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[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative

 

 

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mark.collier at rackspace

Mar 9, 2012, 4:56 PM

Post #1 of 23 (1447 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative

I'm all for face to face meet ups, and love that so many people have offered to hop on a plane to meet in the next week. Let's do it.

However, I would say that this very list is, in fact, an open discussion that we're having right now regrading the proposals posted openly on the wiki :) I did noticed that your note was posted to the openstack mailing list -- Perhaps you aren't aware of the Foundation mailing list and have missed the discussion there? Foundation at lists.openstack.org

We've also had a couple of online meetings and have 2 more planned for next week. And if there is another forum we should add, let's do that too.



From: "William L. Franklin" <wlf [at] cloudscaling<mailto:wlf [at] cloudscaling>>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 15:04:20 -0800
To: <openstack at lists.launchpad.net<mailto:openstack at lists.launchpad.net>>
Subject: Re: [Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative

Josh et al:

Cloudscaling agrees that we need an open dialog about the formation of the foundation. Save the one open meetup during CloudConnect in early February I am unaware of any other open discussions.

Please read
http://www.cloudscaling.com/blog/cloud-computing/open-communities-deserve-open-communication/

Bill Franklin
VP of Engineering
Cloudscaling


On 3/9/12 11:38 AM, Joshua McKenty wrote:
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a diplomatic person. When we were launching OpenStack, this was a bit of an advantage (if we had waited for permission before releasing the Nova source code, we'd still be waiting) - but since the first summit, the community has grown so quickly, and become so diverse, that I have tried to leave discussions of governance, foundation structure, dispute resolution, and most particularly monetary corporate contributions, to others with more... tact.

But now I feel I have no choice but to speak up; I'm deeply concerned.

The biggest, splashiest openstack stories of the past two years have all had the names of huge, multi-national corporations in them - names like IBM, AT&T, Dell, HP, and CISCO. And while their participation has been tremendously positive for the project (with Quantum and Crowbar standing as examples of this), I see things trending in a direction that makes me nervous for the smaller players - for the startups who will live or die on the strength of the OpenStack project. Like Piston Cloud.

The current official proposal for the foundation creates a new class of super-members - with a sticker price of $2.5M (due up front) that puts it out of reach of all but a small handful of organizations.

This is not a new idea - it was the first structural proposal for the foundation that I heard from the organizing team, and I have argued against it (at times seemingly successfully) continuously since last fall.

I understand why it is appealing; it creates a small and manageable board of directors, with a large pool of resources, who shouldn't have too much trouble guiding and directing the outcomes of OpenStack. But it's not a structure that represents or embodies the principles that OpenStack was founded upon, and I think that while it may offer some short-term benefits, it may be damaging to the long-term health of the project because it strangles the ecosystem of contributing companies we've worked so hard to create.

The "right" structure is a much harder thing to organize:
- It recognizes and requires project contribution (code, tests, docs, bugs and evangelism) along with cash
- It has a single class of corporate member, a level playing field
- It has room for non-corporate members in the meaningful governance bodies (not tucked away in 'advisory' boards)
- It aggressively and publicly resolves the conflict-of-interest between the 'company hat' and the 'project hat'

My understanding of the key challenges of this foundation board are the following:
- Keep it small enough to be manageable (21 directors or less)
- Supply enough funding to carry on with most of the current project support activities
- Ensure representation of the diversity of the OpenStack community
- Provide a mechanism for "industry luminaries" as well as OpenStack users and consumers to provide input and feedback

The target budget of the Foundation is around $3M per year. Without getting into a discussion about whether that's reasonable or not, I'd like to brainstorm how we could reach that goal in a way that better reflects our goals for an open and democratic community. How's this for a proposal:

- One class of corporate member
- Provide reasonable evidence of 2 FTE (full time equivalents) working on OpenStack in some capacity
- Commit to 2 years of sponsorship, on an evergreen basis, but paid annually
- Individual members, if there are any, cannot be employed by a corporate member

My rough calculation, having a reasonably good grasp of the interests and level of engagement of the various corporations in the OpenStack ecosystem, is that we could expect around 15 of the 150 companies involved to meet these requirements. $3M divided by 15 = $200,000.

It's a high playing field, but at least it's a level one. It doesn't change the structure or composition of the technical committee, and it doesn't limit the ability of the foundation to raise money in other ways (sell sponsorships for events, charge admission for conferences, even license the use of the trademark for training or certification).

If we have a simple pay-to-play model, then we can trust market economics and enforce transparency of spending. If we have a simple "meritocracy", then we can expect the most skilled and dedicated to rise to the top, provided we're extremely careful about how we measure skill and dedication. If we blend the two, I'm deeply concerned that we'll see the worst of both systems play out over time - the selfishness of market-driven economics dominating our decisions with the petulant moralism of the meritocracy. Hoping for any other outcome is, in my opinion, foolish optimism.

