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

Ben Nemec openstack at nemebean.com
Fri Jan 18 17:02:38 UTC 2019

On 1/17/19 5:58 PM, Jeremy Stanley wrote:
> On 2019-01-17 14:20:10 -0600 (-0600), Ben Nemec wrote:
> [...]
>> Reading the document, it seems to me that it describes less a
>> "Technical" Committee and more a "Governance" Committee.
> [...]
> I mused similarly some time back (in an ML post I'm having trouble
> finding now) that I consider the choice of naming for the "technical
> committee" unfortunate, as I see our role being one of community
> management and arbitration. Section 4.13.b.i of the OSF bylaws
> describes the responsibilities and powers of the TC thusly:
> "The Technical Committee shall have the authority to manage the
> OpenStack Project, including the authority to determine the scope of
> the OpenStack Technical Committee Approved Release..." (the latter
> is specifically with regard to application of the OpenStack
> trademark for products)
> https://www.openstack.org/legal/bylaws-of-the-openstack-foundation/
> So I guess a lot of it comes down to how we interpret "manage" in
> that context. If you don't see the TC as the appropriate body to
> provide governance for the OpenStack project, then who do you think
> should take that on instead?

I didn't mean to imply that I thought the TC _shouldn't_ be providing 
governance. I was just observing that the TC's activity seems to be 
slanted toward governance and away from what I would consider technical.

Based on my philosophy that things are rarely black and white, I suspect 
the best place for the TC is going to be some happy medium between 
technical and governance activity. Which I realize is a totally 
unhelpful stance to take because it basically means my answer to "Should 
the TC do X" is always going to be "It depends." Maybe it would be 
useful to revisit some specific historical situations where people feel 
the TC should or should not have stepped in? A lot of the discussion 
I've seen so far has been in the abstract, but some more concrete 
examples might help define what people want/expect from the TC.

> Section 4.1.b.i of the bylaws mentions that "management of the
> technical matters relating to the OpenStack Project [...] shall be
> managed by the Technical Committee" and also "management of the
> technical matters for the OpenStack Project is designed to be a
> technical meritocracy" but doesn't go into details as to what it
> means by "technical matters" (beyond deciding what qualifies for
> trademark use). It seems to me that by delegating
> subproject-specific technical decisions to team leaders elected from
> each subproject, and then handling decisions which span projects
> (the technical vision document, project teams guide, cycle goals
> selection, et cetera), we meet both the letter and the spirit of the
> duties outlined for the OpenStack Technical Committee in the OSF
> bylaws. But as noted, a lot of this hinges on how people take the
> somewhat fuzzy terms above in the context with which they're given.

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