[OpenStack Foundation] Proposals for individual board election

Alan Clark aclark at suse.com
Thu Nov 1 03:05:49 UTC 2012

>>> On 10/31/2012 at 04:12 PM, Ryan Lane <rlane at wikimedia.org> wrote: 
> On Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM, Stefano Maffulli 
> <stefano at openstack.org>wrote:
>> On 10/31/2012 06:21 PM, Carl Trieloff wrote:
>>> Having 600+ alligned votes from a single company entirely violates
>>> the 'Do what is best for the project',
>> Why do you say that? Are the people elected not the best possible
>> people? Have they failed (or why do you think they will fail)
>> representing the interests of Individual Members? Do you believe that
>> some of them will vote for the company before they vote for the project
>> and not do what's best for OpenStack?
> If every large organization did this it would ensure that smaller
> organizations were excluded, even if the smaller organizations provide
> *way* more value to the community. It's an abuse of the system, really. The
> people elected are perfectly capable, but that's not really the point.
>> I think it's worth to repeat that openness and easy access to OpenStack
>> is one of the founding principle of this community. The project at the
>> beginning and the Foundation later has been designed to be very
>> inclusive http://wiki.openstack.org/Open**. The comparisons with other
>> projects/foundations are interesting but we need to keep in mind that
>> OpenStack is very different from all of the existing ones.
> It's possible to be Open without having a very abusable system.
> Wikimedia is very open, but even we have requirements for voting. I think
> they are fairly sane. They basically say you can't be blocked and you must
> be a participant in some kind of way:
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections/2011/en#Requirements
>> While I agree that we should investigate the possibility to use a
>> different election algorithm to increase the chances of electing the
>> best candidates, as discussed before, I don't think we should limit
>> access to the Foundation (at least not until there is proof that openness
>> and easy access is bad for OpenStack).
> I think large organizations having very easy ability to game the system
> (purposely or accidentally) with evidence of this in the last election
> shows that this level of openness is already bad for OpenStack.

Ryan, I would like to respectfully differ with a couple of your points.  First If someone wants to game the system it is irrelevant whether they are part of a large or small company. Every voting model that has been tossed out on the mailing list has the ability to be gamed regardless of whether it is by a small or large company or individual.  By changing the model you only change 'how' the gaming would be done.  I agree with Stefano's assessment, let's not kill one of the founding strengths of our community "before there is proof that openness and easy access is bad for OpenStack".  Am I saying that we should not improve our election system? No.  We simply need to ensure that the changes will give what we want without losing more in return.

Second people keep drawing the conclusion that because person X with a mail address of X at bigcompany.com voted for candidate at bigcompany.com they purposefully gamed the system.  Have we asked them?  My findings are that they simply voted for candidate at bigcompany.com because they knew that person and felt that they would do a great job. Being new to the community they weren't as familiar with the other candidates - particularly candidates from other companies.

A great many people are new to the OpenStack community.  Why did they join?  Because they are excited about the prospects of the community and they are interested in being part of it and in seeing it succeed.   People from all parts of the Cloud ecosystem have joined, and with it a huge variety of talents; coding, marketing, documentation, triage, legal.... The list is long and, that is why it becomes hard to create the definition of a contribution.  What a great problem to have!  It means that OpenStack is maturing and the ecosystem is growing. 

Let's not lose that spark of interest from the new members. Let's put our founding strength at the top of the discussion list and figure out how to help our new members to get to know a greater number of the community, to help them to know how to contribute their talents, and to become integrated into the community. If we do that I am confident that people will naturally vote for the best candidates over company affiliation, with that OpenStack will really succeed!


> - Ryan

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