[OpenStack Foundation] Self-governing meritocracy

Jay Pipes jaypipes at gmail.com
Fri Jan 13 18:32:12 UTC 2012

On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM, Mark McLoughlin <markmc at redhat.com> wrote:
> Hey,
> One of the things I raised on the previous thread was whether we could
> enshrine the principle of "OpenStack is a self-governing meritocracy" on
> the mission statement.
> Maybe the lack of replies on that means that everyone agrees and this is
> part of the consensus Jonathan mentioned. It be good to hear that
> though :)

No disagreement from me. I think it is supremely important to enshrine
the value of a meritocracy in the foundation's charter. Paretly

> Related to this, I've quoted some the bits from the Apache and GNOME
> Foundations' blurbs that I really like.
> There are a couple of pieces of language in the discussion about the
> Foundation that I think are very different in tone from the bits I
> quoted and I'm not sure that's intentional, so I thought I'd mention it.
>  - "business friendly" - this *is* important and OpenStack *has* done
>    well on this front so far. Each time it was mentioned in the
>    webinar it as accompanied by well articulated reasons why this is
>    important and how to ensure the goal is met.
>    However, I'd be cautious about putting it front and centre too much
>    in the language of the foundation mission as I think it
>    de-emphasises the importance of individuals (affiliated or not)
>    contributing (in the broadest sense) to OpenStack as opposed to
>    the companies contributing.
>    Even though many of the individuals contributing are employees of
>    companies investing in OpenStack (as is the case for GNOME and
>    Apache), I think the emphasis in the governance and mission of the
>    foundation should be on individuals.


I'd also add that a number of individual contributors to OpenStack
have (and will) work for more than one company in the OpenStack
ecosystem. Just because an individual changes his or her employer
doesn't necessarily mean that the individual won't be driving the same
types of contribution to OpenStack or that the individual's
contributions should be considered more or less depending on which
company they happen to work for. IMHO, it is the quality of the
contribution and the impact the contribution makes that should speak
louder than any company affiliation.

>  - "the foundation co-ordinates resources" - the point being made here
>    is important too. This legal entity isn't going to employ or
>    closely manage a phalanx of developers etc. to do the work of the
>    project. Nor will it own a bunch of hardware etc. Those "resources"
>    will continue to be contributed by companies or individuals
>    investing in the project.
>    However, this really makes it sound like the foundation is separate
>    from the individuals (the "resources"). The blurbs below talk more
>    about the individuals making up the foundation. We are the
>    foundation. So, the foundation is doing more than co-ordinating.
>    Through its membership, the foundation *is* in fact doing the work
>    of the project.

Well said.


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