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

Tim Bell Tim.Bell at cern.ch
Thu Jan 10 21:33:47 UTC 2013

I've really appreciated the discussions in these areas as it has touched on 
many of the areas that I struggled with as I tried to answer "who is an 
openstack user" for the points for discussion document.

One of the big flexibilities of the user committee is that there are not a 
large set of bylaws currently and I think we should maintain flexibility going 
forward so that we can evolve the user committee.

That we are currently addressing the 'engaged user' communities with more 
emphasis than the 'casually engaged' reflects the point of the cycle we are 
in. There are concrete items we need to do to address the engaged user needs 
so we can start here (but make sure that we do not construct a closed 
definition of a user to exclude the casual ones).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Narayan Desai [mailto:narayan.desai at gmail.com]
> Sent: 10 January 2013 22:00
> To: Dave Neary; foundation at lists.openstack.org; Tim Bell
> Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] Thinking about the mission of the user
> committeee
> Dave, thanks for taking the time to respond. I think that it is clear that 
> there are
> a lot of opinions on this, and I think that it will help us all to discuss 
> them
> concretely.
> On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 4:03 AM, Dave Neary <dneary at redhat.com> wrote:
> >
> > So you're talking about the individuals deploying and operating
> > OpenStack in test and production environments? To summarise in few
> > words, sysadmins and DevOps?
> I really think that the important characteristic is this group's 
> relationship with
> the openstack project. These are folks that are less involved in the 
> project,
> contributing in a formal way either rarely or not at all.
> While operations types are in this category, I am thinking of it as a more
> expansive category that includes people that are casually engaged with
> openstack. I think this is an important distinction.
> >> Dave, I think that my formulation of the user category is somewhat
> >> orthogonal to the categories that you're talking about; conceptually
> >> it is the user/dev split.
> >
> >
> > My main issue with the user/dev split in this context is that it does
> > not cover the spectrum of the OpenStack community - it does not cover
> > people who are not Python coders but who (for example) provide
> > marketing expertise, organisational support and budget, co-ordinating
> > local meet-ups, package OpenStack for various distributions, do some
> > of the glue work to make it install more easily, write documentation,
> > work on the website and wiki, and so on.
> Thinking about the engagement continuum, all of the folks that you are
> describing above fall into the "more engaged" end of the spectrum, right?
> I'm not trying to suggest in any way that the user committee shouldn't work
> with more engaged users as well; I currently see the gap being largest in 
> terms
> of casually engaged users.
> > OpenStack users will, in general, be getting OpenStack from a third
> > party, be it Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Suse, whatever. Or they might
> > make an organisational commitment, and then the CIO would be the key
> > decision maker and bridge between his DevOps team and the foundation.
> I'm not sure that I agree with this. While many OpenStack users will be 
> getting
> packages from a third party, I think that it would be a mistake for the 
> project to
> assume that consumers will be completely abstracted away from the upstream
> project here. Moreover, I think that balkanizing what active user community 
> we
> have by splitting it across the different distribution is not the best move 
> here.
> I'm actually not so concerned about users when they get to the point of 
> making
> an organizational commitment. At that point, they will be contributing in 
> some
> fashion, they definitely have institutional buy in, and the associated 
> mandate to
> contribute to the community. I feel like the existing processes seem to work
> pretty well for contributors.
> > I think it would be useful for us to come up with a set of personas
> > (personae?) covering the various types of "OpenStack user" - because I
> > do not think that there is just one type. This would help us avoid the
> > trap of using broad unqualified statements ("users often...", "these
> > people usually...", "users tend to use...", "the focus of many users...").
> This is a good idea, particularly in a group that is this large.
> We can definitely start with:
>  - adopters/deployers of openstack
>  - institutional contributors of openstack
>  - user group coordinators
> I'm sure I'm missing others here. I wasn't intending to be exclusive in the
> particular user classification I was discussing, I just see a lot of issues 
> in that
> particular ecosystem.
>  -nld
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