At the core of OpenStack is the idea that a single project could address the needs of ALL of our organizations - large, small, producers, consumers, non-profits and tool makers. We need to guard that vision, and protect it from our best intentions. No one in the community, whether individual contributor or corporate sponsor, can claim to speak for (or even understand the perspective of) the majority of us. We're simply too numerous, and too diverse. If you believe, as I do, that *your* company should have a stake in OpenStack's future, then now is the time to speak up in favor of the level playing field we originally set out to create.

With (attempted) diplomacy,

Joshua

--
Joshua McKenty
Co-Founder, OpenStack
CEO, Piston Cloud Computing, Inc.
w: (650) 24-CLOUD
m: (650) 283-6846
http://www.pistoncloud.com

"Oh, Westley, we'll never survive!"
"Nonsense. You're only saying that because no one ever has."




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jaypipes at gmail

Mar 9, 2012, 5:08 PM

Post #2 of 23 (1401 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On 03/09/2012 06:56 PM, Mark Collier wrote:
> I'm all for face to face meet ups, and love that so many people have
> offered to hop on a plane to meet in the next week. Let's do it.
>
> However, I would say that this very list is, in fact, an open discussion
> that we're having right now regrading the proposals posted openly on the
> wiki :) I did noticed that your note was posted to the openstack mailing
> list -- Perhaps you aren't aware of the Foundation mailing list and have
> missed the discussion there? Foundation at lists.openstack.org

++

I'm all for open discussions.

From a personal perspective, I maintain that a company's influence in
the OpenStack sphere from the very start of the OpenStack project has
been directly proportional to that company's contribution -- in code and
operational expertise -- to the project. If a company wants more
influence in the OpenStack ecosystem, there is a tried and true method
of obtaining it: increase the amount of contribution the company makes
to the project.

-jay


wdamarillo at morphlabs

Mar 12, 2012, 1:10 PM

Post #3 of 23 (1394 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

I think its important to take a 10-20 year view of the OpenStack Foundation.

FWIW -- I was a part of the Eclipse membership planning committee ~5 years ago when we decided to improve the membership model. Below is the structural output of the process. I thought it went well and in hindsight, a few more improvements can be added

- Strategic Board - This stayed "Pay to Play" but was socialized so that small companies like myself can join. It ranged from 250K (Oracle) top tier .. 25K (newco) lowest tier. 8 FTE commitment was a hard rule
- Sustaining Member companies (Paid something minimal) run for board seats among the peer group.
- Committers - ran for board seats and elected from Individual participants of the project.

We ended up with too many board members (due to legacy issues) IMHO but I think that the model generally worked. As a small company board member, I thought my voice and vote was equal that of big guys (IBM / Intel). And the membership believed that we have a decent balance of voice between commercial interest (sustaining members voted by peers) and active community members (voted via meritocracy)

With the benefit of that experience - this is my suggestion for OpenStack Foundation structure. Similar layering of board composition with some tweaks :

Foundation Board Members - For any pure non profit perspective sometimes "pay to play" is NECESSARY (and not always EVIL). The foundation is more viable if its long term financial security is assured. This can come from a few LARGE donors as long as the bar is set high and the influence is properly calibrated (i.e - don't drive project level decisions) .. Lets get the money but not sell the charter.

Strategic Board Members - Should be the core of OpenStack board- similar to the sustaining members. This must be very inclusive (meaning cheap join) to as many members as possible and MAJORITY (or at least more than the foundation members) of the board members come from this group on an annual mandate. I would suggest that the initial founders (i.e Chris, Jonathan, Joshua ?etc. ) seed this group and grow it slowly annually.

Community Leaders - Individuals coming from the (code+doc+test) contributors - voted by peers and maybe as many as Strategics ? depending on our view of commercial to coder balance.

My company is benefiting greatly from the work that everyone has put into OpenStack. I am looking forward to its long term prospects. Hope this helps.

Winston

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jaypipes at gmail

Mar 13, 2012, 5:24 AM

Post #4 of 23 (1390 views)
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[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On 03/12/2012 09:38 PM, yoyochiang at itri.org.tw wrote:
> Just a thought? since you mentioned ?parliamentary structure?, how about
> a ?congress-like? structure which owns by two houses ? one (Senate-like)
> represents the interests of commercial companies (tiered corporate
> seats) and the other one (House of Representatives-like) represents the
> interests of development community (user seats, dev seats). Any policy
> could be proposed within each house but has to get approval by the other
> house. Each house could have the same seats (around 9~12) or maybe we
> can offer more corporate seats to get more funds but it still can be
> constrained and balanced by the other house no matter how many seats it is.
>
> Too complicated or not??

I like the idea of having one side balance out the power of the other.
Though, there is of course the danger of becoming like the US Congress
-- getting absolutely nothing done! :)

Jokes aside, I really do like the idea of formalizing the process of
proposals for the business side of the foundation -- and having the
different subgroups of the board be able to balance each other out. Of
course, you will need to put rules in place by which "approval" is given
for a proposed policy change. Is it simple majority of each subgroup?
Supermajority for some things? etc...

