[openstack-dev] [all][tc] How to deal with confusion around "hosted projects"

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Thu Jun 29 08:00:44 UTC 2017

Monty Taylor wrote:
> On 06/28/2017 09:50 AM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
>> [...] Removing the root cause would be a more radical move: stop offering
>> hosting to non-OpenStack projects on OpenStack infrastructure
>> altogether. We originally did that for a reason, though. The benefits of
>> offering that service are:
> I disagree that this is removing the root cause.
> I believe this is reacting to a misunderstanding by hiding from it. I do
> not believe that doing this provides any value to us as a community.
> Even though we do not actually use github for development, we have
> implicitly accepted the false premise that github is a requirement. It
> is suggested that the existence of git repos in the openstack/ github
> org is confusing to people. And our reaction to that is to cut off
> access to our Open Source tools that we set up to collaboratively
> develop cloud software and tell people to go use the thing that people
> suggest is one of the causes of people being confused?

I don't think I agree. GitHub is just one area where confusion spreads.
Going back to my example, searching for "openstack machine learning" on
Google will give you links to GitHub, but also the OpenStack wiki, and
our cgit farm. All of them corroborate that the two projects returned
are, by all means, official (while they aren't).

So the suggestion (to cut off access to openstack project infrastructure
for things that are not openstack and will never be) is not in reaction
to GitHub, it's in reaction to the confusion that having them on the
very same project infrastructure creates (on all of our online
presence), *and* how hard it is to address that confusion at the edge.

> * People are not 'confused' by what OpenStack is.
> Being "confused" is a passive-aggressive way of expressing that they
> DISAGREE with what OpenStack is. We still have _plenty_ of people who
> express that they think we should only be IaaS - so they're still going
> to be unhappy with cloudkitty, congress and karbor.
> Such people are under the misguided impression that kicking cloudkitty
> out of OpenStack will somehow cause Nova features to land quicker. I
> can't even begin to express all of the ways in which it's wrong. We
> aren't a top-down corporate structure and we can't 'reassign' humans -
> but even if we WERE - this flawed thinking runs afoul of the Mythical
> Man Month.

Sure, but you are missing my point. I totally agree that a lot of people
involved in OpenStack pretend to be confused, despite us being very
clear as to what's officially in OpenStack and what's not, and that's
their own way of complaining about how things turned out.

The confusion I'm talking about is not the passive-aggressive from
people involved in openstack. It's from our prospective new users, who
have no idea about our governance, making random searches on Google.
It's from people getting hit by marketing message from projects claiming
to be official OpenStack projects, while they are not. It's extremely
difficult for those to see clearly, especially with all our online
presence reinforcing the confusion.

> * Kicking non-official things out will not help
> If I'm wrong about the above and it really is all just about not being
> able to navigate a set of repositories that are prefixed with the string
> 'openstack/', it STILL WON'T HELP.
> There are 1049 official repos. There are only 1676 repos in gerrit.
> Do we honestly think that people who are confused are going to be less
> confused by the number of repos in the sacred 'openstack/' namespace
> going from 1676 to 1049? Do we next tell projects they can only have
> their primary service managed? Kick out chef, puppet, juju and ansible,
> as well as the deb- repos? Because maybe the existence of
> openstack/deb-python-oslo.privsep is confusing someone?

Again, I agree, but I think you're missing my point. Kicking
non-official things is not about cutting the number of repositories, or
somehow making the git.openstack.org/cgit front page more navigable. We
are indeed past that.

Kicking non-official things is about stopping blurring the line between
what's "in" openstack and what's "out". It's about someone googling for
machine learning on openstack, finding Cognitive on git.openstack.org
and wiki.openstack.org, assuming it's an official openstack project
based on those domain names, trying to check it out, realizing it's only
4 commits and dead for two years, and assuming OpenStack has pretty low
standards and is a bunch of dead crap. How do you propose we address
*that* ?

> [...]
>> Thoughts on that ? Would you rather address the confusion at the edges,
>> or remove the root cause ?
> The only reasonable action is actually addressing the confusion.
> the confusion isn't just at the edges - the confusion is actually THE
> ONLY PROBLEM. There is no other problem that needs to be solved _other_
> than confusion in this area. The number of projects in gerrit is not a
> technical problem. It's not overwhelming our governance. It's not a
> problem for anyone who isn't confused (or saying they're confused when
> they just disagree)
> If we create problems for any our developers because there are people
> who are confused rather than addressing the confusion, we will have
> abdicated our responsibilities wholesale.

That would be the first option. We continue to communicate about how
things really are, and find technical ways to drop markers on unofficial
projects so that people don't assume too much from the project hosting.
It's just a lot of maintenance work, and it's not been very successful
so far. With less and less resources on the infra team to implement
technical workarounds, I'm just not convinced that's a sustainable solution.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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