[OpenStack Foundation] Understanding DefCore

Mark McLoughlin markmc at redhat.com
Tue Jun 24 21:56:09 UTC 2014

On Sun, 2014-06-22 at 22:19 -0700, Joe Gordon wrote:
> Hi all,
> In trying to wrap my head around DefCore, I read the DefCore
> committe's mission as documented on the committee's wiki page[0]. The
> mission is to "define 'OpenStack Core' as chartered by the by-laws and
> guided by Governance/CoreDefinition.'  While the bylaws don't have any
> reference to "OpenStack Core" they do define a term called "Core
> OpenStack Project"[1]. Is this what the DefCore Comittee is refering
> to when talking about "OpenStack Core?"

Yes, it is. The crucial bit is:

  "The Core OpenStack Project means the software modules which are part 
   of an integrated release and for which an OpenStack trademark may be
   used. The other modules which are part of the OpenStack Project, but
   not the Core OpenStack Project may not be identified using the
   OpenStack trademark except when distributed with the Core OpenStack

The aspect of this I think everyone is agreed on is that "The Core
OpenStack Project" is a subset of the integrated release. And that "The
Core OpenStack Project" has something to do with the OpenStack

There are two interpretations of this AFAICT:

  1) Only the core modules can be called OpenStack Foo and OpenStack Bar

  2) Only the core modules can be required in some way for commercial 
     products which license the OpenStack trademark in some way

The DefCore effort is about clarifying (2) "by defining 1) capabilities,
2) code and 3) must-pass tests for all OpenStack products. This
definition [..] drives interoperability by creating the minimum
standards for products labeled "OpenStack."

>  If so, the bylaws already clearly state the process to change what
> software modules make up the "Core OpenStack Project." The Technical
> Committee(TC) proposes a change to what is in the "Core OpenStack
> Project" and the Board of Directors has the sole authrity to approve
> or reject the TC's recommendation [2].

Under interpretation (1) above, that means the TC can ask the board for
e.g. Heat to be called OpenStack Orchestration:


Under interpretation (2) above, the TC would be recommending that Heat
should in some way be required for OpenStack products.

>  This mismatch between DefCore's mission and the bylaws has already
> been identified by the DefCore committee itself [3]. So if the current
> mission statement doesn't align with the bylaws then what is the
> DefCore committe's current mission statement?

It's part of the DefCore committee's mission to help get the bylaws
confusion clarified AIUI.

AFAICT the assumption is that the language should be clarified such that
interpretation (2) is clear.

> The 'Core Definition' document[5] mentions DefCore will help
> "determine how commercial implementations of OpenStack can be granted
> use of the trademark," and the committee "may suggest changes to the
> by-laws to clarify the definition of core." So presumably DefCore is
> not about defining "Core OpenStack Project," but rather about revising
> the trademark policy as defined in Appendix 8 of the bylaws [6].

It's about changing how "Core OpenStack Project" is defined such that it
is no longer "a set of modules which is a subset of the integrated
release" but instead "a set of API tests and required sections of code".

That involves both coming up with the process for managing that (in that
it wouldn't begin simply with the TC nominating some modules for Core)
and proposing the bylaws changes to reflect the process.

That raises the question of what happens if DefCore-recommended bylaws
changes can't be passed. What interpretation of the current bylaws
allows the commercial trademark requirements process to evolve in this

>  This interpretation alligns with the special clause on ammendments in
> the bylaws "the Board of Directors may by majority vote, amend the
> Trademark Policy prior to January 31, 2013 to establish testing and
> certification requirements for the use of the trademarks owned by the
> Foundation in connection with the use of the Core OpenStack
> Project."[7]  What is the progress on drafting a revision to the
> trademark policy? Is there a preliminary draft on the proposed change?
> Seeing this would help me wrap my better understand DefCore.

Good question, I don't know if the Foundation is working on drafting a
new trademark policy.

AIUI the Foundation staff is responsible for the details of the
trademark policy and it has changed somewhat since the bylaws were
drafted. I think it was only included in the bylaws for informational
purposes and doesn't require a vote of the Individual Members. Then
again, section 9.2(a) suggests voting is required to change any of the


> [0] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Governance/DefCoreCommittee 
> [1] http://www.openstack.org/legal/bylaws-of-the-openstack-foundation/
> Sections 4.1.b
> [2] http://www.openstack.org/legal/bylaws-of-the-openstack-foundation/
> Sections 4.13.b
> [3] https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/DefCoreBylawsIPE 
> [5] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Governance/CoreDefinition
> [6] http://www.openstack.org/brand/openstack-trademark-policy/
> [7] http://www.openstack.org/legal/bylaws-of-the-openstack-foundation/
> Sections 9.2.d

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