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

Jeremy Stanley fungi at yuggoth.org
Thu Jun 29 14:18:39 UTC 2017

On 2017-06-29 18:58:09 +1000 (+1000), Joshua Hesketh wrote:
> So I apologise if this has already been suggested/discussed (the
> long threads are difficult to keep up with), but has it been
> considered to go back to using a stackforge namespace?

Back in the bad ol' days when we had a separate namespace for
unofficial projects, it seemed to me like newcomers were just as
confused as they are now, perhaps even more so. People like to
forget, or wax nostalgic, or simply weren't around to see it first
hand back then; so I agree it's probably worth rehashing the pain
points as it's been a long time since I can recall anyone
enumerating them.

Gerrit's design assumes project names (including any prefixed
namespace) never change. This means project renames in Gerrit are
painful and disruptive (service outage for everyone, Git remote
changes for anyone working on that repo, risk of breaking things
with a SQL update query or directory move, et cetera). There is no
good automation for transfers between orgs in GH either so handling
this is a manual process involving lot of clicking around in a Web
browser. Project renames also touch other systems (our many Git
servers, StoryBoard) so more places to make mistakes or miss

As a result, we would want to actively discourage repos moving from
the stackforge namespace into the openstack namespace (or vice
versa) which creates an artificial hurdle for projects seeking to
become official. This causes them to place an urgent pressure on the
Infra team which makes it harder for us to ease the pain of renames
by batching them up and processing them less frequently. We
similarly would no longer be allowed to create repos directly in the
openstack namespace without prior approval from the TC, which puts
the brakes on the current flow where teams can create a new repo as
quickly as the project-config-cores review the change and then work
on the corresponding governance addition in parallel with doing
their project development.

In the past the ability to push most of the work of doing renames
onto the Infra team created a perverse incentive for projects to
start unofficial so they didn't have to wait on the TC, and then ask
for a rename once they got approval rather than waiting to start
work until the TC approved their request. It's hard for the Infra
team to effectively deter that sort of behavior because the most we
can do is ask authors of their intentions and then trust that
they're being up front about a lack of interest in becoming official
(and that they're unlikely to change their minds about it later).

Unfortunately, hosting unofficial projects grants official teams a
license to experiment in that space rather than taking
responsibility up front, and this is detrimental to our community as
a whole. It also gives new teams an easy excuse to put off applying
to become official until later since they get most of the
infrastructure benefits right away regardless. If we could get rid
of this pervasive temptation to "incubate" ideas out from under the
shadow of governance then maybe that would make maintaining the rest
under a different namespace slightly less of a burden, as the need
to move repos between namespaces would then be far less common or
Jeremy Stanley
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