[openstack-dev] [all] Some information about the Forum at the Summit in Boston

Ben Swartzlander ben at swartzlander.org
Thu Mar 9 17:33:42 UTC 2017

On 03/09/2017 12:10 PM, Jonathan Bryce wrote:
> Hi Ben,
>> On Mar 9, 2017, at 10:23 AM, Ben Swartzlander <ben at swartzlander.org> wrote:
>> I might be the only one who has negative feelings about the PTG/Forum split, but I suspect the foundation is suppressing negative feedback from myself and other developers so I'll express my feelings here. If there's anyone else who feels like me please reply, otherwise I'll assume I'm just an outlier.
> “Suppressing negative feedback” is a pretty strong accusation (and I’m honestly not sure how you even imagine we are doing that). I searched through the last 2 years of mailing list threads and couldn’t find negative feedback from you around the PTG. Same for googling around the internet in general. I might have missed a place where you had provided this feedback, so feel free to pass it along again. Also, if there’s some proof behind the accusation, I would love to see it so I can address it with whoever might be doing the suppressing. It’s certainly not something I would support anyone in the foundation doing. You can send it to me directly off-list if you feel more comfortable providing it that way.

I filled out the official PTG feedback survey in Atlanta and I 
completely panned the event in the survey. I don't know if my name was 
attached to that, but it doesn't matter. I wasn't able to attend the 
in-person feedback session because again, it was scheduled on top of 
time we were using to get work on as a Manila team.

All I know is that the announcement after the PTG was that the feedback 
on the event was all pretty good. I conclude from that that either there 
are very few people who feel like me, or that there are more and their 
feedback was ignored. This ML thread is an attempt to give voice to us 
whether it's just a handful or actually a large number.

I'm not going to write a blog entry that says "OpenStack PTG sucked". 
That would be asinine. I think this developers list is small enough that 
we can have a serious and productive discussion about whether the 
current PTG/Forum event split has merits _for the developer community_.

> Putting that aside, I appreciate your providing your input. The most consistent piece of feedback we received was around scheduling and visibility for sessions, so I think that is definitely an area for improvement at the next PTG. I heard mixed feedback on whether the ability to participate in multiple projects was better or worse than under the previous model, but understanding common conflicts ahead of time might give us a chance to schedule in a way that makes the multi-project work more possible. Did you participate in both Cinder and Manila mid-cycles in addition to the Design Summit sessions previously? Trying to understand which types of specific interactions you’re now less able to participate in.

Yes in the past I was able to attend all of the Manila and most of the 
Cinder sessions at the Design summit, and I was able to attend the 
Cinder midcycles in person and (since I'm the PTL) I was able to 
schedule the Manila midcycles to not conflict.

> I’m also interested in finding ways to support remote participation, but it’s a hard problem that has failed more often than it’s worked when we’ve tried it. I’m still open to continuing to attempt new methods—we actually brainstormed some ideas in Atlanta and if you have any suggestions, let’s experiment the next time around.

My feeling on remote participation is that it's something the project 
teams can manage themselves. If we're going to have a "virtual midcycle" 
(which many projects do) then the team can set it up and nothing is 
required from the foundation to facilitate it. Trying to mix the 
in-person interactions of a summit/forum/ptg with remote attendees 
usually just leads to a poor experience for the remote participants. 
When we have in-person events we do our best to include remote people 
who can't attend but IMO that's still inferior to planning a fully 
virtual event that puts everyone on equal footing.

> The PTG was actually an idea that was initiated by development teams, and something that we tried to organize to make it as productive as possible for the teams. The goal of the PTGs is to provide focused time to that help us make better software, and there’s really no other benefit that the Foundation gets from them. We did have some teams, like Kuryr, who did not participate in person at the PTG. I talked to Antoni before and offered to assist with whatever we could when they did their VTG, and we will continue to support teams whether they participate in future PTGs or not.

