[OpenStack Foundation] Strawman Foundation Structure

Dave Neary dneary at gnome.org
Fri Feb 10 17:25:07 UTC 2012

Hi Mark,

Thanks for pointing me at the list! It was fascinating to sit in on the 
developer meeting at FOSDEM and hear the discussions - it brought back 
memories of going through similar thought processes in the past with 
projects like MeeGo and OpenWengo.

On 02/08/2012 08:11 PM, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> Some discussions at FOSDEM prompted me to write up in detail my ideas
> for the ideal foundation structure:
>    http://wiki.openstack.org/StrawmanFoundationStructure
> I've just had a productive conversation with Mark and Jonathan about
> this and I'm glad to see they welcome the input. I was going to
> summarize the main differences of opinion we discussed, but I guess that
> might be an unwelcome pre-emptive disclosure of their ideas.
> Anyway, just another perspective to add to the mix.

One thing I think is important - and which is mentioned in the 
foundation mission statement that Mark posted a while back - is what 
exactly the foundation will do - this will affect the budget required to 
run the foundation, the staff that will need to be hired, and will also 
have an impact on participating members who are already doing those things.

The main things that will be going into the foundation appear to be 
legal affairs, brand management, business/member development, marketing 
and promotion, community management (for want of a better word), project 
infrastructure, and event co-ordination.

The mission statement does mention "Development process and release 
management" and "Meet the needs of real world users by producing great 
software, and fostering their involvement in the community to provide 
feedback and direction" as goals - so clearly there is an intention to 
provide a level playing field, somewhere developers can participate 
without any one party having a controlling influence on the project - 
but I'd encourage the foundation to avoid setting up too much technical 

I think it's better to have the projects governing themselves by the 
people who are doing the work, and providing the leadership on a 
per-project level, rather than adding organisational overhead for 
developers. That's a social issue, rather than something that should be 
part of the foundation process. Although there are definitely things the 
project leaders can do to encourage the growth of a project identity, 
have good technical leadership and a collaborative process for targeting 
new features, and so on.

Some project-wide rules of engagement, agreed by the developer 
community, and of course useful - but I think they're completely 
orthogonal to the foundation discussion, especially if the Technical 
Board is to be a true meritocracy.

Hope these comments are helpful in framing the discussion!


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary at gnome.org
Jabber: nearyd at gmail.com

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