On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 10:55:18AM +0100, Flavio Percoco wrote:
> Greetings all,
> During the last two cycles, I've had the feeling that some of the
> things I love the most about this community are degrading and moving
> to a state that I personally disagree with. With the hope of seeing
> these things improve, I'm taking the time today to share one of my
> concerns.
> Since I believe we all work with good faith and we *all* should assume
> such when it comes to things happening in our community, I won't make
> names and I won't point fingers - yes, I don't have enough fingers to
> point based on the info I have. People that fall into the groups I'll
> mention below know that I'm talking to them.
> This email is dedicated to the openness of our community/project.
> ## Keep discussions open
> I don't believe there's anything wrong about kicking off some
> discussions in private channels about specs/bugs. I don't believe
> there's anything wrong in having calls to speed up some discussions.
> HOWEVER, I believe it's *completely* wrong to consider those private
> discussions sufficient. If you have had that kind of private
> discussions, if you've discussed a spec privately and right after you
> went upstream and said: "This has been discussed in a call and it's
> good to go", I beg you to stop for 2 seconds and reconsider that. I
> don't believe you were able to fit all the community in that call and
> that you had enough consensus.

With the timezones of our worldwide contributors it is pretty much
guaranteed that any realtime phone call will have excluded a part
of our community.

> Furthermore, you should consider that having private conversations, at
> the very end, doesn't help with speeding up discussions. We've a
> community of people who *care* about the project they're working on.
> This means that whenever they see something that doesn't make much
> sense, they'll chime in and ask for clarification. If there was a
> private discussion on that topic, you'll have to provide the details
> of such discussion and bring that person up to date, which means the
> discussion will basically start again... from scratch.

I can see that if people have reached an impass in discussions via
email or irc, it is sometimes helpful to have a call to break a
roadblock. I absolutely agree though that the results of any such
calls should not be presented as a final decision. At the very least
it is neccessary to describe the rationale for the POV obtained as
a result of the call, and give the broader community the opportunity
to put forward counterpoints if required. We should certainly not
just say 'its good to go' and +A sommething based on a private call.

> ## Mailing List vs IRC Channel
> I get it, our mailing list is freaking busy, keeping up with it is
> hard and time consuming and that leads to lots of IRC discussions. I
> don't think there's anything wrong with that but I believe it's wrong
> to expect *EVERYONE* to be in the IRC channel when those discussions
> happen.

Again, timezones. It is a physical impossibility for most people to
be on IRC for more than 8 hours a day, so that's only 1/3 of the day
that any signle person will likely be on IRC.  And no, expecting
people to have a permanently connected IRC proxy and then read the
other 16 hours of logs each morning is not a solution.

Personally I've stopped joining IRC most the time regardless, because
I feel I am far more productive when I'm not being interrupted with
IRC pings every 20 minutes. There should be few things so urgent that
they can't be dealt with over email. Again because of our timezone
differences we should be wary of making important decisions in a
rush - anything remotely non-trivial should have at least a 24 hour
window to allow people on all timezones a chance to see the point
and join in discussion.

> If you are discussing something on IRC that requires the attention of
> most of your project's community, I highly recommend you to use the
> mailing list as oppose to pinging everyone independently and fighting
> with time zones. Using IRC bouncers as a replacement for something
> that should go to the mailing list is absurd. Please, use the mailing
> list and don't be afraid of having a bigger community chiming in in
> your discussion.  *THAT'S A GOOD THING*
> Changes, specs, APIs, etc. Everything is good for the mailing list.
> We've fought hard to make this community grow, why shouldn't we take
> advantage of it?

There are alot of IRC meetings that take place in the project:


and alot of decisions get made in these meetings. Very rarely do
the decisions ever get disseminated to the mailing lists. We seem
to rely on the fact that we have IRC logs of the meetings as a way
to communicate what took place.

If you have ever tried to regularly read through IRC logs of
meetings that last an hour or more, it should be clear that this
is an awful way to communicate info with people who weren't there.

I think communication would be greatly improved if properly
summarized minutes were sent to the mailing lists after each
meeting. Of course this takes non-negligible time & effort
from someone to write the minutes. So I'm not surprised that
we don't do it as a regular thing, but I think it should be a
goal we aspire to attain, even if we don't always meet it.

> ## Cores are *NOT* special
> At some point, for some reason that is unknown to me, this message
> changed and the feeling of core's being some kind of superheros became
> a thing. It's gotten far enough to the point that I've came to know
> that some projects even have private (flagged with +s), password
> protected, irc channels for core reviewers.
> This is the point where my good faith assumption skill falls short.
> Seriously, don't get me wrong but: WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F**K?

Wow, seriously ??!?!  That's is a major governance failing if that
is actually taking place IMHO. I'd expect projects to be publically
called out & shamed if they are using private password protected IRC
channels for their discussions / decisions.

> If anything core reviewers should be the ones *FORCING* - it seems
> that *encouraging* doesn't have the same effect anymore - *OPENNESS* in
> order to include other non-core members in those discussions.
> Remember that the "core" flag is granted because of the reviews that
> person has provided and because that individual *WANTS* to be part of
> it. It's not a prize for people. In fact, I consider core reviewers to
> be volunteers and their job is infinitely thanked.
> Since, "All generalizations are false, including this one. - Mark
> Twain", I'm pretty sure there are folks that disagree with the above.
> If you do, I care about your thoughts. This is worth discussing and
> fighting for.
> All the above being said, I'd like to thank everyone who fights for
> the openness of our community and encourage everyone to make that a
> must have thing in each sub-community. You don't need to be
> core-reviewer or PTL to do so. Speak up and help keeping the community
> as open as possible.

No matter what the project, there will always be things that can be
improved in the way members comunicate, and it is healthy to reflect
on what we are doing and whether we can improve things. This is
especially true of a project like OpenStack which has grown in size
far faster than most projects, and which has participation from a
lot of vendors who haven't traditionally engaged with open source
communities & so may have a greater learning curve wrt maintaining
a healthy community.

|: http://berrange.com      -o-    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dberrange/ :|
|: http://libvirt.org              -o-             http://virt-manager.org :|
|: http://autobuild.org       -o-         http://search.cpan.org/~danberr/ :|
|: http://entangle-photo.org       -o-       http://live.gnome.org/gtk-vnc :|

OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Unsubscribe: openstack-dev-requ...@lists.openstack.org?subject:unsubscribe

Reply via email to