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TC Report 32

As we are still in the heady peak of the release cycle, there's not a great deal of Technical Committee activity to report, but I've dredged through some IRC logs to find a couple of bits that might be relevant to the slicke of governance activity that might actually be interesting to a broader audience.

Continuous Deployment

In a thread on Backwards incompatible changes based on config, Joshua Harlow chose to ask one of those questions it's worth asking every now and again: Who are these continuous deployers?. If they still exist, where are they, how do we get them to step up and participate? If nobody is doing it any more, can we stop and make between-release adjustments more easily?

The mailing list thread petered out, as they are wont to do, but the topic carried over to IRC. In the #openstack-tc channel the conversation went long and wide:

  • Even if there aren't people who do real deploys from trunk, the constraints imposed by behaving as if they do may be beneficial.
  • If we stop the behavior, it is very hard to go back.
  • Some people say we historically supported CD. Other people say that sure, some people say that, but only some people.
  • Or maybe the divisions are between projects?
  • APIs and database migrations are in a different class from everything else and they themselves are different from one another.
  • Whatever the behaviors have been, they've never been official (for all projects?).
  • Whatever the behavior should be, it needs to be official (for all projects?).

For each of these strongly asserted opinions, there was at least one person who disagreed, at least in part. Fun times.

As far as I could tell, there was no resolution or forward plan. The status quo of benign (?) ambiguity will maintain for the time being. When it hurts, something will happen.

Forthcoming Meetings With the Board

A Foundation list posting asked for agenda items for the combined Board and Leadership (TC and UC) meeting happening before the PTG. Details about a similar meeting in Sydney are also starting to cohere.

Yet as far as I can tell, very little has yet been gathered in terms of substantive agenda items. Given how often different members of the community state that we need to be more activist with the board, and the board with member companies -- especially with regard to making sure corporate engagement is not just strong but focused in the right place -- I'm surprised there's not more. I fished around a bit in IRC but I think there's more to be done here.

As a community we've become over adapted to the idea that people who wish to discuss problems should come prepared with solutions, or if not that, at least a detailed description of the failure scenario. This is incredibly limiting. Community interactions aren't software. We can't always create a minimal test case and iterate towards a solution. Sometimes what we need is to sit around as peers and reflect. In person is the ideal time for this; we don't get the opportunity all that much.

What I'd like to see with the board, the TC, the UC, and anyone else who wants to participate is a calm retrospective of the last three, six or twelve months. So we can see where we need to go from here. We can share some accolades and, if necessary, air some grievances. Someone can say "there's a rough edge here" so someone else with a lot of spare sandpaper they thought was useless can say "I can help with that". We might even sing Kum ba yah.

If you're not going to be at the PTG, or you don't feel comfortable raising an issue, feel free to contact me with anything you think is important and relevant to the ongoing health of OpenStack and I will try to bring it up at one of the meetings.

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