Stefano,

You write:

| This is seriously disturbing.
| 
| If you're one of those core reviewers hanging out on a private channel,
| please contact me privately: I'd love to hear from you why we failed as a
| community at convincing you that an open channel is the place to be.
| 
| No public shaming, please: education first.

I was going to contact you privately but figured that would be ironic given the 
conversation we're having. So here is my reply to you in the open, for all to 
see and respond.

Let me begin by saying that I agree with a lot of what Flavio wrote. 

Where he says that decisions and discussions must always be made in the open, 
he is dead-on.

Where he says that decisions in private are bad, he is dead-on.

I beg to differ however on the subject of discussions in private (emphasis: 
discussions, not decisions). Now that sounds bad but let's leave private IRC 
channels aside.

If you and I had a phone call, that's not a bad thing. What is bad if we 
colluded in some way, and made a decision that we then foisted on the community 
as a "done deal".

IRC is a great thing and so is the mailing list. And a lot of conversations are 
well suited for those mediums. And I read them regularly and I find them 
useful. However, I will admit that there are times when I just pick up the 
phone and call a colleague or call some other ATC in OpenStack.

As Flavio says in his email:

| > ## 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.

Further, there are in fact times when members of a core team can have 
meaningful discussions about things. Security related bugs are one, on occasion 
things like people's conduct (when it is marginal) and I can make a list of a 
couple of more things easily, but I think you see the point.

Given time-zones, long distance costs, and the like, IRC is a good option as is 
a private skype call or skype IM. Not everything is suitable for IRC/mailing 
list and a public forum. And in some cases since a public IRC channel with 
three parallel conversations going can be noisy, a less cluttered private 
conversation is invaluable.

Mostly, I'm very happy to see Flavio's email which ends with this:

> 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.

Open decision making and discussion are absolutely the lifeblood of an open 
source community. And I agree, as an ATC I will fight for the open discussion 
and decision making. In equal measure, I recognize that I'm human and there are 
times when a quiet "sidebar" with someone, either on the telephone, or over a 
glass of suitable beverage can go further and quicker than any extent of public 
conversation with the exact same participants.

You write:

| This is seriously disturbing.

Yes, what would be seriously disturbing would be if there were decisions being 
made without the open/public scrutiny.

There seems to be a leap-of-faith that a private IRC channel implies covert 
decisions and therefore they should be shutdown. OK, great, the Twenty-First 
Amendment took the same point of view, see how well that worked out.

I assure you that later today, tomorrow, and the next day, I will have private 
conversations with other ATC's. Some will be on the telephone, and some will be 
on public IRC channels with some totally unique name that you'd never know to 
guess. But, I will try my best to, and I welcome the feedback when people feel 
that I deviate from the norm of ensuring public, open discussion and decision 
making where all are invited to participate.

Personally, I think the focus on password protected IRC channels is a 
distraction from the real issue that we need to ensure that the rapidly growing 
community is one where public discussion and decision making are still "the 
norm". Let's be adult about it and realize that people will have private 
conversations. What we need to focus on is ensuring that the community rejects 
"private decision making".

There, I said it, and I said it in the open.

-amrith

--

Amrith Kumar, CTO Tesora (www.tesora.com)

Twitter: @amrithkumar  
IRC: amrith @freenode 
I work on OpenStack Trove (#openstack-trove)



| -----Original Message-----
| From: Stefano Maffulli [mailto:stef...@openstack.org]
| Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 9:15 AM
| To: openstack-dev@lists.openstack.org
| Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [all][tc] Lets keep our community open, lets
| fight for it
| 
| On Wed, 2015-02-11 at 10:55 +0100, Flavio Percoco wrote:
| > This email is dedicated to the openness of our community/project.
| 
| It's good to have a reminder every now and then. Thank you Flavio for
| caring enough to notice bad patterns and for raising a flag.
| 
| > ## 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.
| [...]
| 
| Well said. Conversations can happen anywhere and any time, but they should
| stay in open and accessible channels. Consensus needs to be built and
| decisions need to be shared, agreed upon by the community at large (and
| mailing lists are the most accessible media we have).
| 
| That said, it's is very hard to generalize and I'd rather deal/solve
| specific examples. Sometimes, I'm sure there are episodes when a fast
| decision was needed and a limited amount of people had to carry the burden
| of responsibility. Life is hard, software development is hard and general
| rules sometimes need to be adapted to the reality. Again, too much
| generalization here for what I'm confortable with.
| 
| Maybe it's worth repeating that I'm personally (and in my role) available
| to listen and mediate in cases when communication seems to happen behind
| closed doors. If you think something unhealthy is happening, talk to me
| (confidentiality assured).
| 
| > ## 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.
| 
| Not sure I agree with the causality but, the facts are those: traffic on
| the list and on IRC is very high (although not increasing anymore [1][2]).
| 
| >  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.
| 
| Email is hard, I have the feeling that the vast majority of people use bad
| (they all suck, no joke) email clients. Lots and lots of email is even
| worse. Most contributors commit very few patches: the investment for them
| to configure their MUA to filter our traffic is too high.
| 
| I have added more topics today to the openstack-dev list[3]. Maybe,
| besides filtering on the receiving end, we may spend some time explaining
| how to use mailman topics? I'll draft something on Ask, it may help those
| that have limited interest in OpenStack.
| 
| What else can we do to make things better?
| 
| > ## 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 seriously disturbing.
| 
| If you're one of those core reviewers hanging out on a private channel,
| please contact me privately: I'd love to hear from you why we failed as a
| community at convincing you that an open channel is the place to be.
| 
| No public shaming, please: education first.
| 
| Cheers,
| stef
| 
| 
| [1] http://activity.openstack.org/dash/browser/mls.html
| [2] http://activity.openstack.org/dash/browser/irc.html
| [3] thanks to Luigi Toscano for highlighting some missing ones
| 
| 
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