[tc][infra] When a project leaves OpenStack

Jeremy Stanley fungi at yuggoth.org
Fri Mar 15 22:57:54 UTC 2019

This is a discussion I've been meaning to start for a very, very
long while. The tl;dr of it is that when official OpenStack projects
have ceased to meet our expectations for what it means to be
OpenStack, allowing them to continue on in an unofficial capacity
but otherwise unchanged has led to confusion among users. Finding a
better way to handle project removals is my goal for this

Inevitably, there are times when projects cannot continue to be a
part of OpenStack. Often this is because development has ceased, and
so we can retire their repositories cleanly leaving a notice to any
remaining users that the project is unmaintained. Sometimes a
project is unable or unwilling to continue to be a part of OpenStack
officially, and we have made the choice to simply remove them from
our governance but otherwise wish them well on their new journey.

Unfortunately, more often than not, a formerly official project
continuing development outside OpenStack is an indication it's
nearing the end of its life, soon thereafter ceasing development and
leaving behind an abandoned repository where even the most critical
bugs go untriaged and proposed fixes unreviewed. This is the case
for a lot of software which has ceased viability, so unsurprising,
but given it was once a part of OpenStack there are users who simply
assume it's still maintained and so it reflects negatively on us
when they end up having a bad experience.

One possibility we've entertained, over the years this topic has
cropped up, is to declare that projects in the infrastructure we
share (soon to be known as OpenDev) which were once an official part
of OpenStack retain some residual TC jurisdiction so that if we
notice their maintainers have disappeared we can take over and close
down the project more thoroughly. This may work well enough in
situations where it's brought to our attention, but will clearly not
help the first people to notice this situation nor does it help in
cases where we're never informed.

With the "namespace explosion" coming in OpenDev, however, there's
another option open to us. We could require that any development
which continues after removal from OpenStack be done as a fork of
the original. In theory we could have done that even with one common
namespace, by requiring projects to either cease using this
infrastructure entirely or change their name. Neither of these
options is especially desirable. Now, however, we might consider
allowing them to continue in the same infrastructure under the same
repository name but in a different namespace. We would effectively
close down development on the original repository following our
normal retirement process, but could optionally also include a note
mentioning where continued development is known to be taking place

Does anyone have other ideas to suggest?
Jeremy Stanley
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