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

Zane Bitter zbitter at redhat.com
Mon Jan 21 07:07:36 UTC 2019

On 18/01/19 11:38 PM, Chris Dent wrote:
> 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.

My point was that this happens at least in part because we too often 
conflate leadership with "telling people what to do".

> 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.

We should assume that those kinds of situations come about due to people 
having different ideas about what OpenStack is supposed to be, rather 
than acting in bad faith or putting the wellbeing of their own project 
ahead of the whole community (which would be in contravention of our 
community principles: 

Under that assumption, I agree with you that it's important to force a 
conversation that leads to some resolution (after all, it's entirely 
possible that the project/PTL that is in conflict with the rest of the 
community is right!), rather than trying to paper over the issue.

It's very difficult to tell somebody that they're acting "contrary to 
the wider vision" if you can't tell them what the wider vision is 
though. I'm hoping that having actually documented a vision for 
OpenStack clouds now, we have something to point to and ask "which part 
of this do you think should change?".

It's... strange, if not exactly surprising, to me that facilitating 
those kinds of conversations (starting with making sure they happen) 
isn't something we have consensus on as being part of the TC's role.

> 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 an interesting idea - and a great discussion - but ultimately if a 
PTL is not negotiating with the rest of the community now, what about 
putting them on the TC (presumably against their will, as many could run 
and quite likely win a seat already if they actually wanted) would 
prompt them to start? Noblesse oblige?

I don't see a viable alternative to actually herding the cats, and 
getting the folks who are working in a different direction to articulate 
where they disagree and adjust course if necessary. (And if the TC does 
not do this, it will continue to remain un-done, because there is no 
other group that possesses the moral authority to try.)


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