On Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 09:24:36AM +1000, Michael Still wrote:
> 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.

We thought we had agreement on v3 API after Atlanta f2f summit and 
after Hong Kong f2f too. So I wouldn't neccessarily say that we
needed another f2f meeting to resolve that, but rather than this is
a very complex topic that takes a long time to resolve no matter
how we discuss it and the discussions had just happened to reach
a natural conclusion this time around. But lets see if this agreement
actually sticks this time....

> 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.

I think the travel cost really is a big issue. Due to the number of
people who had to travel to the many mid-cycle meetups, a good number
of people I work with no longer have the ability to go to the Paris
design summit. This is going to make it harder for them to feel a
proper engaged part of our community. I can only see this situation
get worse over time if greater emphasis is placed on attending the
mid-cycle meetups.

> 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.

Maybe we should change the way we structure the design summit to
improve that. If there are critical issues blocking nova, it feels
like it is better to be able to discuss and resolve as much as possible
at the start of the dev cycle rather than in the middle of the dev
cycle because I feel that means we are causing ourselves pain during
milestone 1/2.

> >> 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.

Having mid-cycle meetups where only a subset of cores will attend doesn't
feel like an great way to improve the coordination between /all/ cores.

Regards,
Daniel
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