[openstack-dev] [Openstack-sigs] [tc]Global Reachout Proposal

Zane Bitter zbitter at redhat.com
Wed Sep 19 17:17:59 UTC 2018

On 18/09/18 9:10 PM, Jaesuk Ahn wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 5:30 AM Zane Bitter <zbitter at redhat.com 
> <mailto:zbitter at redhat.com>> wrote:

Resotring the whole quote here because I accidentally sent the original 
to the -sigs list only and not the -dev list.

>> As others have mentioned, I think this is diving into solutions when we haven't defined the problems. I know you mentioned it briefly in the PTG session, but that context never made it to the review or the mailing list.
>> So AIUI the issue you're trying to solve here is that the TC members seem distant and inaccessible to Chinese contributors because we're not on the same social networks they are?
>> Perhaps there are others too?
>> Obvious questions to ask from there would be:
>> - Whether this is the most important issue facing contributors from the APAC region
>> - To what extent the proposed solution is expected to help
> I do agree with Zane on the above point.

For the record, I didn't express an opinion. I'm just pointing out what 
the questions are.

> As one of OpenStack participants from Asia region, I will put my 
> personal opinion.
> IRC and ML has been an unified and standard way of communication in 
> OpenStack Community, and that has been a good way to encourage "open 
> communication" on a unified method wherever you are from, or whatever 
> background you have. If the whole community start recognize some other 
> tools (say WeChat) as recommended alternative communication method 
> because there are many people there, ironically, it might be a way to 
> break "diversity" and "openness" we want to embrace.
> Using whatever social media (or tools) in a specific region due to any 
> reason is not a problem. Anyone is free to use anything. Only thing we 
> need to make sure is, if you want to communicate officially with the 
> whole community, there is a very well defined and unified way to do it. 
> This is currently IRC and ML. Some of Korean dev has difficulties to use 
> IRC. However, there is not a perfect tool out there in this world, and 
> we accept all the reason why the community selected IRC as official tool
> But, that being said, There are some things I am facing with IRC from 
> here in Korea
> As a person from Asia, I do have some of pain points. Because of time 
> differences, often, I have to do achieve searching since most of 
> conversations happened while I am sleeping. IRC is not a good tool to 
> perform "search backlog". Although there is message archive you can dig, 
> it is still hard. This is a problem. I do love to see any technical 
> solution for me to efficiently and easily go through irc backlog, like 
> most of modern chat tools.
> Secondly, IRC is not a popular one even in dev community here in Korea. 
> In addition, in order to properly use irc, you need to do extra work, 
> something like setting up bouncing server. I had to do google search to 
> figure out how to use it.

I think part of the disconnect here is that people have different ideas 
about what IRC (and chat in general) is for.

For me it's a way to conduct synchronous conversations. These tend to go 
badly on the mailing list (really long threads of 1 sentence per 
message) or on code review (have to keep refreshing), so it's good that 
we have another tool to do this. I answer a lot of user questions, 
clarify comments on patches, and obviously join team meetings in IRC.

The key part is 'synchronous' though. If I'm not there, the conversation 
is not going to be synchronous. I don't run a bouncer, although I 
generally leave my computer running when I'm not working so you'll often 
(but not always) be able to ping me, and I'll usually look back to see 
if it was something important. Otherwise it's 50-50 whether I'll even 
bother to read scrollback, and certainly not for more than a couple of 

Other people, however, have a completely different perspective: they 
want a place where they are guaranteed to be reachable at any time (even 
if they don't see it until later) and the entire record is always right 
there. I think Slack was built for those kinds of people. You would have 
to drag me kicking and screaming into Slack even if it weren't 
proprietary software.

I don't know where WeChat falls on that spectrum. But maybe part of the 
issue is that we're creating too high an expectation of what it means to 
participate in the community (e.g. if you're not going to set up a 
bouncer and be reachable 24/7 then you might as well not get involved at 
all - this is 100% untrue). I've seen several assertions, including in 
the review, that any decisions must be documented on the mailing list or 
IRC, and I'm not sure I agree. IMHO, any decisions should be documented 
on the mailing list, period.

I'd love to see more participation on the mailing list. Since it is 
asynchronous already it's somewhat friendlier to those in APAC time 
zones (although there are still issues, real or perceived, with 
decisions being reached before anyone on that side of the world has a 
chance to weigh in), and a lot easier than carrying on a conversation in 
real time for those who don't speak English natively. And while can 
still be technical challenges with mailing lists, almost every company 
allows email through their corporate firewall.

AIUI though, augmenting IRC was not the point of the proposal. Rather, I 
think it was for TC members to 'fly the flag' in WeChat to be more 
visible and available to the portion of the community that is there.

> In that sense, It would be great to have 
> OpenStack community provided, simplified and well-written, written in 
> multiple language, IRC guide docs. Alternatively, if OpenStack community 
> can provide a good web-based irc client tool, that would be fantastic.

I haven't tried it but: https://webchat.freenode.net/

> As I described the above, we can certainly have a healthy discussion on 
> what different and real problems we are facing from Asia.
> However, I don't think this TC resolution is good way to do that.
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Jaesuk Ahn, Team Lead
> Virtualization SW Lab, SW R&D Center
> SK Telecom
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> openstack-sigs at lists.openstack.org
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