[openstack-dev] [all][tc] Require a level playing field for OpenStack projects

Fox, Kevin M Kevin.Fox at pnnl.gov
Tue Jun 14 16:00:44 UTC 2016

Some counter arguments for keeping them in:
 * It gives the developers of the code that's being plugged into a better view of how the plugin api is used and what might break if they change it.
 * Vendors don't tend to support drivers forever. Often they drop support for a driver once the "new" hardware comes out. Keeping it open and official gives non vendors a place to fix the drivers in the open after the vendor abandons it and operators still have the hardware they need to support.

From: Doug Hellmann [doug at doughellmann.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 7:15 AM
To: openstack-dev
Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [all][tc] Require a level playing field for        OpenStack projects

Excerpts from Thierry Carrez's message of 2016-06-14 15:57:10 +0200:
> Hi everyone,
> I just proposed a new requirement for OpenStack "official" projects,
> which I think is worth discussing beyond the governance review:
> https://review.openstack.org/#/c/329448/
>  From an upstream perspective, I see us as being in the business of
> providing open collaboration playing fields in order to build projects
> to reach the OpenStack Mission. We collectively provide resources
> (infra, horizontal teams, events...) in order to enable that open
> collaboration.
> An important characteristic of these open collaboration grounds is that
> they need to be a level playing field, where no specific organization is
> being given an unfair advantage. I expect the teams that we bless as
> "official" project teams to operate in that fair manner. Otherwise we
> end up blessing what is essentially a trojan horse for a given
> organization, open-washing their project in the process. Such a project
> can totally exist as an unofficial project (and even be developed on
> OpenStack infrastructure) but I don't think it should be given free
> space in our Design Summits or benefit from "OpenStack community" branding.
> So if, in a given project team, developers from one specific
> organization benefit from access to specific knowledge or hardware
> (think 3rd-party testing blackboxes that decide if a patch goes in, or
> access to proprietary hardware or software that the open source code
> primarily interfaces with), then this project team should probably be
> rejected under the "open community" rule. Projects with a lot of drivers
> (like Cinder) provide an interesting grey area, but as long as all
> drivers are in and there is a fully functional (and popular) open source
> implementation, I think no specific organization would be considered as
> unfairly benefiting compared to others.
> A few months ago we had the discussion about what "no open core" means
> in 2016, in the context of the Poppy team candidacy. With our reading at
> the time we ended up rejecting Poppy partly because it was interfacing
> with proprietary technologies. However, I think what we originally
> wanted to ensure with this rule was that no specific organization would
> use the OpenStack open source code as crippled bait to sell their
> specific proprietary add-on.
> I think taking the view that OpenStack projects need to be open, level
> collaboration playing fields encapsulates that nicely. In the Poppy
> case, nobody in the Poppy team has an unfair advantage over others, so
> we should not reject them purely on the grounds that this interfaces
> with non-open-source solutions (leaving only the infrastructure/testing
> requirement to solve). On the other hand, a Neutron plugin targeting a
> specific piece of networking hardware would likely give an unfair
> advantage to developers of the hardware's manufacturer (having access to
> that gear for testing and being able to see and make changes to its
> proprietary source code) -- that project should probably live as an
> unofficial OpenStack project.
> Comments, thoughts ?

I think external device-specific drivers are a much clearer case than
Poppy or Cinder. It's a bit unfortunate that the dissolution of some
projects into "core" and "driver" repositories is raising this issue,
but we've definitely had better success with some project teams than
others when it comes to vendors collaborating on core components.


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