[openstack-dev] [nova][core] Expectations of core reviewers

Maru Newby marun at redhat.com
Wed Aug 13 16:18:09 UTC 2014

On Aug 13, 2014, at 2:57 AM, Daniel P. Berrange <berrange at redhat.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 08:57:40AM +1000, Michael Still wrote:
>> Hi.
>> One of the action items from the nova midcycle was that I was asked to
>> make nova's expectations of core reviews more clear. This email is an
>> attempt at that.
>> Nova expects a minimum level of sustained code reviews from cores. In
>> the past this has been generally held to be in the order of two code
>> reviews a day, which is a pretty low bar compared to the review
>> workload of many cores. I feel that existing cores understand this
>> requirement well, and I am mostly stating it here for completeness.
>> Additionally, there is increasing levels of concern that cores need to
>> be on the same page about the criteria we hold code to, as well as the
>> overall direction of nova. While the weekly meetings help here, it was
>> agreed that summit attendance is really important to cores. Its the
>> way we decide where we're going for the next cycle, as well as a
>> chance to make sure that people are all pulling in the same direction
>> and trust each other.
>> There is also a strong preference for midcycle meetup attendance,
>> although I understand that can sometimes be hard to arrange. My stance
>> is that I'd like core's to try to attend, but understand that
>> sometimes people will miss one. In response to the increasing
>> importance of midcycles over time, I commit to trying to get the dates
>> for these events announced further in advance.
> Personally I'm going to find it really hard to justify long distance
> travel 4 times a year for OpenStack for personal / family reasons,
> let alone company cost. I couldn't attend Icehouse mid-cycle because
> I just had too much travel in a short time to be able to do another
> week long trip away from family. I couldn't attend Juno mid-cycle
> because it clashed we personal holiday. There are other opensource
> related conferences that I also have to attend (LinuxCon, FOSDEM,
> KVM Forum, etc), etc so doubling the expected number of openstack
> conferences from 2 to 4 is really very undesirable from my POV.
> I might be able to attend the occassional mid-cycle meetup if the
> location was convenient, but in general I don't see myself being
> able to attend them regularly.
> I tend to view the fact that we're emphasising the need of in-person
> meetups to be somewhat of an indication of failure of our community
> operation. The majority of open source projects work very effectively
> with far less face-to-face time. OpenStack is fortunate that companies
> are currently willing to spend 6/7-figure sums flying 1000's of
> developers around the world many times a year, but I don't see that
> lasting forever so I'm concerned about baking the idea of f2f midcycle
> meetups into our way of life even more strongly.

I was fortunate to attend both the Nova and Neutron mid-cycles last month, and I can attest to how productive these gatherings were.  Discussion moved quickly and misunderstandings were rapidly resolved.  Informal ('water-cooler') conversation led to many interactions that might not otherwise have occurred.  Given your attendance of summit and other open source conferences, though, I'm assuming the value of f2f is not in question.

Nothing good is ever free.  The financial cost and exclusionary nature of an in-person meetup should definitely be weighed against the opportunity for focused and high-bandwidth communication.  It's clear to myself and other attendees just how valuable the recent mid-cycles were in terms of making technical decisions and building the relationships to support their implementation.  Maybe it isn't sustainable over the long-term to meet so often, but I don't think that should preclude us from deriving benefit in the short-term.  I also don't think we should ignore the opportunity for more effective decision-making on the grounds that not everyone can directly participate.  Not everyone is able to attend summit, but it is nonetheless a critical part of our community's decision-making process. The topic lists for a mid-cycle are published beforehand, just like summit, to allow non-attendees the chance to present their views in advance and/or designate one or more attendees to advocate on their behalf.  It's not perfect, but the alternative - not holding mid-cycles - would seem to be a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


>> Given that we consider these physical events so important, I'd like
>> people to let me know if they have travel funding issues. I can then
>> approach the Foundation about funding travel if that is required.
> Travel funding is certainly an issue, but I'm not sure that Foundation
> funding would be a solution, because the impact probably isn't directly
> on the core devs. Speaking with my Red Hat on, if the midcycle meetup
> is important enough, the core devs will likely get the funding to attend.
> The fallout of this though is that every attendee at a mid-cycle summit
> means fewer attendees at the next design summit. So the impact of having
> more core devs at mid-cycle is that we'll get fewer non-core devs at
> the design summit. This sucks big time for the non-core devs who want
> to engage with our community.
> Also having each team do a f2f mid-cycle meetup at a different location
> makes it even harder for people who have a genuine desire / need to take
> part in multiple teams. Going to multiple mid-cycle meetups is even more
> difficult to justify so they're having to make difficult decisions about
> which to go to :-(
> I'm also not a fan of mid-cycle meetups because I feel it further
> stratifies our contributors into two increasly distinct camps - core
> vs non-core.
> I can see that a big benefit of a mid-cycle meetup is to be a focal
> point for collaboration, to forcably break contributors our of their
> day-to-day work pattern to concentrate on discussing specific issues.
> It also obviously solves the distinct timezone problem we have with
> our dispersed contributor base. I think that we should be examining
> what we can achieve with some kind of virtual online mid-cycle meetups
> instead. Using technology like google hangouts or some similar live
> collaboration technology, not merely an IRC discussion. Pick a 2-3
> day period, schedule formal agendas / talking slots as you would with
> a physical summit and so on. I feel this would be more inclusive to
> our community as a whole, avoid excessive travel costs, so allowing
> more of our community to attend the bigger design summits. It would
> even open possibility of having multiple meetups during a cycle (eg
> could arrange mini virtual events around each milestone if we wanted)
> Regards,
> Daniel
> -- 
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