I’m not a member of the OpenStack board, but the board meetings are open with the exception of the occasional Executive Session for topics that really do need to be private. I attended the meeting on September 18, 2014. Jonathan Bryce has since posted a summary of the meeting, but I wanted to share some additional commentary.
Rob Hirschfeld raised the topic of mid-cycle meetups. This wasn’t discussed for too long in the meeting. The specific request was that the foundation staff evaluate what kind of assistance the foundation could and should be providing these events. So far they are self-organized by teams within the OpenStack project.
These have been increasing in popularity. The OpenStack wiki lists 12 such events during the Juno development cycle. Some developers involved in cross project efforts attended several events. This increase in travel has resulted in some tension in the community, as well. Some people have legitimate personal reasons for not wanting the additional travel burden. Others mention the increased impact to company travel budgets. Overall, the majority opinion is that the events are incredibly productive and useful.
One of the most insightful outcomes of the discussions about meetups has been that the normal design summit is no longer serving its original purpose well enough. The design summit is supposed to be the time that we sync on project goals. We need to work on improving the design summit so that it better achieves that goal so that the mid-cycle meetups can be primarily focused on working sessions to execute on the plan from the design summit.
There was a thread on the openstack-dev list discussing improvements we can make to the design summit based on mid-cycle meetup feedback.
Foundation Platinum Membership
Jonathan raised a topic about how the foundation and board should fill a platinum sponsor spot that is opening up soon. The discussion was primarily about the process the board should use for handling this.
This may actually be quite interesting to watch. Nebula is stepping down from its platinum sponsor spot. There is a limit of 8 platinum sponsors. This is the first time since the foundation launched that a platinum sponsor spot has been opened. OpenStack has grown an enormous amount since the foundation launched, so it’s reasonable to expect that there will be contention around this spot.
Which companies will apply for the spot? How will the foundation and board handle contention? And ultimately, which company will be the new platinum sponsor of the foundation?
This topic took up the majority of the board meeting and was quite eventful. Early in the discussion there was concern about the uncertainty caused by the length of the process so far. There seemed to be general agreement that this is a real concern. Naturally, the conversation proceeded to how to move forward.
The goal of DefCore has been around defining a single minimal definition to support the single OpenStack Powered trademark program. The most important outcome from this discussion was that the board consensus seemed to be that this is causing far too much contention and that the DefCore committee should work with the foundation to propose a small set of trademark programs instead of trying to have a single one that covered all cases.
There were a couple of different angles discussed on creating additional trademark programs. The first is about functionality. So far, everything has been included in one program. There was discussion of separate compute, storage, and networking trademark programs, for example.
Another angle that seemed quite likely based on the discussion was having OpenStack powered vs. OpenStack compatible trademark programs. An OpenStack compatible program would only focus on compatibility with capabilities. The OpenStack powered trademarks would include both capabilities and required code (designated sections). The nice thing about this angle is that it would allow the board to press forward on the compatibility marks in support of the goal of interoperability, without getting held up by the debate around designated sections.
For more information on this, follow the ongoing discussion on the defcore-committee mailing list.
Next Board Meeting
The next OpenStack board meeting will be Nov. 2, 2014 in Paris, just before the OpenStack Summit. There may also be an additional board meeting to continue the DefCore discussion. Watch the foundation list for any news on additional meetings.