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

Amrith Kumar amrith at tesora.com
Wed Jun 15 15:15:09 UTC 2016


Thanks for writing this up and for the interesting discussion that has come up in this ML thread.

While I think I get the general idea of the motivation, I think the verbiage doesn't quite do justice to your intent.

One area which I would like to highlight is the situation with the underlying operating system on which the software is to run. What if that is proprietary software? Consider support for (for example) running on Red Hat or the Windows operating systems. That would not be something that could be easily abstracted into a 'driver'. 

Another is the case of proprietary software; consider support in Trove for (for example) using the DB2 Express or the Vertica database. Clearly these are things where some have an advantage when compared to others.

I therefore suggest the following amendment in https://review.openstack.org/#/c/329448/.

* The project provides a level playing field for interested developers to collaborate. Where proprietary software, hardware, or other resources (including testing) are required, these should be reasonably accessible to interested contributors.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thierry Carrez [mailto:thierry at openstack.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 9:57 AM
> To: OpenStack Development Mailing List <openstack-dev at lists.openstack.org>
> Subject: [openstack-dev] [all][tc] Require a level playing field for
> OpenStack projects
> 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 ?
> --
> Thierry Carrez (ttx)
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