[openstack-dev] [chef] Making the Kitchen Great Again: A Retrospective on OpenStack & Chef

Steven Dake steven.dake at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 03:43:19 UTC 2017

On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 11:24 AM, Joshua Harlow <harlowja at fastmail.com>

> Alex Schultz wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 9:12 AM, Ed Leafe<ed at leafe.com>  wrote:
>>> On Feb 16, 2017, at 10:07 AM, Doug Hellmann<doug at doughellmann.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> When we signed off on the Big Tent changes we said competition
>>>> between projects was desirable, and that deployers and contributors
>>>> would make choices based on the work being done in those competing
>>>> projects. Basically, the market would decide on the "optimal"
>>>> solution. It's a hard message to hear, but that seems to be what
>>>> is happening.
>>> This.
>>> We got much better at adding new things to OpenStack. We need to get
>>> better at letting go of old things.
>>> -- Ed Leafe
>> I agree that the market will dictate what continues to survive, but if
>> you're not careful you may be speeding up the decline as the end user
>> (deployer/operator/cloud consumer) will switch completely to something
>> else because it becomes to difficult to continue to consume via what
>> used to be there and no longer is.  I thought the whole point was to
>> not have vendor lock-in.  Honestly I think the focus is too much on
>> the development and not enough on the consumption of the development
>> output.  What are the point of all these features if no one can
>> actually consume them.
> +1 to that.
> I've been in the boat of development and consumption of it for my *whole*
> journey in openstack land and I can say the product as a whole seems
> 'underbaked' with regards to the way people consume the development output.
> It seems we have focused on how to do the dev. stuff nicely and a nice
> process there, but sort of forgotten about all that being quite useless if
> no one can consume them (without going through much pain or paying a
> vendor).
> This has or has IMHO been a factor in why certain are companies (and the
> people they support) are exiting openstack and just going elsewhere.
> I personally don't believe fixing this is 'let the market forces' figure
> it out for us (what a slow & horrible way to let this play out; I'd almost
> rather go pull my fingernails out). I do believe it will require making
> opinionated decisions which we have all never been very good at.
I understand Samuel's situation and understand that a free market
capitalism as Doug mentioned appears to be how OpenStack has operated until
today.  For most of my life I was an ardent free market capitalist.  I have
heard many pundits on the news, blog posts, financial spam, etc say free
market capitalism is the best system humankind has found to managing the
flow of resources to people (In this thread's case the flow of contributors
to Chef).  Unfortunately this form of capitalism has resulted in all sorts
of disparity in terms of education, income, freedom, and many other aspects
of our society (which translated into technical components might be what we
see in the diversion of resources to other tools such as Ansible).  I would
pick on soda manufacturers now in the US for their usage of HFCS rather
then pure cane sugar in soda, however, you can hear me rant about that at
the PTG.

OpenStack is an experiment in governance.  Part of that experiment was the
Big Tent, which unlike a circus, was meant to encompass everyone's
political and technical viewpoints to arrive at harmonious working
relationships among the community.  This choice was excellent, however, it
has re-enforced a capitalist approach to developing and delivering

There is however, always room for improvement in any system.  I'm not
suggesting we can live in some magical Star Trek universe where nobody
suffers and resources are endless via a replicator.

I am suggesting we can make improvements to our governance to solve some of
these problems by applying the approaches of "Conscious Capitalism" the
credo of which is outlined here [1].  How we go about applying these
approaches to OpenStack's governance process I am unclear on.  It is clear
that the few companies that have adopted this "movement" are clearly
improving the human experience for everyone involved, not just a limited
subset of blessed individuals.  I have only studied this subject for less
than 20 hours, but it seems like a big improvement on a free-market
capitalist system and something the entire OpenStack ecosystem should

[1]  https://www.consciouscapitalism.org/about/credo

Warm Regards,

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