[openstack-dev] [all] [ptls] The Czar system, or how to scale PTLs

Duncan Thomas duncan.thomas at gmail.com
Fri Aug 22 16:27:02 UTC 2014

On 22 August 2014 16:19, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:

> Zane Bitter wrote:

>>> People say we don't have that many deadlocks in OpenStack for which the
>>> PTL ultimate power is needed, so we could get rid of them. I'd argue
>>> that the main reason we don't have that many deadlocks in OpenStack is
>>> precisely *because* we have a system to break them if they arise.
>> s/that many/any/ IME and I think that threatening to break a deadlock by
>> fiat is just as bad as actually doing it. And by 'bad' I mean
>> community-poisoningly, trust-destroyingly bad.

In the wider opensource world, I've seen more projects die by slow
suffocation caused by deadlock and inability to make progress due to
lack of direction than I have projects killed by heavy handed decision
making, and in the case of PTLs, there's always to safety valve of
'hey, in at most six months, we can vote them out'. I think they are a
great facility to have, and getting rid of them would break some of
the fundamental strength of the openstack project. In a healthy, well
run project, they don't have to do anything, which is great, but I
think Thierry is quite right in that they implicitly encourage people
to play nice by their very existence.

> I guess I've been active in too many dysfunctional free and open source
> software projects -- I put a very high value on the ability to make a
> final decision. Not being able to make a decision is about as
> community-poisoning, and also results in inability to make any
> significant change or decision.

>> Let's allow projects to decide for themselves what works. Not every
>> project is the same.
> The net effect of not having a PTL having the final call means the final
> call would reside at the Technical Committee level. I don't feel like
> the Technical Committee should have final say on a project-specific
> matter. It's way better that the local leader, chosen by all the
> contributors of THAT project every 6 months, makes that final decision.
> Or do you also want to get rid of the Technical Committee ?

I'd rather get rid of the TC than get rid of PTLs, and I think letting
the TC break deadlocks would be a disaster with far more fallout than
anything a PTL can cause.

Duncan Thomas

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