On Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 3:09 AM, Dan Smith <d...@danplanet.com> wrote:
>> I'm not questioning the value of f2f - I'm questioning the idea of
>> doing f2f meetings sooo many times a year. OpenStack is very much
>> the outlier here among open source projects - the vast majority of
>> projects get along very well with much less f2f time and a far
>> smaller % of their contributors attend those f2f meetings that do
>> happen. So I really do question what is missing from OpenStack's
>> community interaction that makes us believe that having 4 f2f
>> meetings a year is critical to our success.
> How many is too many? So far, I have found the midcycles to be extremely
> productive -- productive in a way that we don't see at the summits, and
> I think other attendees agree. Obviously if budgets start limiting them,
> then we'll have to deal with it, but I don't want to stop meeting
> preemptively.

I agree they're very productive. Let's pick on the nova v3 API case as
an example... We had failed as a community to reach a consensus using
our existing discussion mechanisms (hundreds of emails, at least three
specs, phone calls between the various parties, et cetera), yet at the
summit and then a midcycle meetup we managed to nail down an agreement
on a very contentious and complicated topic.

I can see the argument that travel cost is an issue, but I think its
also not a very strong argument. We have companies spending millions
of dollars on OpenStack -- surely spending a relatively small amount
on travel to keep the development team as efficient as possible isn't
a big deal? I wouldn't be at all surprised if the financial costs of
the v3 API debate (staff time mainly) were much higher than the travel
costs of those involved in the summit and midcycle discussions which
sorted it out.

Travelling to places to talk to people isn't a great solution, but it
is the most effective one we've found so far. We should continue to
experiment with other options, but until we find something that works
as well as meetups, I think we need to keep having them.

> IMHO, the reasons to cut back would be:
> - People leaving with a "well, that was useless..." feeling
> - Not enough people able to travel to make it worthwhile
> So far, neither of those have been outcomes of the midcycles we've had,
> so I think we're doing okay.
> The design summits are structured differently, where we see a lot more
> diverse attendance because of the colocation with the user summit. It
> doesn't lend itself well to long and in-depth discussions about specific
> things, but it's very useful for what it gives us in the way of
> exposure. We could try to have less of that at the summit and more
> midcycle-ish time, but I think it's unlikely to achieve the same level
> of usefulness in that environment.
> Specifically, the lack of colocation with too many other projects has
> been a benefit. This time, Mark and Maru where there from Neutron. Last
> time, Mark from Neutron and the other Mark from Glance were there. If
> they were having meetups in other rooms (like at summit) they wouldn't
> have been there exposed to discussions that didn't seem like they'd have
> a component for their participation, but did after all (re: nova and
> glance and who should own flavors).

I agree. The ability to focus on the issues that were blocking nova
was very important. That's hard to do at a design summit when there is
so much happening at the same time.

>> As pointed out this benefit for core devs has a direct negative
>> impact on other non-core devs. I'm questioning whether this is
>> really a net win overall vs other approaches to collaboration.
> It's a net win, IMHO.
>> As I explain in the rest of my email below I'm not advocating
>> getting rid of mid-cycle events entirely. I'm suggesting that
>> we can attain a reasonable % of the benefits of f2f meetings
>> by doing more formal virtual meetups and so be more efficient
>> and inclusive overall.
> I'd love to see more high-bandwidth mechanisms used to have discussions
> in between f2f meetings. In fact, one of the outcomes of this last
> midcycle was that we should have one about APIv3 with the folks that
> couldn't attend for other reasons. It came up specifically because we
> made more progress in ninety minutes than we had in the previous eight
> months (yes, even with a design summit in the middle of that).
> Expecting cores to be at these sorts of things seems pretty reasonable
> to me, given the usefulness (and gravity) of the discussions we've been
> having so far. Companies with more cores will have to send more or make
> some hard decisions, but I don't want to cut back on the meetings until
> their value becomes unjustified.

I think this gets to the crux of the original email -- we are
increasingly needing cores to understand the overall direction nova is
going. You could argue for example that our failure to land many high
priority blueprints in Juno is because cores aren't acting in
coordinated a manner. So, we're attempting to come up with ways to
improve coordination.


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