[OpenStack Foundation] Thinking about the mission of the user committeee

Mark Collier mark at openstack.org
Thu Jan 3 17:26:25 UTC 2013

One idea I discussed with Thierry was to kick off each "topic" within the Design Summit every day with a roundtable to share user pain points or other areas that users might see as priorities going forward.  

IMHO this would be a positive step, and is something we could implement in April.

On Friday, December 28, 2012 11:11am, "Narayan Desai" <narayan.desai at gmail.com> said:

> I originally sent this mail to Tim Bell, on the subject of a document
> that he (and the other members of the user committee) are preparing.
> Tim suggested widening the discussion to this mailing list, so I've
> forwarded the message here. I'm particularly interested in others'
> opinions about the mission of the user committee, and aspects of the
> openstack community culture that this mission reflects.
>  -nld
> =====================
> Hi Tim.
> Thanks for the update on the user committee.
> When Lauren (Sell) originally mentioned the user committee to me, I
> was most excited about the addition of user advocacy into the
> openstack community. From early on in the project (at least back to
> Bexar when I started paying attention), openstack has primarily been a
> developer-focused community. While this culture has been excellent for
> encouraging contribution of code,  I think that this is a tendency
> that needs to be moderated in order for openstack to grow to its full
> potential.
> I have a few comments; these aren't so much comments about the
> document that you're circulating; rather, they speak specifically to
> the mission of the user committee, which is only discussed briefly at
> the end.
> This mission of the user committee should (IMO) flow from a few basic questions:
>  - How do users engage in the community?
>  - How do we incentivize these participants to help fill the current
> gaps that exist in the community?
>  - How do we best integrate the perspectives of users into the design
> process of openstack code?
>  - How can the user committee facilitate a more productive engagement
> between these two parts of the openstack community?
> To the first point, there is often a tone of "patches welcome" in the
> community, that is somewhat unwelcoming to users that can't or won't
> develop code. This suggests that engagement solely on the development
> terms is probably not a sustainable solution for the heterogenous
> community that is developing around openstack. I think that it is
> important to give these folks (ones that build systems, not so much
> software) a role that they can identify with as a contributor to the
> project.
> I think that there are a large range of gaps between the coding and
> deployments today. Openstack supports a wide enough range of functions
> (and IMO it is necessary, not incidental complexity) that it is
> difficult to boil down to simple configurations. I think this poses a
> serious difficulty for both documentation and testing. These issues
> have been discussed at length, but make me wonder if a different
> structure would address these gaps as well as the social split as
> well.
> As I've written this, I'm realizing that the one thing that doesn't
> sit well with me about the current structure you're proposing for the
> user committee seems to institutionalize the current split between
> developers and users, where I think that the committee should be
> trying to figure out ways to blur the divisions between the groups.
> I'd suggest adding in an explicit mission for the group at the top of
> the document, in addition to the mandate. I think that might set the
> tone for the rest of the document in a productive way. Considering my
> lack of standing on the committee, I think that it might be
> presumptive for me to suggest its mission, but I think that the four
> questions above capture many of the things that I think are important.
> I'm happy to help in any way you'd like. let me know if you'd like
> additional comments, or participation in the documents in some
> fashion.
> Happy holidays.
>  -nld
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