-jay


jimjag at gmail

Mar 13, 2012, 6:42 AM

Post #5 of 23 (1391 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

Has it ever been considered to actually move to a *pre-existing*
foundation, one in which already has a proven track record and all
these various questions and issues solved already??


jimjag at gmail

Mar 13, 2012, 7:50 AM

Post #6 of 23 (1395 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM, Gil Yehuda <gyehuda at yahoo-inc.com> wrote:
>
> Instead it appears to me that the primary issue driving the creation of a net-new foundation instead of using an existing one is that the existing ones would not provide the marketing and branding emphasis that the vendor participants are looking for in order to help fuel their commercial success. ?Now, I'm all for that commercial success (even though the company I work for is not in the category of those vendors who plan on selling stuff here). ?Make money, it's Ok. ?But the way I see it, if that is really the need for the new organization, then perhaps, the community should simply focus on that part of the need -- a marketing-oriented trade association that is composed of the vendors, who promote conferences, business pacts, and various other promotional activities. ?While the rest of us create great software using a well-know open source community model -- e.g. under the "Apache way", or Eclipse, or the Linux Foundation -- or whatever. ?Let's not try to create something new, unless we can look at it and say "wow, that was really better."
>
> For me, this would help the group focus their money and attention on the marketing needs (should they see value there), and leverage the technical process and

It's sad that in this day and age, there are still entities that try
to put the cart before the horse.

If you get the open source part right, with a vibrant, healthy
community, then very little marketing/branding is needed to
commercialize it.

If, instead, one focuses on the commercialization aspects, then the
open source part will suffer and no amount of "branding" will make it
better... It would be like putting lipstick on a pig. Which is good, I
guess, if you sell pig lipstick....


jimjag at gmail

Mar 14, 2012, 11:45 AM

Post #7 of 23 (1388 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

It's simply a matter of the foundation itself being of prime
consideration, and the resulting code being secondary...

And so we'll see another potential successful open source "project"
drowned by the corporate demands of its governing foundation... it's
the tail wagging the dog.

Believe it or not, a foundation can be successful without lots of paid
staff and gobs of money...

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM, Gil Yehuda <gyehuda at yahoo-inc.com> wrote:
> Instead it appears to me that the primary issue driving the creation of a net-new foundation instead of using an existing one is that the existing ones would not provide the marketing and branding emphasis that the vendor participants are looking for in order to help fuel their commercial success. ?Now, I'm all for that commercial success (even though the company I work for is not in the category of those vendors who plan on selling stuff here). ?Make money, it's Ok. ?But the way I see it, if that is really the need for the new organization, then perhaps, the community should simply focus on that part of the need -- a marketing-oriented trade association that is composed of the vendors, who promote conferences, business pacts, and various other promotional activities. ?While the rest of us create great software using a well-know open source community model -- e.g. under the "Apache way", or Eclipse, or the Linux Foundation -- or whatever. ?Let's not try to create something new, unless we can look at it and say "wow, that was really better."
>
>
> Gil Yehuda
> Director of Open Source and Open Standards at Yahoo! Inc.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: foundation-bounces at lists.openstack.org [mailto:foundation-bounces at lists.openstack.org] On Behalf Of Jim Jagielski
> Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:43 AM
> To: Jay Pipes
> Cc: foundation at lists.openstack.org
> Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] [Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative
>
> Has it ever been considered to actually move to a *pre-existing* foundation, one in which already has a proven track record and all these various questions and issues solved already??
>


jimjag at gmail

Mar 14, 2012, 12:15 PM

Post #8 of 23 (1396 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

Foundations should exist to service the code and the
committer/developer. It should serve as a level, even playing ground
for the entire range of developer, from the weekend volunteer-coder
(with the passion in his heart for OpenStack) to the pay-for-hire
developer who couldn't care less what they are coding on as long as
he/she gets paid to the Big Company who wants to control the direction
of the projects. Instead, it appears to be a pay-for-play, and
"foundation" in name only.

Yeah, I admit I'm biased. But I'd hate to see OpenStack make a
mistake. One of the best things it did was to get out from underneath
the shackles of RackSpace, but now it seems destined to exist
underneath the shackles of The Foundation... how does this transition
really help things? Why not call it what it really is, a Consortium.

