[Openstack-operators] [tags] Ops-Data vs. Ops-Tags

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Fri Jun 19 09:22:12 UTC 2015


As promised in the Tags meeting, I bring the discussion on naming to the

The OpenStack project structure reform that the Technical Committee
drove over the past year introduced two concepts. The first one is the
"big tent", the idea that we should consider as "OpenStack projects" all
the projects produced by the OpenStack Community in the OpenStack Way
and furthering the OpenStack Mission. But as we expand and cover more
projects, the picture becomes more confusing to the consumers of this
ecosystem. Hence the introduction of a second concept: "tags" providing
clear, actionable information about each project.

Tags are a class of metadata[1], a controlled vocabulary of labels. They
come with a definition, a set of requirements that a project must
fulfill to be granted the label. Ideally the requirements are objective,
based on available documentation and metrics. But the tag definition
itself remains subjective.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_%28metadata%29

As an example, we wanted to provide actionable information about the
long-term survivability of a project to the loss of a given corporate
sponsor. We defined a team:diverse-affiliation tag, based on a set of
contributor demographics requirements, evaluated using Stackalytics
metrics. A project meeting the criteria gets the tag. A project not
meeting the criteria doesn't get the tag. A simple, binary label, this
is what tags are.

At the mid-cycle meetup we engaged with the Ops community to get them
involved in the definition of operational tags. But as the workgroup
started to work, it focused on defining and providing operational data
about each project. The state of docs. The state of packaging. The state
of deployment. The concepts being defined, and the nature of the data
being built, was quite different from tags. It looked more like
structured documentation than like labels.

Then yesterday I had a revelation. Tags are a second-order construct.
You can't define tags or labels out of the blue. You can only define
them using existing metrics or documentation as base data. On the
development side, we have plenty of data available, so we jumped
directly to defining tags. On the operational side though, the base data
still needs to be built. It is extremely valuable data. And it is a
prerequisite for any operational label.

As an example, take the state of packaging (currently proposed under
ops:packaged). Which components are packaged ? What is the quality of
that packaging ? There is no clear data on it so far, it needs to be
gathered and maintained. If we ever want to define a "well-packaged"
label, we need that information gathered and available.

So I would like to take a step back and really consider ops-data and
tags as two separate, but complementary concepts. Operational data about
projects is a necessary first step if we ever want to define operational
tags. You should definitely not limit yourself to the tag framework, and
define the best ways to gather and convey that information. As a second
step, someone may propose tags based on that operational data (I have a
few ideas there already), but that is really a second step.

That doesn't mean we can't display operational data on the official
website describing projects. If the Foundation staff sees value in
displaying that information on www.openstack.org, it can certainly be
displayed, in parallel to the labels/tags.

In conclusion, I'd like to suggest that you find an better name to
describe this operational data about projects, because calling them
"tags" or "labels" will be confusing in this two-step picture. My
personal suggestion would be ops-data, but I don't really care which
color you paint that bikeshed (as long as it's not blue!).

Thanks for reading so far, hoping we can work within the same framework
to communicate the best information to all the consumers of our ecosystem.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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