[Openstack-operators] Deprecation of in tree EC2 API in Nova for Kilo release

Eric Windisch eric at windisch.us
Tue Feb 3 14:55:52 UTC 2015

> Quite seriously: open source projects are absolutely developed for
> their users. Thats the entire proposition of both free and open source
> software and licenses: that users should have the freedom to modify
> things to meet their needs, *and* that users will be building what
> they need in the first place. OpenStack is somewhat unique in that
> many of its developers are *not* its users.

My point was that in Open Source, developers scratch an itch. Itches of the
user get resolved indirectly, usually through the user being a developer,
patron, or customer of a patron or developer. As you say, in many cases,
developers are users and thus the developer's itch is the user's itch, but
this isn't the case with OpenStack.

Presumably, if one of the things users want out of OpenStack is EC2
compatibility, they'd back it, or their vendors would back it. If nobody
steps forward to scratch the itch, it doesn't matter how many people want
it scratched. Developers that are not users and do not have a patron or
user that cares about EC2 compatibility really shouldn't be expected to
scratch the itch.  Code isn't maintained through happy thoughts and
well-wishes. Eventually, if a limb is unattended and gets infected down to
the bone, it needs to be amputated, no matter how much it's desired.

Of course, this isn't to say there aren't users or developers that care
about this code, it's just that like many others in OpenStack, those that
did care enough to contribute have been turned away.  That's why cutting
the red tape via Stackforge is the right move here. There were questions
about if doing such a thing will be a failure of the project -- and I"ll
answer that the project is already failing. This is one of the results of
failure. It has failed to enable developers, to the point where interested
developers are told to go away and highly-desired code is tossed away. This
isn't the first time, nor will it be the last.

The community has gone beyond band-aid fixes and into amputations. I've
lost my optimism here, if you couldn't already tell, but I will say that
moving to a loosely coupled model for both the software and the governance
is a good thing. That's what stackforge accomplishes here. It cuts through
the red tape, but given that Stackforge is *not* OpenStack, it could be
argued that the only way to salvage OpenStack is for developers to take the
code out and contribute outside of the tent. That's what developers are
being told to do, at any rate. At this point, perhaps that's okay.

Eric Windisch
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