[openstack-dev] [tripleo] Contributing to TripleO is challenging

Paul Belanger pabelanger at redhat.com
Fri Mar 4 21:19:01 UTC 2016

On Fri, Mar 04, 2016 at 09:23:19AM -0500, Emilien Macchi wrote:
> That's not the name of any Summit's talk, it's just an e-mail I wanted
> to write for a long time.
> It is an attempt to expose facts or things I've heard a lot; and bring
> constructive thoughts about why it's challenging to contribute in
> TripleO project.
> 1/ "I don't review this patch, we don't have CI coverage."
> One thing I've noticed in TripleO is that a very few people are involved
> in CI work.
> In my opinion, CI system is more critical than any feature in a product.
> Developing Software without tests is a bit like http://goo.gl/OlgFRc
> All people - specially core - in the project should be involved in CI
> work. If you are TripleO core and you don't contribute on CI, you might
> ask yourself why.
As somebody who contributes to openstack-infa and knows most of the ins and outs
of OpenStack CI, I often wish the TripleO CI would be more inline with
openstack-infa.  Right now, TripleO CI is a black hole to me.  I understand
there are some reason to have separate CI (eg: baremetal provisioning) but it
would be nice to revisit the current setup and see if we can move more inline
with openstack-infra.

For the simple reason, having common tooling means I can contribute to TripleO
CI if needed.

> 2/ "I don't review this patch, CI is broken."
> Another thing I've noticed in TripleO is that when CI is broken, again,
> a very few people are actually working on fixing failures.
> My experience over the last years taught me to stop my daily work when
> CI is broken and fix it asap.
See my above comment. I think this would go a great way to helping the team.
> 3/ "I don't review it, because this feature / code is not my area".
> My first though is "Aren't we supposed to be engineers and learn new areas?"
> My second though is that I think we have a problem with TripleO Heat
> Templates.
> THT or TripleO Heat Templates's code is 80% of Puppet / Hiera. If
> TripleO core say "I'm not familiar with Puppet", we have a problem here,
> isn't?
> Maybe should we split this repository? Or revisit the list of people who
> can +2 patches on THT.
> 4/ Patches are stalled. Most of the time.
> Over the last 12 months, I've pushed a lot of patches in TripleO and one
> thing I've noticed is that if I don't ping people, my patch got no
> review. And I have to rebase it, every week, because the interface
> changed. I got +2, cool ! Oh, merge conflict. Rebasing. Waiting for +2
> again... and so on..
> I personally spent 20% of my time to review code, every day.
> I wrote a blog post about how I'm doing review, with Gertty:
> http://my1.fr/blog/reviewing-puppet-openstack-patches/
> I suggest TripleO folks to spend more time on reviews, for some reasons:
> * decreasing frustration from contributors
> * accelerate development process
> * teach new contributors to work on TripleO, and eventually scale-up the
> core team. It's a time investment, but worth it.
> In Puppet team, we have weekly triage sessions and it's pretty helpful.
> 5/ Most of the tests are run... manually.
> How many times I've heard "I've tested this patch locally, and it does
> not work so -1".
> The only test we do in current CI is a ping to an instance. Seriously?
> Most of OpenStack CIs (Fuel included), run Tempest, for testing APIs and
> real scenarios. And we run a ping.
> That's similar to 1/ but I wanted to raise it too.
> If we don't change our way to work on TripleO, people will be more
> frustrated and reduce contributions at some point.
> I hope from here we can have a open and constructive discussion to try
> to improve the TripleO project.
> Thank you for reading so far.
> -- 
> Emilien Macchi
So for me, I'd love to help more but having to context shift into TripleO CI is
a deal breaker for me (and more of -infra is I was a betting man).  So, anything
I can do to help move things like base images or using AFS mirrors into TripleO
I am happy to help.  However, having the TripleO team maintain CI themselves
doesn't seem to be the best case scenario.

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