[openstack-dev] [all][tc] Lets keep our community open, lets fight for it

Flavio Percoco flavio at redhat.com
Wed Feb 11 09:55:18 UTC 2015

Greetings all,

During the last two cycles, I've had the feeling that some of the
things I love the most about this community are degrading and moving
to a state that I personally disagree with. With the hope of seeing
these things improve, I'm taking the time today to share one of my

Since I believe we all work with good faith and we *all* should assume
such when it comes to things happening in our community, I won't make
names and I won't point fingers - yes, I don't have enough fingers to
point based on the info I have. People that fall into the groups I'll
mention below know that I'm talking to them.

This email is dedicated to the openness of our community/project.

## Keep discussions open

I don't believe there's anything wrong about kicking off some
discussions in private channels about specs/bugs. I don't believe
there's anything wrong in having calls to speed up some discussions.
HOWEVER, I believe it's *completely* wrong to consider those private
discussions sufficient. If you have had that kind of private
discussions, if you've discussed a spec privately and right after you
went upstream and said: "This has been discussed in a call and it's
good to go", I beg you to stop for 2 seconds and reconsider that. I
don't believe you were able to fit all the community in that call and
that you had enough consensus.

Furthermore, you should consider that having private conversations, at
the very end, doesn't help with speeding up discussions. We've a
community of people who *care* about the project they're working on.
This means that whenever they see something that doesn't make much
sense, they'll chime in and ask for clarification. If there was a
private discussion on that topic, you'll have to provide the details
of such discussion and bring that person up to date, which means the
discussion will basically start again... from scratch.

## Mailing List vs IRC Channel

I get it, our mailing list is freaking busy, keeping up with it is
hard and time consuming and that leads to lots of IRC discussions. I
don't think there's anything wrong with that but I believe it's wrong
to expect *EVERYONE* to be in the IRC channel when those discussions

If you are discussing something on IRC that requires the attention of
most of your project's community, I highly recommend you to use the
mailing list as oppose to pinging everyone independently and fighting
with time zones. Using IRC bouncers as a replacement for something
that should go to the mailing list is absurd. Please, use the mailing
list and don't be afraid of having a bigger community chiming in in
your discussion.  *THAT'S A GOOD THING*

Changes, specs, APIs, etc. Everything is good for the mailing list.
We've fought hard to make this community grow, why shouldn't we take
advantage of it?

## Cores are *NOT* special

At some point, for some reason that is unknown to me, this message
changed and the feeling of core's being some kind of superheros became
a thing. It's gotten far enough to the point that I've came to know
that some projects even have private (flagged with +s), password
protected, irc channels for core reviewers.

This is the point where my good faith assumption skill falls short.
Seriously, don't get me wrong but: WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F**K?


If anything core reviewers should be the ones *FORCING* - it seems
that *encouraging* doesn't have the same effect anymore - *OPENNESS* in
order to include other non-core members in those discussions.

Remember that the "core" flag is granted because of the reviews that
person has provided and because that individual *WANTS* to be part of
it. It's not a prize for people. In fact, I consider core reviewers to
be volunteers and their job is infinitely thanked.

Since, "All generalizations are false, including this one. - Mark
Twain", I'm pretty sure there are folks that disagree with the above.
If you do, I care about your thoughts. This is worth discussing and
fighting for.

All the above being said, I'd like to thank everyone who fights for
the openness of our community and encourage everyone to make that a
must have thing in each sub-community. You don't need to be
core-reviewer or PTL to do so. Speak up and help keeping the community
as open as possible.


Flavio Percoco
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