[openstack-dev] [tc][fuel] Making Fuel a hosted project

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Thu Jun 15 08:48:21 UTC 2017

Hi everyone,

Part of reducing OpenStack perceived complexity is to cull projects that
have not delivered on their initial promises. Those are always difficult
discussions, but we need to have them. In this email I'd like to discuss
whether we should no longer consider Fuel an official OpenStack project,
and turn it into a hosted (unofficial) project.

Fuel originated at Mirantis as their OpenStack installer. It was
proposed as an official OpenStack project in July 2015 and approved in
November 2015. The promise at that time was that making it official
would drive other organizations to participate in its development and
turn it into the one generic OpenStack installer that everyone wanted.
Fuel was not a small endeavor: in Mitaka and Newton it represented more
commits than Nova.

The Fuel team fully embraced open collaboration, but failed to attract
other organizations. Mitaka and Newton were still 96% the work of
Mirantis. In my view, while deployment/packaging tools sit at the
periphery of the "OpenStack" map, they make sense as official OpenStack
teams if they create an open collaboration playing field and attract
multiple organizations. Otherwise they are just another opinionated
install tool that happens to be blessed with an "official" label.

Since October 2016, Fuel's activity has dropped, following the gradual
disengagement of its main sponsor. Comparing activity in the 5 first
months of the year, there was a 68% drop between 2016 and 2017, the
largest of any official OpenStack project. The Fuel team hasn't met on
IRC for the last 3 months. Activity dropped from ~990 commits/month (Apr
2016, Aug 2016) to 52 commits in April 2017 and 25 commits in May 2017.
And there are unsolved issues around licensing that have been lingering
for the last 6 months.

I think that, despite the efforts of the Fuel team, Fuel did not become
what we hoped when we made it official: a universal installer that would
be used across the board. It was worth a try, I'm happy that we tried,
but I think it's time to stop considering it a part of "OpenStack"
proper and make it a hosted project. It can of course continue its
existence as an unofficial project hosted on OpenStack infrastructure.

Thoughts ?

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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