longer development cycles

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Thu Dec 14 15:11:04 UTC 2017

Chris Dent wrote:
> On Thu, 14 Dec 2017, Julien Danjou wrote:
>> However, has anyone tried to understand the reasons why it is hard to
>> impossible to do anything useful in a cycle, other than "it is too
>> short"?
> This gets to the root my concern with this proposal and this thread.
> I think the idea deserves plenty of consideration, but my initial
> reaction has been that it is symptomatic care to ease the impact of
> problems, rather than a cure for whatever the disease might be.

We can take it from multiple angles.

It takes a lot of time to get anything merged, because getting code
reviewed takes a long time, because we are lacking core reviewers,
because becoming a core reviewer is difficult, because it's a role
invented in simpler times. We have tried to fix the disease for a while
without much success. It may be time to ease the pain ?

We have more and more part-time contributors, which is a good thing.
Users of OpenStack are getting more involved in upstream development,
but hey generally can't spend more than 20% of their time upstream.
Compared to people that can spend 4 times as much, getting anything done
(not just getting code reviewed) roughly takes 4 times as long. It's no
wonder 20% people have a difficult experience trying to contribute in a
cycle designed around the needs of 80% people.

In cross-project work and smaller projects, we end up discussing
one-year worth of changes every 6 months. There is not time to implement
and work on everything we discuss. That tends to point to events
occurring too often, or "cycles" being too short.

We lose development time to activities directly linked to our cycle:
like election, release, PTG preparation, participation to Forum(s). PTLs
have reported not being able to achieve much before reaching the end of
a cycle and having to stand for reelection. Reducing the frequency of
those extra activities would increase time dedicated to development.

So yes it's a series of symptoms caused by different diseases, but the
fact that we use a development cycle that was designed for different
times and needs seems to be in all cases an aggravating factor...

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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