[openstack-dev] [election] [tc] TC Candidacy

David Lyle dklyle0 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 29 23:41:56 UTC 2016

I would like to announce my candidacy for election to the Technical Committee.

You may know me from being the Horizon PTL for the past five releases and a
member of the OpenStack community since 2012 as an operator, contributor and
PTL. Over my tenure, I helped guide the Horizon team through growth that has
paralleled the growth of OpenStack. During this time, I have become sensitized
to the issues that are facing OpenStack at large and specifically from a
horizontal project perspective. I decided to step away from the PTL role this
cycle as I want to focus my efforts toward addressing these issues. The main
issues I want to see progress on in Newton and Ocata are:

1) Setting and driving technical direction and project vision

I think the Technical Committee should take a more active role in driving the
direction of OpenStack. OpenStack now contains many, many projects. The
unified guiding technical direction for those projects is missing. The
OpenStack mission statement reads:

    "to produce the ubiquitous Open Source Cloud Computing platform that will
    meet the needs of public and private clouds regardless of size, by being
    simple to implement and massively scalable"

I will argue that without a unified direction, OpenStack will be many cloudy
things that, with considerable effort, can be used to deliver a cloud computing
solution. That delivers more toward the first half of the mission, than the
latter half. But the technical direction from the TC needs to be more than make
the mission statement reality. While that is enough for projects to make
progress, it is insufficient for end users and operators.

The current cross-project model is broken. The idea of cross-project
initiatives and specs is correct, the problem arises in getting projects to
    a) participate in that process
    b) actually have that initiative put items on their roadmap
    c) actually implement the change

There is no motivation, carrot or stick at this point for projects on
cross-project initiatives. Currently, any cross-project initiative can
effectively be pocket vetoed by a project in OpenStack that does not find it a
priority. Additionally, the cross-project priorities vary per project. Making
progress currently relies on a few individuals doing the work in all effected
projects. With 54 projects, 36 of which are service related, this can be
a prohibitive task. I commend all those who are driving these efforts.

I propose the Technical Committee, working with the user committee and project
teams define some core objectives per release that define the release goals and
track to those. With 54 projects in OpenStack, there is not another way to move
these efforts forward without a lead time of years. One could argue that this
is the purview of the cross-project liaisons, but the TC is the elected
technical governing body in OpenStack and the only one actually defined in the
OpenStack Bylaws.

2) Addressing Big Tent ramifications

Having moved away from a relatively narrow and focused scope for OpenStack,
it is imperative that we improve at functioning as one project. Looking across
OpenStack, since the big tenting, I see a few issues. First and foremost, the
problem of maintaining consistency across projects went from bad to worse.
Previously, consistency problems were centered on APIs, logging, message
content and structure. Now, we have added items like end user documentation and
the forced proliferation of plugin formats. The large number and variety of
projects also makes it difficult to maintain an overall project vision. I think
that may be the current goal. But if we view OpenStack as a merely a kit, we
will again be pushing undo burden on end users and operators. The TC should
formally state whether OpenStack is meant to be a product or a kit,
understanding that a product can have optional and swappable parts.

3) Growth and organization

Many projects are big and unwieldy including the one I lead. The large scope
of projects and the corresponding number of contributors make these projects
sluggish and makes contributing difficult. Contributions are being shoved
through a narrow funnel where priorities are a strange mix of new feature
development and addressing operator needs. I think we need to reevaluate
project scope and governance. This is one area that the big tent provides some
relief, rather than forcing the franken-projects of yore. Breaking out
separable pieces from larger projects should be a high priority. We started
doing this work in Horizon. The consequences of not breaking the monoliths is
that we continue to frustrate new and old developers alike, drown reviewers and
make little relative forward progress. I believe the TC can help design and
drive this restructuring effort.

I still believe OpenStack has the potential to deliver on our mission
statement. And, I think that diverse views being included in the TC is to
everyone's advantage.

Thank you for your consideration,
David Lyle

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