On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM, nearyd at gmail.com
<dave at neary-consulting.com> wrote:
> Hi Jim,
>
> If there weren't already a set of diverse community projects, I'd agree with you, but in this case the foundation is very clearly being set up to be of service to the communities around OpenStack, including vendors, so I don'tshare your pessimism.
>
> Cheers,
> Dave.
>
> "Jim Jagielski" <jimjag at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>It's simply a matter of the foundation itself being of prime
>>consideration, and the resulting code being secondary...
>>
>>And so we'll see another potential successful open source "project"
>>drowned by the corporate demands of its governing foundation... it's
>>the tail wagging the dog.
>>
>>Believe it or not, a foundation can be successful without lots of paid
>>staff and gobs of money...
>>
>>On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM, Gil Yehuda <gyehuda at yahoo-inc.com>
>>wrote:
>>> Instead it appears to me that the primary issue driving the creation
>>of a net-new foundation instead of using an existing one is that the
>>existing ones would not provide the marketing and branding emphasis
>>that the vendor participants are looking for in order to help fuel
>>their commercial success. ?Now, I'm all for that commercial success
>>(even though the company I work for is not in the category of those
>>vendors who plan on selling stuff here). ?Make money, it's Ok. ?But the
>>way I see it, if that is really the need for the new organization, then
>>perhaps, the community should simply focus on that part of the need --
>>a marketing-oriented trade association that is composed of the vendors,
>>who promote conferences, business pacts, and various other promotional
>>activities. ?While the rest of us create great software using a
>>well-know open source community model -- e.g. under the "Apache way",
>>or Eclipse, or the Linux Foundation -- or whatever. ?Let's not try to
>>create something new, unless we can look at it and say "wow, that was
>>really better."
>>>
>>>
>>> Gil Yehuda
>>> Director of Open Source and Open Standards at Yahoo! Inc.
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: foundation-bounces at lists.openstack.org
>>[mailto:foundation-bounces at lists.openstack.org] On Behalf Of Jim
>>Jagielski
>>> Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:43 AM
>>> To: Jay Pipes
>>> Cc: foundation at lists.openstack.org
>>> Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] [Openstack] Foundation Structure:
>>An Alternative
>>>
>>> Has it ever been considered to actually move to a *pre-existing*
>>foundation, one in which already has a proven track record and all
>>these various questions and issues solved already??
>>>
>>_______________________________________________
>>Foundation mailing list
>>Foundation at lists.openstack.org
>>http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation
>
> --
> Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.


stefano at openstack

Mar 14, 2012, 12:33 PM

Post #9 of 23 (1396 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Wed, 2012-03-14 at 15:15 -0400, Jim Jagielski wrote:
> Foundations should exist to service the code and the
> committer/developer.

I think you're forgetting to put users in the pictures, both existing
ones and the ones that should/could become users. Code and developers
developing in vacuum don't go anywhere. Some would argue that putting
users immediately in the picture was one of the reasons of OpenStack
success.

> Yeah, I admit I'm biased. But I'd hate to see OpenStack make a
> mistake. One of the best things it did was to get out from underneath
> the shackles of RackSpace,

What do you see that Rackspace does that qualifies as 'shackles'? Lets
be specific here because if something needs to be fixing it's better to
identify it now and propose solutions.

Thanks
/stef


jimjag at gmail

Mar 16, 2012, 6:09 AM

Post #10 of 23 (1388 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 3:33 PM, Stefano Maffulli <stefano at openstack.org> wrote:
> On Wed, 2012-03-14 at 15:15 -0400, Jim Jagielski wrote:
>> Foundations should exist to service the code and the
>> committer/developer.
>
> I think you're forgetting to put users in the pictures, both existing
> ones and the ones that should/could become users. Code and developers
> developing in vacuum don't go anywhere. Some would argue that putting
> users immediately in the picture was one of the reasons of OpenStack
> success.
>
>> Yeah, I admit I'm biased. But I'd hate to see OpenStack make a
>> mistake. One of the best things it did was to get out from underneath
>> the shackles of RackSpace,
>
> What do you see that Rackspace does that qualifies as 'shackles'? Lets
> be specific here because if something needs to be fixing it's better to
> identify it now and propose solutions.
>

Not does, but *did*.

A true open source community cannot survive if its not on a level
field; any entity "more equal than others" has an undue advantage. And
even if they don't take advantage of it, what happens when they get
bought out by someone? That entity may have no compunction about using
their leveraged position to force things in whatever direction they
want. One does not have to look far to find examples in various FOSS
spaces where this has occurred... and when the open source projects
become prime revenue sources, the incentive to use that advantage
becomes greater and greater, and the ability of the "less equals" to
buck that grows weaker and weaker.

It's not commoditization of open source that creates problems, but
rather the unfair, unbalanced commoditization thereof.


jimjag at gmail

Mar 16, 2012, 6:10 AM

Post #11 of 23 (1391 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Stefano Maffulli <stefano at openstack.org> wrote:
> On Wed, 2012-03-14 at 15:50 -0400, Jim Jagielski wrote:
>> A true open source community cannot survive if its not on a level
>> field; any entity "more equal than others" has an undue advantage.
>
> AFAIK Rackspace only owns the trademark. The code is owned by the
> author, just like Apache. I don't see much advantage there, especially
> for the past when the mark had near to zero value.
>
>> And
>> even if they don't take advantage of it, what happens when they get
>> bought out by someone?
>
> That hasn't happened yet. And setting up the foundation to manage the
> trademark is a step to minimize this risk.
>
> Do you see something I don't see here?
> .stef
>

Just an overriding desire, it seems, to favor big-name players, with
deep pockets, over a real community; the desire to start *big*, and
get bigger; the desire to see how much money can be pulled in, and not
so much where that money goes or how it ultimately helps the
*community* instead of the *foundation*.

