[openstack-dev] [Nova] The unbearable lightness of specs

Daniel P. Berrange berrange at redhat.com
Wed Jun 24 17:21:42 UTC 2015

On Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 04:46:57PM +0000, Michael Krotscheck wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 6:30 AM Matt Riedemann <mriedem at linux.vnet.ibm.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > There is the openstack-specs repo for cross-project specs:
> >
> > http://specs.openstack.org/openstack/openstack-specs/
> >
> > That'd be a good place for things like your os-vif library spec which
> > requires input from both nova and neutron teams, although I think it's
> > currently OK to have it in nova-specs since a lot of the forklift is
> > going to come from there and we can add neutron reviewers as needed.
> Let's walk through a hypothetical (because I just went through this)
> example of a cross-project spec, assuming a 6 month release cycle (26
> weeks), assuming one person driving a spec.
> First: Overhead
> - 1 week for vacation
> - 1 week for holidays.
> - 4 weeks for feature freeze.
> - 4 weeks of pre-summit roadmap planning.
> - 1 week of summit.
> Remaining: 15 weeks.
> Second: Writing, discussing, and landing the spec.
> Remaining: 9 weeks.
> Third: Role conflicts and internal overhead.
> Remaining time: 4.5 weeks
> Writing the code:
> Remaining time: 3.5 weeks.
> The last step: Getting the cores to agree with your approach.
> Remaining time: -0.5 weeks.

> The problem is how long it takes.

This ultimately comes back to what I think is a far too rigid and long
development cycle. The idea that we have to work through a process on
defined milestone dates across a 6 month window is really inflexible.
It is a process designed for project managers to micro-manage a team
of product developers, not a process designed for developers who are
capable of managing their own day to day workload in an open source

At a minimum I'd like to see the specs review & approval completely
de-couple from the development cycle. There is really no compelling
reason why design reviews have to be put in a box against a specific
release. In doing so we create a big crunch at the start of each cycle,
which is what we're particularly suffering under this week and last.
We should be happy to review and approve specs at any time whatsoever,
and allow approval to last for at least 1 year (with caveat that it
can be revoked if something in nova changes to invalidate a design

More generally, I think that the 6 month release cycle is really harmful
to our development agility, and we'd actually increase the work
accomplished and smooth out the highs & lows of productivity  if we had
shorter cycles. This is something I suggested previously here


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