[OpenStack Foundation] Technical committee

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Tue Feb 21 11:30:49 UTC 2012

Andrew Clay Shafer wrote:
>     == Mission ==
>     The Technical Committee (TC) is tasked with providing the technical
>     leadership for the OpenStack project. It enforces OpenStack core
>     projects ideals (Openness, Transparency, Commonality, Integration,
>     Respect of release deadlines, Facilitation of downstream distribution
>     [0]), decides on issues affecting multiple projects, and generally forms
>     an ultimate appeals board for technical decisions.
> I'm unclear on the responsibilities and the mandate of the TC under the
> draft structure, but this is nice first pass.
> I feel the word 'Quality' is conspicuously missing from the mission
> statement.
> I also personally think release deadlines should not be an OpenStack
> project ideal and certainly not one to be prioritized over quality.

These objectives comes from a current PPB document
(http://wiki.openstack.org/ProjectTypes). I agree that Quality should
definitely be in that list :)

>     == Motions ==
>     Before being put to a vote, motions presented before the TC should be
>     discussed publicly on the mailing-list[2] for a minimum of 5 days to
>     give a chance to the wider community to express their opinion. Members
>     can vote positively, negatively, or abstain. Decisions need more
>     positive votes than negative votes, and a minimum of 3 positive votes.
> 3 votes seems low on a committee with 9, but assuming every member is
> required for every vote, it's probably not an issue.

The idea is to avoid a motion passing with 1 positive and 5 abstentions.
Maybe 4 is a more reasonable minimum.

> what happens with 3 positive, 3 negative and 3 abstentions? 

You need more positive than negative votes... so that wouldn't pass.

>     == Election ==
>     The TC is renewed every 6 months using staggered elections: 5 seats are
>     renewed every 6 months. People ranking 1st to 4th get elected for a
>     one-year term. The 5th person gets elected for a 6-month term. People
>     ranking after 6th are retained as potential substitute members (see
>     "Revocation").
> So 8 of 9 seats are for 1 year?


> Who is eligible for this position?

Any technical member of the foundation (more on that in my discussion
with Joe Heck in the thread)

> Does it make sense to have every representative on this committee be
> from a general pool of eligible candidates?
> I propose there might be benefit to basing eligibility for the committee
> based on representative constituencies, at least for some subset of the
> seats.

Could you expand on that ?

>     == Revocation ==
>     TC members are expected to be available and participate to weekly
>     meetings. If a particular TC member misses 3 of the last 5 called
>     meetings, he should automatically be revoked. He would be replaced by
>     the top substitute (person ranking 6th and after in previous election).
>     Even when replacing someone elected for 1 year, the substitute inherits
>     from the shortest term; the highest ranking elected person inherits from
>     the potential longer term[4].
> Seems like there would be other ways to lose the seat and I think 3 of 5
> meetings seems arbitrary. Can a meeting be attended by proxy? Can a
> member write in the vote on an issue? Assuming people have other roles
> and responsibilities, everyone is a double booked meeting, an illness
> and an accident away from revocation. I think this should be tempered
> with some understanding of circumstances and revocation should only
> apply in the case where there is an obvious dereliction of duty or loss
> of capacity to fulfill the role.

In every organization I've been in, whenever revocation had to be
confirmed by a committee, there were no revocation happening. I want TC
members to be available for their role. If someone's agenda is too full
to commit to it, they should probably reconsider running for election.

Maybe having the ability to designate a proxy to substitute for you
would efficiently limit the arbitrary aspect. I don't think we should
allow write-in votes, since everything is in the discussion that happens
just before the vote.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)
Release Manager, OpenStack

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