Trying to write a TC report after a gap of 3 weeks is hard enough, but when that gap involves some time off, the TC elections, and the run up to summit (next week in Vancouver) then it gets bewildering. Rather than trying to give anything like a full summary, I'll go for some highlights.
Be aware that since next week is summit and I'll be travelling the week after, there will be another gap in reports.
The elections were for seven positions. Of those, three are new to the TC: Graham Hayes, Mohammed Naser, Zane Bitter. Having new people is great. There's a growing sense that the TC needs to take a more active role in helping adapt the culture of OpenStack to its changing place in the world (see some of the comments below). Having new people helps with that greatly.
Doug Hellman has become the chair of the TC, taking the seat long held by Thierry. This is the first time (that I'm aware of) that a non-Foundation-staff individual has been the chair.
One of the most interesting parts of the election process were the email threads started by Doug. There's hope that existing TC members that were not elected in this cycle, those that have departed, and anyone else will provide their answers to them too. An email reminder exists.
Is next week, in Vancouver. The TC has several Forum sessions planned including:
- S release goals
- Project boundaries and what is OpenStack
- TC Retrospective
- Cross Community Governance
Corporate Foundation Contributions
There's ongoing discussion about how to measure upstream contribution from corporate Foundation members and what to do if contribution seems lacking. Part of the reason this came up was because the mode of contribution from new platinum member, Tencent, is not clear. For a platinum member, it should be obvious.
There's been some concern expressed about the The Large Contributing OpenStack Operators (LCOO) group and the way they operate. They use an Atlassian Wiki and Slack, and have restricted membership. These things tend to not align with the norms for tool usage and collaboration in OpenStack. This topic came up in late April but is worth revisiting in Vancouver.
One of the things that came out in election campaigning is that OpenStack needs to be more clear about the many ways that OpenStack can be used, in part as a way of being more clear about what OpenStack is. Constellations are one way to do this and work has begun on one for Scientific Computing. There's some discussion there on what a constellation is supposed to accomplish. If you have an opinion, you should comment.
The day before summit there is a "combined leadership" meeting with the Foundation Board, the User Committee and the Technical Committee. Doug has posted a review of the agenda. These meetings are open to any Foundation members and often involve a lot of insight into the future of OpenStack. And snacks.
Feedback, Leadership and Dictatorship of the Projects
Zane started an email thread about ways to replace or augment the once large and positive feedback loop that was present in earlier days of OpenStack. That now has the potential to trap us into what he describes as a "local maximum". The thread eventually evolved into concerns that the individual sub-projects in OpenStack can sometimes have too much power and identity compared to the overarching project, leading to isolation and difficulty getting overarching things done. There was a bit of discussion about this in IRC but the important parts are in the several messages in the thread.
Some people think that the community goals help to fill some of this void. Others thinks this is not quite enough and perhaps project teams as a point of emphasis is "no longer optimal".
But in all this talk of change, how do we do the work if we're already busy? What can we not do? That was a topic Monday morning.
API Version Bumps
Also on Monday, plans were made to have a session in Vancouver about how to do across-the-system minimum API version bumps. This started in response to a meandering thread on twitter about inconsistencies in the OpenStack's APIs "never" being resolved.
It's hard to make any conclusions from the election results. A relatively small number of people voted for a relatively small number of candidates. And there's always the sense that voting is primarily based on name recognition where platforms and policies have little bearing. However, if we are to take the results at face value then it appears that at least some of the electorate wants one or both of the following from the TC:
- Increased communication and engagement.
- Greater and more active exercising of whatever power they can dredge up to help lead and change the community more directly.
Do you think this is true? What direction do things need to go?
I'm currently in the state of mind where it is critical that we create and maintain the big picture information artifacts ("OpenStack is X, Y, and Z", "OpenStack is not A, B and C", "Next year OpenStack will start being E but will stop being Z") that allow contributors of any sort to pick amongst the (too) many opportunities for things to do. Especially making it easier—and socially and professionally safer—to say "no" to something. This makes it more clean and clear to get the right things done—rather than context switch—and to create the necessary headspace to consider improvements rather than doing the same thing over again.