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TC Report 18-35

I didn't do a TC report last week because we spent much of the time discussing the issues surrounding extracting the placement service from nova. I've been working on making that happen—because that's been the intent from the start—for a couple of years now, so tend to be fairly central to those discussions. It felt inappropriate to use these reports as a bully pulpit and in any case I was exhausted, so took a break.

However, the topic was still a factor in the recent week's discussion so I guess we're stuck with it: leaving it out would be odd given that it has occupied such a lot of TC attention and these reports are expressly my subjective opinion.

Placement is in the last section, in case you're of a mind to skip it.

The Tech Vision

There's been a bit of discussion on the Draft Technical Vision. First, generally what it is trying to do and how do dependencies fit in. This eventually flowed into questioning how much voice and discretion individual contributors have with regard to OpenStack overall, as opposed to merely doing what their employers say. There were widely divergent perspectives on this.

The truth is probably that everyone has a different experience on a big spectrum.

TC Elections and Campaigning

As announced, TC Election Season approaches. We had some discussion Friday about making sure that the right skills were present in candidates and that any events we held with regard to campaigning, perhaps at the PTG, were not actively exclusionary.

That Placement Thing

The links below are for historical reference, for people who want to catch up. The current state of affairs and immediate plans are being worked out in this thread, based on a medium term plan of doing the technical work to create a separate and working repo and then get that repo working happily with nova, devstack, grenade and tempest. Technical consensus is being reached, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, but discussion is working and several people are participating. The questions about governance are not yet firmly resolved, but the hope is that before the end of the Stein cycle placement ought to be its own official project.

In case you're curious about why the TC is involved in this topic at all, there are two reasons: a) Eric asked for advice, b) it is relevant to the TC's role as ultimate appeals board.

The torrid story goes something like this: While working on a PTG planning etherpad for extracting placement from nova, there were some questions about the eventual disposition of placement: a project within or beside nova. That resulted in a huge email thread.

In the midst of that thread, the nova scheduler meeting raised the question of how do we decide? That got moved to the TC IRC channel and mutated from "how do we decide" to many different topics and perspectives. Thus ensued several hours of argument. Followed by a "wow" reprise on Tuesday morning.

By Thursday a potential compromise was mooted in the nova meeting. However, in the intervening period, several people in the TC, notably Doug and Thierry had expressed a desire to address some of the underlying issues (those that caused so much argument Monday and elsewhere) in a more concrete fashion. I wanted to be sure that they had a chance to provide their input before the compromise deal was sealed. The conversation was moved back to the TC IRC channel asking for input. This led to yet more tension. It's not yet clear if that is resolved.

All this must seem pretty ridiculous to observers. As is so often the case in community interactions, the tensions that are playing out are not directly tied to any specific technical issues (which, thankfully, are resolving in the short term for placement) but are from the accumulation and aggregation over time of difficulties and frustrations associated with unresolved problems in the exercise and distribution of control and trust, unfinished goals, and unfulfilled promises. When changes like the placement extraction come up, they can act as proxies for deep and lingering problems that we have not developed good systems for resolving.

What we do instead of investigating the deep issues is address the immediate symptomatic problems in a technical way and try to move on. People who are not satisfied with this have little recourse. They can either move elsewhere or attempt to cope. We've lost plenty of good people as a result. Some of those that choose to stick around get tetchy.

If you have thoughts and feelings about these (or any other) deep and systemic issues in OpenStack, anyone in the TC should be happy to speak with you about them. For best results you should be willing to speak about your concerns publicly. If for some reason you are not comfortable doing so, that is itself an issue that needs to be addressed, but starting out privately is welcomed.

The big goal here is for OpenStack to be good, as a technical production and as a community.

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