On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 9:03 AM, Thierry Carrez <thie...@openstack.org>

> Hi everyone,
> With the incredible growth of OpenStack, our development community is
> facing complex challenges. How we handle those might determine the
> ultimate success or failure of OpenStack.
> With this cycle we hit new limits in our processes, tools and cultural
> setup. This resulted in new limiting factors on our overall velocity,
> which is frustrating for developers. This resulted in the burnout of key
> firefighting resources. This resulted in tension between people who try
> to get specific work done and people who try to keep a handle on the big
> picture.
> It all boils down to an imbalance between strategic and tactical
> contributions. At the beginning of this project, we had a strong inner
> group of people dedicated to fixing all loose ends. Then a lot of
> companies got interested in OpenStack and there was a surge in tactical,
> short-term contributions. We put on a call for more resources to be
> dedicated to strategic contributions like critical bugfixing,
> vulnerability management, QA, infrastructure... and that call was
> answered by a lot of companies that are now key members of the OpenStack
> Foundation, and all was fine again. But OpenStack contributors kept on
> growing, and we grew the narrowly-focused population way faster than the
> cross-project population.

> At the same time, we kept on adding new projects to incubation and to
> the integrated release, which is great... but the new developers you get
> on board with this are much more likely to be tactical than strategic
> contributors. This also contributed to the imbalance. The penalty for
> that imbalance is twofold: we don't have enough resources available to
> solve old, known OpenStack-wide issues; but we also don't have enough
> resources to identify and fix new issues.
> We have several efforts under way, like calling for new strategic
> contributors, driving towards in-project functional testing, making
> solving rare issues a more attractive endeavor, or hiring resources
> directly at the Foundation level to help address those. But there is a
> topic we haven't raised yet: should we concentrate on fixing what is
> currently in the integrated release rather than adding new projects ?

TL;DR: Our development model is having growing pains. until we sort out the
growing pains adding more projects spreads us too thin.

In addition to the issues mentioned above, with the scale of OpenStack
today we have many major cross project issues to address and no good place
to discuss them.

> We seem to be unable to address some key issues in the software we
> produce, and part of it is due to strategic contributors (and core
> reviewers) being overwhelmed just trying to stay afloat of what's
> happening. For such projects, is it time for a pause ? Is it time to
> define key cycle goals and defer everything else ?

I really like this idea, as Michael and others alluded to in above, we are
attempting to set cycle goals for Kilo in Nova. but I think it is worth
doing for all of OpenStack. We would like to make a list of key goals
before the summit so that we can plan our summit sessions around the goals.
On a really high level one way to look at this is, in Kilo we need to pay
down our technical debt.

The slots/runway idea is somewhat separate from defining key cycle goals;
we can be approve blueprints based on key cycle goals without doing slots.
 But with so many concurrent blueprints up for review at any given time,
the review teams are doing a lot of multitasking and humans are not very
good at multitasking. Hopefully slots can help address this issue, and
hopefully allow us to actually merge more blueprints in a given cycle.

> On the integrated release side, "more projects" means stretching our
> limited strategic resources more. Is it time for the Technical Committee
> to more aggressively define what is "in" and what is "out" ? If we go
> through such a redefinition, shall we push currently-integrated projects
> that fail to match that definition out of the "integrated release" inner
> circle ?
> The TC discussion on what the integrated release should or should not
> include has always been informally going on. Some people would like to
> strictly limit to end-user-facing projects. Some others suggest that
> "OpenStack" should just be about integrating/exposing/scaling smart
> functionality that lives in specialized external projects, rather than
> trying to outsmart those by writing our own implementation. Some others
> are advocates of carefully moving up the stack, and to resist from
> further addressing IaaS+ services until we "complete" the pure IaaS
> space in a satisfactory manner. Some others would like to build a
> roadmap based on AWS services. Some others would just add anything that
> fits the incubation/integration requirements.

> On one side this is a long-term discussion, but on the other we also
> need to make quick decisions. With 4 incubated projects, and 2 new ones
> currently being proposed, there are a lot of people knocking at the door.

I have a slightly different short term opinion on what 'OpenStack' should
be: it should work really well.

While we need to figure out howto increase our strategic resources,
realistically I think that will still be the limiting factor in Kilo. So in
order to better allocate our cross project strategic resources, I think we
should do a project level triage ('identify projects that are likely to
die, regardless of what care they receive' to paraphrase the medical
definition of the term), and tighten our focus until we get our development
process into a better state.

> Thanks for reading this braindump this far. I hope this will trigger the
> open discussions we need to have, as an open source project, to reach
> the next level.

Thank you for bringing this topic up.

> Cheers,
> --
> Thierry Carrez (ttx)
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