OpenStack will turn into a business consortium made up of large,
well-financed companies, who will determine the course and direction
of the so-called "open source projects" and unless you're able to pay
up, smaller players will simply have to take what they are given. And
the only personal incentive developers will have to work on the code
will be their bonuses and payments.

Open source communities are built around passion for the code, not
passion for the foundation (or its income).


thierry at openstack

Mar 16, 2012, 6:22 AM

Post #12 of 23 (1394 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

Jim Jagielski wrote:
> OpenStack will turn into a business consortium made up of large,
> well-financed companies, who will determine the course and direction
> of the so-called "open source projects" and unless you're able to pay

I think you're overestimating the power of the Foundation board of
directors over the "open source projects". The current proposal sets up
a separate and independent technical committee, which I'm trying to make
sure is fully elected on a one contributor = one vote basis. Each
project is lead by a technical lead that is elected on a one author =
one vote basis. Those groups very much set the course and direction for
the projects.

So the technical direction of OpenStack as a whole, and the technical
direction of each project, is very much *not* pay-to-play. It's
participate-to-play.

--
Thierry Carrez (ttx)
Project Policy Board elected member
Release Manager, OpenStack


jimjag at gmail

Mar 16, 2012, 6:58 AM

Post #13 of 23 (1391 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:
> Jim Jagielski wrote:
>> OpenStack will turn into a business consortium made up of large,
>> well-financed companies, who will determine the course and direction
>> of the so-called "open source projects" and unless you're able to pay
>
> I think you're overestimating the power of the Foundation board of
> directors over the "open source projects". The current proposal sets up
> a separate and independent technical committee, which I'm trying to make
> sure is fully elected on a one contributor = one vote basis. Each
> project is lead by a technical lead that is elected on a one author =
> one vote basis. Those groups very much set the course and direction for
> the projects.
>
> So the technical direction of OpenStack as a whole, and the technical
> direction of each project, is very much *not* pay-to-play. It's
> participate-to-play.
>

Then what does the foundation board get out of it...?

What's wrong with making the tech-cmmt the actual board, and the
proposed foundation board simply "sponsors"?
Or "benefactors"?


thierry at openstack

Mar 16, 2012, 7:13 AM

Post #14 of 23 (1393 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

Jim Jagielski wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:
>> Jim Jagielski wrote:
>>> OpenStack will turn into a business consortium made up of large,
>>> well-financed companies, who will determine the course and direction
>>> of the so-called "open source projects" and unless you're able to pay
>>
>> I think you're overestimating the power of the Foundation board of
>> directors over the "open source projects". The current proposal sets up
>> a separate and independent technical committee, which I'm trying to make
>> sure is fully elected on a one contributor = one vote basis. Each
>> project is lead by a technical lead that is elected on a one author =
>> one vote basis. Those groups very much set the course and direction for
>> the projects.
>>
>> So the technical direction of OpenStack as a whole, and the technical
>> direction of each project, is very much *not* pay-to-play. It's
>> participate-to-play.
>
> Then what does the foundation board get out of it...?

Ask them :) Here is how I see it... The foundation board is about
achieving the Foundation mission, including facilitation of development,
community building, events org, protection of trademark etc. It's fair
that the companies funding that effort get to participate in the
decisions on how the money is spent. They are also empowered to take
care of stuff the contributors generally don't like to spend time on,
like legal issues, trademark issues, etc.

> What's wrong with making the tech-cmmt the actual board, and the
> proposed foundation board simply "sponsors"?
> Or "benefactors"?

Why not. But if it's just a question of wording, I'm not opposed to use
shiny words if that makes it more attractive on first look to sponsors :)

--
Thierry Carrez (ttx)
Release Manager, OpenStack


doug.hellmann at dreamhost

Mar 16, 2012, 7:16 AM

Post #15 of 23 (1386 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM, Jim Jagielski <jimjag at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org>
> wrote:
> > Jim Jagielski wrote:
> >> OpenStack will turn into a business consortium made up of large,
> >> well-financed companies, who will determine the course and direction
> >> of the so-called "open source projects" and unless you're able to pay
> >
> > I think you're overestimating the power of the Foundation board of
> > directors over the "open source projects". The current proposal sets up
> > a separate and independent technical committee, which I'm trying to make
> > sure is fully elected on a one contributor = one vote basis. Each
> > project is lead by a technical lead that is elected on a one author =
> > one vote basis. Those groups very much set the course and direction for
> > the projects.
> >
> > So the technical direction of OpenStack as a whole, and the technical
> > direction of each project, is very much *not* pay-to-play. It's
> > participate-to-play.
> >
>
> Then what does the foundation board get out of it...?
>
> What's wrong with making the tech-cmmt the actual board, and the
> proposed foundation board simply "sponsors"?
> Or "benefactors"?


