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From Alex Hitchins <>
Subject RE: [DISCUSS] - Releases, Project Management & Funding Thereof
Date Fri, 30 Jun 2017 13:47:55 GMT
Thanks Will,

I understand it's something that comes with a big bag of troublesome worries. 

If this topic comes up again in any discussions, I'd be interested to hear their thoughts
on what I see as the alternative; without a dedicated RM/PM/Captain, people will fork off
CS so they can achieve the same thing, and CS ultimately looses out long term. I can't remember
the name of the fork, but I think I'm right that a previous large CS contributor/user forked
off as they wanted greater management in the areas we are discussing here.

Alexander Hitchins
M: 07788 423 969
T: 01892 523 587

-----Original Message-----
From: Will Stevens [] 
Sent: 30 June 2017 14:31
Subject: Re: [DISCUSS] - Releases, Project Management & Funding Thereof

Apache has been historically against the idea of a cloudstack foundation and there is a bit
of a pandoras box there which we will want to be careful about opening.

Apache added direct contribution, but it was unusable for us historically because it required
a minimum contribution of 50k, which none of us can afford. However, there have been some
changes to the board recently which are in our favour if we want to put pressure to lower
that to say 5-10k.

Even if we do solve for smaller direct contributions, we will have to jump through hoops to
be able to use those funds for a dedicated release manager. I do think this is a possibility
if we manage our needs and communications very well. I had some preliminary discussions with
some apache foundation folks to express these specific concerns. I played off the fact that
i know they dont want to entertain a cloudstack foundation and tried to see if i could get
them to move on the direct contribution mechanism to make it usable for us, specifically with
the goal of hiring a full time release manager. I definitely had their ear and they acknowledged
the problems we are facing (and currently discussing).  They expressed concerns about being
able to hire someone with the direct contributions, but brainstormed a bit to potentially
hire an agency who actually does the hire and they pay the persons salary through the agency
with the direct contribution funds.

All to say, there are potential options here, but there be dragons, so we have to handle this
topic with care.

