The Future of Incubation and Core

The OpenStack Technical Committee and the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors have pretty separate sets of responsibilities and can get on with their work independently. One exception to that is the inclusion of new projects in OpenStack.

In the coming weeks, members of the two bodies will decide how to clarify confusion around the term “core project” and what exactly happens projects who graduate through OpenStack’s Incubation process.

A thread on the openstack-dev mailing list is ongoing and is a great example of how a mailing list discussion can actually help to drive a rough consensus while still giving everyone an opportunity to express their views.

The TC is attempting to agree on a rough direction that represents the views of the TC before meeting with the Foundation Board. There are currently three distinct views. Firstly, this:

The concepts of “what is core” and “what is in OpenStack” have been conflated until now. The TC cares far more about the process for new projects to be included in the coordinated release than it cares about which projects are required to be used by providers in order to access the trademark.

We would like to take an inclusive but measured approach to accepting new OpenStack projects. We should evaluate any given proposed project on a well defined set of criteria like whether it embraces our values and processes, is useful to OpenStack users, well integrated with other projects and represents a sensible broadening of the scope of OpenStack.

We see Incubation as a trial period where promising projects have the opportunity to demonstrate their suitability for inclusion in our coordinated releases.

We see the term “Core OpenStack Project” in section 4.1.b of the bylaws as being solely related to trademark guidelines. The Foundation should simply maintain a list of projects required for trademark usage. We would be happy for that list to be called “Core Projects” or for a new name to be chosen to describe that list.

Secondly, Anne Gentle’s variation which I’d summarize as allowing two groups of projects be accepted into OpenStack – “nuclear” projects which are the current group of “core” service projects and “core” projects which are everything else, for example Horizon, Ceilometer or Heat.

Thirdly, John Dickinson’s variation which I’d summarize as only accepting projects into OpenStack which “solve IaaS problems” or support those projects in some way.

The way I’m thinking of these three approaches is how we want the project to treat proposals for new projects: “inclusive”, “inclusive but two-tier” or “exclusive”.

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