There are a lot of different ways to contribute to a big project like this.
Over at the PSF we have found it very useful to have a separate foundation
and board made up of people from the community who have an interest in
supporting the general python community in ways that go beyond writing
code. The skills (and interests) needed to organize events such as hack
days, meetups, and conferences and especially deal with subjects like
copyright and trademark enforcement do not overlap 100% with the skills
(and interests) of the core developers. The PSF, and its board, provide a
focus for soliciting and receiving contributions of all sorts from
*everyone* in the Python community. I would expect the OpenStack Foundation
to serve a similar purpose in this community.

Doug
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markmc at redhat

Mar 16, 2012, 7:31 AM

Post #16 of 23 (1392 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

Hi Jim,

On Fri, 2012-03-16 at 09:10 -0400, Jim Jagielski wrote:

> Just an overriding desire, it seems, to favor big-name players, with
> deep pockets, over a real community; the desire to start *big*, and
> get bigger; the desire to see how much money can be pulled in, and not
> so much where that money goes or how it ultimately helps the
> *community* instead of the *foundation*.
>
> OpenStack will turn into a business consortium made up of large,
> well-financed companies, who will determine the course and direction
> of the so-called "open source projects" and unless you're able to pay
> up, smaller players will simply have to take what they are given. And
> the only personal incentive developers will have to work on the code
> will be their bonuses and payments.
>
> Open source communities are built around passion for the code, not
> passion for the foundation (or its income).

I admit to sharing your uneasiness about the emphasis of the foundation
on the corporate players, fund-raising and the lack of emphasis on
members of the community as individuals with a shared passion for the
project.

However, there's a bunch of detail that greatly mitigates those
concerns:

- The OpenStack Foundation is more akin to the Linux Foundation than
e.g. the Apache Foundation. It's about bringing the corporate
players together and raising funds to "promote and protect" the
project.

- Continuing the Linux Foundation analogy, there is a strong desire
for the project itself to have almost as much independence from the
Foundation as the Linux project has from the Linux Foundation. This
is what the "empower" part of the Foundation's mission is about.

I say *almost* because, unlike Linux, the Foundation holds the
trademark and the Foundation Board has some ability to control the
project by e.g. defining the scope of the project to limit the
Technical Board's ability to approve new projects. Unlike Linux,
the project governance is ultimately subordinate to the Foundation
Board.

- As Thierry says, the Technical Board should be fully elected and
all members of that board will be expected to represent the project
rather than their employer.

My strawman foundation structure[1] was all about making the corporate
representation subordinate to the meritocratic project governance. I
think the concern with taking that approach is that it will limit the
amount of cash that can be raised to help the project and continue its
marketing/evangelism success to date.

If we go with the approach of keeping project and the corporate
consortium separated, I'd love to see us go the whole hog and build the
kind of separation that Linux has. One way of doing that would be to
create two organizations - the OpenStack Consortium and the OpenStack
Foundation. The latter would govern the project using a meritocratic
structure and hold the trademark. The former would bring the corporate
players together, advise the project on strategy, evangelise the
project, provide resources to the project and protect the trademark.
There would be a symbiotic relationship between the two organizations.

Yet another alternative would be to create the OpenStack Consortium,
move the project to an existing Foundation and build that same symbiotic
relationship between the two organizations.

Cheers,
Mark.

[1] - http://wiki.openstack.org/StrawmanFoundationStructur


jimjag at gmail

Mar 16, 2012, 7:32 AM

Post #17 of 23 (1393 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 10:13 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:
> Jim Jagielski wrote:
>>
>> Then what does the foundation board get out of it...?
>
> Ask them :)

Well hopefully *somebody* has!


jimjag at gmail

Mar 16, 2012, 7:39 AM

Post #18 of 23 (1392 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Mark McLoughlin <markmc at redhat.com> wrote:

>
> ?- The OpenStack Foundation is more akin to the Linux Foundation than
> ? ?e.g. the Apache Foundation. It's about bringing the corporate
> ? ?players together and raising funds to "promote and protect" the
> ? ?project.
>

Well, using the ASF as an example, history has shown that the
community itself is able to do that well enough on its own, without
the juggling and concerns when corp. entities have a say in it.

> ?- Continuing the Linux Foundation analogy, there is a strong desire
> ? ?for the project itself to have almost as much independence from the
> ? ?Foundation as the Linux project has from the Linux Foundation. This
> ? ?is what the "empower" part of the Foundation's mission is about.
>
> ? ?I say *almost* because, unlike Linux, the Foundation holds the
> ? ?trademark and the Foundation Board has some ability to control the
> ? ?project by e.g. defining the scope of the project to limit the
> ? ?Technical Board's ability to approve new projects. Unlike Linux,
> ? ?the project governance is ultimately subordinate to the Foundation
> ? ?Board.
>

And that doesn't strike fear in people's hearts?

