[tc] [all] Please help verify the role of the TC

Chris Dent cdent+os at anticdent.org
Fri Jan 18 10:38:02 UTC 2019

On Fri, 18 Jan 2019, Zane Bitter wrote:

> This seems like a good lead in to the feedback I have on the current 
> role-of-the-TC document (which I already touched on in the review: 
> https://review.openstack.org/622400). This discussion (which we've had many 
> times in many forms) always drives me bananas, and here's why:
> It is *NOT* about "executive power"!

I basically agree with you that leadership is the key factor and my
heart is with you on much of what you say throughout your message;
however, as much as "executive power" makes me cringe, it felt
necessary to introduce something else into the discussion to break
the cycle. We keep talking about needing leadership but then seem to
fail to do anything about it.

Throwing "power" into the mix is largely in response to my
observations and own personal experience that when a project or PTL
is either:

* acting in bad faith, contrary to the wider vision, or holding an
   effective veto over a positive change much of the rest of the
   community wants
* feared that they might do any of those things in the prior point,
   even if they haven't demonstrated such

the TC clams up, walks away, and tries to come at things from
another angle which won't cause a disruption to the fragile peace.

So, in a bit of reverse psychology: If the TC can't control the
projects, maybe the projects should just be the TC?

It's not a model I really agree with, but it is one that has
managed to get some ideas and questions moving.

In Jeremy's message he suggested that while the main action of the
PTL is to coordinate and surface they do have one important power:
the power to say "no" and then seems to suggest that's not a big
deal. It's a huge deal.

The TC has, by the current constitution, a similar power to say no,
but it is a giant sledgehammer in the shape of making a project not
official, and nobody wants to use that and:

> But, having elected a group of folks to the TC - the only body that is 
> elected by the community as a whole, and therefore the only folks that can 
> set the direction of the project as a whole - what do we then say?
> "Well, we can't tell anybody what to do, so we have no choice but to just 
> leave 'em in this field and hope for the best."

My goal with asking for the TC role document to be evaluated by the
community was to survey around to what feelings people have about
the extent people want the TC to tell people what they could do
("could", not "should") and find the boundaries and speed bumps.

It feels like there are three groups being vocal, two that I
mentioned before:

* enable diffuse but vaguely related collaboration (the TC as it has
   acted for awhile)
* lead with a much more strongly defined unified direction
   (something needs to change, methods differ)
* PTL/Project driven direction is the right way (also the TC
   operating as usual, but with a different focal point)

but I still have no clear idea what community members in general think.

At least one person has suggested that if the TC is to continue as
it has been for a few years, it might consider changing its name to
get rid of "Technical". Is that the way to go? I hope not.

I agree that we should reach and achieve higher, and let success be
the fuel for still more.

Chris Dent                       ٩◔̯◔۶           https://anticdent.org/
freenode: cdent                                         tw: @anticdent

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