I've been part of OpenStack a long time and my perception of history is 
a bit different. I recall a frustration from developers who attended 
design summits that it was hard to attend both the design summit and the 
conference because they were scheduled on top of eachother. What people 
wanted was a way to attend both events -- either by making the 
conference longer or by splitting it into 2 mini conferences. Somewhere 
along the line scope creep happened and instead of simply splitting 1 
event into 2, new stuff (the Forum) got added. My objection is 
specifically to this scope creep and the increased expectations on 

> Thanks for keeping an open mind on the Forum. If you have opinions around what will make it more or less successful, please get involved in the planning for it. It’s being planned and scheduled in the open with input from the dev and user communities. I’ll be looking out for your feedback after Boston. Promise I won’t do anything to suppress it, positive or negative. = )

Thanks for listening. Sorry if my suspicion sounded like an accusation. 
I honestly don't know if I'm alone or in good company with my feelings 
about PTG. My stance remains that the "old way" was better with 2 
foundation-organized events per year and projects on their own to manage 
additional meetings.

-Ben Swartzlander

> Jonathan
>> The new structure is asking developers to travel 4 times a year (minimum) and makes it impossible to participate in 2 or more vertical projects.
>> I know that most of the people working on Manila have pretty limited travel budgets, and meeting 4 times a year basically guarantees that a good number of people will be remote at any given meeting. From my perspective if I'm going to be meeting with people on the phone I'd rather be on the phone myself and have everyone on equal footing.
>> I also normally try to participate in Cinder as well as Manila and the new PTG structures makes that impossible. I decided to try to be positive and to wait until after the PTG to make up my mind but having attended in Atlanta it was exactly as bad as I expected in terms of my ability to participate in Cinder.
>> I will be in Boston to try to develop a firsthand opinion of the new Forum format but as of now I'm pretty unhappy with the proposal. For Manila I'm proposing that the community either meets at PTG and skips conferences or meetings at conferences and skips PTGs going forward. I'm not going to ask everyone to travel 4 times a year.
>> -Ben Swartzlander
>> Manila PTL
>> On 03/07/2017 07:35 AM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> I recently got more information about the space dedicated to the "Forum"
>>> at the OpenStack Summit in Boston. We'll have three different types of
>>> spaces available.
>>> 1/ "Forum" proper
>>> There will be 3 medium-sized fishbowl rooms for cross-community
>>> discussions. Topics for the discussions in that space will be selected
>>> and scheduled by a committee formed of TC and UC members, facilitated by
>>> Foundation staff members. In case you missed it, the brainstorming for
>>> topics started last week, announced by Emilien in that email:
>>> http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/2017-March/113115.html
>>> 2/ "On-boarding" rooms
>>> We'll have two rooms set up in classroom style, dedicated to project
>>> teams and workgroups who want to on-board new team members. Those can
>>> for example be booked by project teams to run an introduction to their
>>> codebase to prospective new contributors, in the hope that they will
>>> join their team in the future. Those are not meant to do traditional
>>> user-facing "project intro" talks -- there is space in the conference
>>> for that. They are meant to provide the next logical step in
>>> contributing after Upstream University and being involved on the
>>> sidelines. It covers the missing link for prospective contributors
>>> between attending Summit and coming to the PTG. Kendall Nelson and Mike
>>> Perez will soon announce the details for this, including how projects
>>> can sign up.
>>> 3/ Free hacking/meetup space
>>> We'll have four or five rooms populated with roundtables for ad-hoc
>>> discussions and hacking. We don't have specific plans for these -- we
>>> could set up something like the PTG ethercalc for teams to book the
>>> space, or keep it open. Maybe half/half.
>>> More details on all this as they come up.
>>> Hoping to see you there !
>> __________________________________________________________________________
>> OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
>> Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request at lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
>> http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev
> __________________________________________________________________________
> OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
> Unsubscribe: OpenStack-dev-request at lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe
> http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev

More information about the OpenStack-dev mailing list