Make no mistake: If a company is able to control or direct an open
source project to increase its own revenues, it will take advantage of
that capability. That's why a level playing field, or a complete
"hands-off" policy is crucial.

Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not
from some farcical aquatic ceremony.


mark at openstack

Mar 16, 2012, 7:44 AM

Post #19 of 23 (1389 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

+1


From: Doug Hellmann <doug.hellmann [at] dreamhost>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 10:16:55 -0400
To: Jim Jagielski <jimjag at gmail.com>
Cc: <foundation at lists.openstack.org>
Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] [Openstack] Foundation Structure: An
Alternative



On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM, Jim Jagielski <jimjag at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote:
>> > Jim Jagielski wrote:
>> >
>> > I think you're overestimating the power of the Foundation board of
>> > directors over the "open source projects". The current proposal sets up
>> > a separate and independent technical committee, which I'm trying to make
>> > sure is fully elected on a one contributor = one vote basis. Each
>> > project is lead by a technical lead that is elected on a one author =
>> > one vote basis. Those groups very much set the course and direction for
>> > the projects.
>> >
>> > So the technical direction of OpenStack as a whole, and the technical
>> > direction of each project, is very much *not* pay-to-play. It's
>> > participate-to-play.
>> >
>
> Then what does the foundation board get out of it...?
>
> What's wrong with making the tech-cmmt the actual board, and the
> proposed foundation board simply "sponsors"?
> Or "benefactors"?

There are a lot of different ways to contribute to a big project like this.
Over at the PSF we have found it very useful to have a separate foundation
and board made up of people from the community who have an interest in
supporting the general python community in ways that go beyond writing code.
The skills (and interests) needed to organize events such as hack days,
meetups, and conferences and especially deal with subjects like copyright
and trademark enforcement do not overlap 100% with the skills (and
interests) of the core developers. The PSF, and its board, provide a focus
for soliciting and receiving contributions of all sorts from *everyone* in
the Python community. I would expect the OpenStack Foundation to serve a
similar purpose in this community.

Doug

_______________________________________________ Foundation mailing list
Foundation at lists.openstack.org
http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation

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jimjag at gmail

Mar 16, 2012, 7:55 AM

Post #20 of 23 (1389 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

>
>
> There are a lot of different ways to contribute to a big project like this.
> Over at the PSF we have found it very useful to have a separate foundation
> and board made up of people from the community who have an interest in
> supporting the general python community in ways that go beyond writing code.
> The skills (and interests) needed to organize events such as hack days,
> meetups, and conferences and especially deal with subjects like copyright
> and trademark enforcement do not overlap 100% with the skills (and
> interests) of the core developers. The PSF, and its board, provide a focus
> for soliciting and receiving contributions of all sorts from *everyone* in
> the Python community. I would expect the OpenStack Foundation to serve a
> similar purpose in this community.
>
> Doug
>

As I recall, the bylaws of the Python Foundation were heavily based on
those from the ASF, but with an eye on allowing corporations as
"members"...

But what is crucial with TPF is that the board is derived from the
community and the members... the control and direction still is
derived from the community.


doug.hellmann at dreamhost

Mar 16, 2012, 8:06 AM

Post #21 of 23 (1399 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM, Jim Jagielski <jimjag at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> >
> > There are a lot of different ways to contribute to a big project like
> this.
> > Over at the PSF we have found it very useful to have a separate
> foundation
> > and board made up of people from the community who have an interest in
> > supporting the general python community in ways that go beyond writing
> code.
> > The skills (and interests) needed to organize events such as hack days,
> > meetups, and conferences and especially deal with subjects like copyright
> > and trademark enforcement do not overlap 100% with the skills (and
> > interests) of the core developers. The PSF, and its board, provide a
> focus
> > for soliciting and receiving contributions of all sorts from *everyone*
> in
> > the Python community. I would expect the OpenStack Foundation to serve a
> > similar purpose in this community.
> >
> > Doug
> >
>
> As I recall, the bylaws of the Python Foundation were heavily based on
> those from the ASF, but with an eye on allowing corporations as
> "members"...
>

I wasn't involved at the time, but I believe that is correct. For
reference, the current bylaws are available at
http://www.python.org/psf/bylaws/

The tl;dr version: "nominated" members are individuals selected by existing
members and may vote on PSF business, including selecting board members.
"sponsor" members pay to support the foundation and among the benefits they
receive is a single member vote. The PSF has no say over what the
python-dev team does with Python itself, except to the degree that there is
some overlap in membership.


> But what is crucial with TPF is that the board is derived from the
> community and the members... the control and direction still is
> derived from the community.
>

I agree 100%. The technical direction should be set by contributors, and
the foundation and board should support the implementation effort.

Doug
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doug.hellmann at dreamhost

Mar 16, 2012, 8:56 AM

Post #22 of 23 (1394 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

+1

This is a very logical way to make sure all concerns can be addressed.

