[tc] Proposal: restrict TC activities

Emmet Hikory persia at shipstone.jp
Fri May 3 20:49:42 UTC 2019

    I’ve spent the last few years watching the activities of the 
technical committee , and in recent cycles, I’m seeing a significant 
increase in both members of our community asking the TC to take action 
on things, and the TC volunteering to take action on things in the 
course of internal discussions (meetings, #openstack-tc, etc.).  In 
combination, these trends appear to have significantly increased the 
amount of time that members of the technical committee spend on “TC 
work”, and decreased the time that they spend on other activities in 
OpenStack.  As such, I suggest that the Technical Committee be 
restricted from actually doing anything beyond approval of merges to the 
governance repository.

    Firstly, we select members of the technical committee from amongst 
those of us who have some of the deepest understanding of the entire 
project and frequently those actively involved in multiple projects and 
engaged in cross-project coordination on a regular basis.  Anything less 
than this fails to produce enough name recognition for election.  As 
such, when asking the TC to be responsible for activities, we should 
equally ask whether we wish the very people responsible for the 
efficiency of our collaboration to cease doing so in favor of whatever 
we may have assigned to the TC.

    Secondly, in order to ensure continuity, we need to provide a means 
for rotation of the TC: this is both to allow folk on the TC to pursue 
other activities, and to allow folk not on the TC to join the TC and 
help with governance and coordination.  If we wish to increase the 
number of folk who might be eligible for the TC, we do this best by 
encouraging them to take on activities that involve many projects or 
affect activities over all of OpenStack.  These activities must 
necessarily be taken by those not current TC members in order to provide 
a platform for visibility to allow those doing them to later become TC 

    Solutions to both of these issues have been suggested involving 
changing the size of the TC.  If we decrease the size of the TC, it 
becomes less important to provide mechanisms for new people to develop 
reputation over the entire project, but this ends up concentrating the 
work of the TC to a smaller number of hands, and likely reduces the 
volume of work overall accomplished.  If we increase the size of the TC, 
it becomes less burdensome for the TC to take on these activities, but 
this ends up foundering against the question of who in our community has 
sufficient experience with all aspects of OpenStack to fill the 
remaining seats (and how to maintain a suitable set of folk to provide 
TC continuity).

    If we instead simply assert that the TC is explicitly not 
responsible for any activities beyond governance approvals, we both 
reduce the impact that being elected to the TC has on the ability of our 
most prolific contributors to continue their activities and provide a 
means for folk who have expressed interest and initiative to broadly 
contribute and demonstrate their suitability for nomination in a future 
TC election

    Feedback encouraged


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