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM, Gil Yehuda <gyehuda at yahoo-inc.com> wrote:

> Let me make a suggestion. There are many participants here who represent
> a variety of interests, some are in large companies, some in small, some
> academics, some purist technologists, etc. Rackspace perceived and
> articulated the need to create a legal entity because of feedback from the
> community that OpenStack will do better if it is disconnected from one
> vendor. They listened and are in middle of the lengthy and complex process
> of doing this. We should appreciate their investment in this activity.
>
> The community can help. Let's focus on forward progress. We all have
> concerns that we hope the foundation will address. Let's articulate them
> explicitly as risks (in a list, on a wiki). Small vendors might be
> concerned that large vendors could buy their way into influence. Large
> users might be concerned that a block of vendors fork the project and lock
> them into a path toward closed source. Etc. There are all sorts of risks
> that people perceive. Some might be more reasonable than others. But if
> we put it out there in a risk-list then we can, as a community:
>
> 1. weigh each risk by voting on its perceived likelihood multiplied by its
> severity.
> 2. connect each risk with some element of the foundation proposal to
> determine if the risk is being addressed.
> 3. identify those risks that the foundation does not address -- as risks
> we simply have to take in this community.
>
> A risk is not a problem, it is the possibility that a problem could occur.
> So there is nothing accusative about listing a risk. So make the list long
> and inclusive. Once we have a list we can do something about it. In this
> way, the conversation does not backtrack. With a running risk-list we can
> then apply risk-abatement proposals to each risk and we can see which risks
> are considered likely, which severe in their potential impact, which are
> addressed by some abatement strategy, and which remain as risks that we
> accept.
>
> Again, it's a suggestion, you are welcome to take it and use it as you see
> fit. After all, this is not the first time people here have created such
> foundations, so we can certainly leverage processes that have worked in the
> past.
>
>
> gil yehuda
> director of open source and open standards at Yahoo! Inc.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: foundation-bounces at lists.openstack.org [mailto:
> foundation-bounces at lists.openstack.org] On Behalf Of Jim Jagielski
> Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 7:33 AM
> To: Thierry Carrez
> Cc: foundation at lists.openstack.org
> Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] [Openstack] Foundation Structure: An
> Alternative
>
> On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 10:13 AM, Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org>
> wrote:
> > Jim Jagielski wrote:
> >>
> >> Then what does the foundation board get out of it...?
> >
> > Ask them :)
>
> Well hopefully *somebody* has!
> _______________________________________________
> Foundation mailing list
> Foundation at lists.openstack.org
> http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation
> _______________________________________________
> Foundation mailing list
> Foundation at lists.openstack.org
> http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation
>
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justin at fathomdb

Mar 16, 2012, 10:47 AM

Post #23 of 23 (1396 views)
Permalink
[Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative [In reply to]

I think there are incredible similarities here to the drafting of the US
constitution, and I mean that in a positive way. Much wiser men than us
solved a much harder problem, so perhaps we can borrow some of their ideas:

1) There are two voting classes: one in which bigger members have more
power, another in which each member has equal say. Both have to agree, so
neither group can abuse the other.
2) Even this can go wrong, so there is another group who can nullify any
decisions that are contrary to the project ideals.
3) The actual day-to-day work is done by a separate group of people

Justin
(Wearing my "Citizens for a Constitutional OpenStack" hat. If we draft
something based on this notion, maybe Piston can provide suitable costumes.)



On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM, Dave Neary <dave at neary-consulting.com>wrote:

> Hi Gil,
>
>
>
> On 03/16/2012 04:43 PM, Gil Yehuda wrote:
>
>> Let me make a suggestion. There are many participants here who
>>
> > represent a variety of interests, some are in large companies, some in
> > small, some academics, some purist technologists, etc. Rackspace
> > perceived and articulated the need to create a legal entity because of
> > feedback from the community that OpenStack will do better if it is
> > disconnected from one vendor. They listened and are in middle of the
> > lengthy and complex process of doing this. We should appreciate their
> > investment in this activity.
>
>>
>> The community can help. Let's focus on forward progress. We all have
>>
> > concerns that we hope the foundation will address. Let's articulate
> > them explicitly as risks (in a list, on a wiki).
>
> Wise words. I agree that we need to start cataloguing the various concerns
> and risks people have, as well as alternative proposals that have been
> articulated. A logical step after that, IMHO, is for Mark and Jonathan to
> synthesise the results of that into a new draft for the foundation scope
> and relationship with the developer and contributor community.
>
> It definitely feels like the conversation is getting circular at this
> point, with the same points being made multiple times. The time has come to
> condense all that and modify the initial proposal (or go back to the
> drawing board) based on all the feedback.
>
> Cheers,
> Dave.
>
> --
> Dave Neary
> Neary Consulting - http://www.neary-consulting.**com<http://www.neary-consulting.com>
> Tel: +33 982 382 735
> Cell: +33 677 019 213
>
>
> ______________________________**_________________
> Foundation mailing list
> Foundation at lists.openstack.org
> http://lists.openstack.org/**cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/**foundation<http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation>
>
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