On Jun 30, 2017 9:12 AM, "Ron Wheeler" <>

> says:
> "If you have a specific target or project that you wish to directly 
> support, pleasecontact us < 
> tion/contributing.html#Fundraising>and we will do our best to satisfy 
> your wishes."
> 1) Is Apache willing to allow projects to set up their own 
> foundations? I doubt but someone would need to check this out.
> Does the PMC have the project charter or the agreement that was signed 
> when Cloudstack moved.
> 2) Has anyone tried to contact Apache about directing support to 
> Cloudstack.
> I am not convinced that lack of paid staff is the issue.
> This discussion reminded me of this.
> Q: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb ?
> A: Only one, but the lightbulb must want to change
> Ron
> On 30/06/2017 6:48 AM, Alex Hitchins wrote:
>> As per Giles's comment to the previous thread, I thought I would 
>> start a discussion on the subject to canvas peoples thoughts, opinions and fears.
>> My question for discussion, is there is any mileage in someone 
>> creating a "CloudStack Foundation" as a non-profit entity, funded 
>> largely by key CloudStack players with the sole function of employing 
>> dedicated resource (part or full time) to handle all releases and 
>> other essential 'back office' functions. The idea being it's in 
>> everyone's interest to chip in a little each to fund core project and release management.
>> The idea might be utterly irrelevant, pointless and/or straight up daft.
>> I urge you all to let me know.
>> Something for you all to think over this weekend.
>> Alexander Hitchins
>> ------------------------
>> E:
>> W:
>> M: 07788 423 969
>> T: 01892 523 587
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Giles Sirett []
>> Sent: 30 June 2017 09:51
>> To:
>> Subject: RE: JIRA - PLEASE READ
>> All
>> This thread seems to have turned into 2 quite different discussions:
>> 1. The use (or not) of Jira - which was the original discussion
>> 2. Ways/means of encouraging (and paying for more structured 
>> contributors)
>> I know that it could be argued that these are related. Could I 
>> suggest opening up a thread on "release and project management and 
>> funding it"  and keeping this thread to the original discussion
>> (I will weigh in on both of these at some stage)
>> Kind regards
>> Giles
>> 53 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London  WC2N 4HSUK @shapeblue
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Alex Hitchins []
>> Sent: 29 June 2017 18:49
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: JIRA - PLEASE READ
>> If it isn't being treated as a product it will be very impossible to 
>> market it as enterprise ready.
>> I know we all know this.
>> Similar sized projects under the Apache banner must have the same 
>> issue, what is the best way to gather experience of these projects? 
>> See how they handle these growing pains.
>> A cloudstack foundation entity funded by companies earning from 
>> cloudstack seems a good way forward.
>> Another tuppence, this is getting expensive.
>> On 29 Jun 2017, at 18:18, Ron Wheeler 
>> <>
>>> wrote:
>>> I understand that it is a volunteer organization.
>>> I do not know how many (if any) of the committers and PMC members 
>>> are funded by their organizations (allowed or ordered to work on 
>>> Cloudstack during company time) which is often the way that Apache 
>>> projects get staffed.
>>> Clearly it is hard to tell someone who is being funded by a company 
>>> to fix a problem or who is working on their own time, to do or not 
>>> do something.
>>> On the other hand, the PMC has to  build a community culture that is 
>>> good for the project.
>>> That means describing a vision, planning and enforcing a roadmap, 
>>> and maintaining a focused project "marketing" effort.
>>> There is a lot of extremely talented individuals working on 
>>> Cloudstack and it appears to have a very strong and valuable code-base.
>>> To me the key question is about the PMC and the core committers' 
>>> ability to make Cloudstack a "product" that can compete for market 
>>> share and acceptance.
>>> Is Cloudstack at a point in its development where it should be 
>>> treated like a product?
>>> - sufficient functionality to compete
>>> - sufficient user base to be a competitor in the market
>>> - production reliability and stability
>>> - business model for supporting companies to justify their continued 
>>> support
>>> This may not require more effort but requires different policies and 
>>> different activities.
>>> There has to be someone or a PMC  that can say "No".
>>> - This change can not be included in this release because it will 
>>> delay the release.
>>> - This change adds an unacceptable level of complexity
>>> - This bug fix will have to wait for the next release because it is 
>>> too late to test it and fix the docs.
>>> - This fix breaks the docs
>>> - The release can not be made until this doc is updated.
>>> Does the core group want to make it a competitive product or is it 
>>> sufficient for the interested players to continue in its current form?
>>> Ron
>>> On 29/06/2017 9:42 AM, Will Stevens wrote:
>>>> I personally don't know how Jira solves any of this, but assuming 
>>>> it does, fine...
>>>> The bigger problem which you have raised is that CloudStack has 
>>>> zero funding. So we can't hire a project manager, or a release 
>>>> manager or someone whose job it is to maintain documentation. I 
>>>> have been trying to find a way to, at the very least, fund a full 
>>>> time release manager who can focus 100% on the project. As the 
>>>> release manager for 4.9, I know it is a full time job. I did my 
>>>> best, but it is a ton of work and is hard to stay on top of.
>>>> Everyone contributing to CloudStack is donating their time. They 
>>>> can't make a living off supporting ACS, so every one is doing their 
>>>> best with the little time they can take away from their day job or 
>>>> their family life.
>>>> Yes, having clear guidelines and sticking to them helps, but 
>>>> without a solid CI infrastructure backing the project and improved 
>>>> testing and automation, we will always struggles with release 
>>>> schedules and such.
>>>> I have been involved in this project long enough to know that all 
>>>> the problems you point out exist, but they are also not easily solved.
>>>> Obviously we have to work with the initiatives we have and take 
>>>> small steps towards improvement, but we also have to be realistic 
>>>> with our expectations because we are counting on people's 
>>>> generosity to move them forward.
>>>> Simplifying moving parts and streamlining the process will lead to 
>>>> more contribution because there is less barriers to entry. This one 
>>>> reason why I struggle to see the value in Jira as it is used today. 
>>>> I personally don't understand what value it is giving us that the 
>>>> github PRs and Issues don't solve.
>>>> I will remain open minded and will follow along with what people 
>>>> think is best, but I think it is worth understanding what we are 
>>>> trying to solve for and simplify our approach in solving it so we 
>>>> can get better systems in place.
>>>> On Jun 29, 2017 9:17 AM, "Ron Wheeler"
>>>> <>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> As a real outsider, IMHO Paul is right.
>>>>> At times it seems that Cloudstack is a coding hobby rather than a 
>>>>> project or a production quality product.
>>>>> Who decides what goes into a release? How does this affect the 
>>>>> release schedule?
>>>>> Who is responsible for meeting the "published" roadmap (of which 
>>>>> there seem to be many) of releases?
>>>>> How is a system admin that is not part of the project supposed to 
>>>>> plan for upgrade windows?
>>>>> How does one know when a feature, bug fix or release will be available?
>>>>> How does the PMC  manage function creep  in a release, maintain 
>>>>> quality and consistency, reject changes that hurt the overall 
>>>>> vision or add too much complexity?
>>>>> No one seems to care about documentation but if someone did, how 
>>>>> would they stop undocumented features or features that contradict 
>>>>> the documentation from being incorporated?
>>>>> Who makes sure that the documentation is correct at the time of 
>>>>> the release?
>>>>> Release notes are not much help for someone doing a new install or 
>>>>> evaluating Cloudstack.
>>>>> Without a JIRA entry, how does an end-user who encounters a 
>>>>> problem know that it has been fixed already in the next release?
>>>>> Without a JIRA entry, how does the community comment on a proposed 
>>>>> change before it gets coded?
>>>>> If changes are going to be accepted without a JIRA, is there a 
>>>>> definition of a minor fix that does not require a JIRA?
>>>>> - does not change functionality?
>>>>> - only affects an "edge case" or cleans up an exception that is 
>>>>> not properly handled?
>>>>> - only improves code readability or future extensibility?
>>>>> - does not affect documentation?
>>>>> Apache projects that are popular and enjoy wide support do have 
>>>>> strong management.
>>>>> There are other examples where great Apache software is failing to 
>>>>> get recognized because the PMC is not paying attention to the 
>>>>> product management side of things.
>>>>> I use Apache Jackrabbit which is a quality product with a strong 
>>>>> technical team supporting it.
>>>>> It has very little following because the documentation and 
>>>>> marketing collateral is very poor.
>>>>> It gets by because the audience for it is largely software 
>>>>> developers who can read code and can test features to work out the 
>>>>> functionality.
>>>>> It would get a lot more attention if they paid attention to the 
>>>>> product management side of the project.
>>>>> Cloudstack needs to avoid this situation and unfortunately this 
>>>>> takes effort and some discipline.
>>>>> Ron
>>>>> On 29/06/2017 8:03 AM, Will Stevens wrote:
>>>>>> Why are we still using jira instead of the PRs for that 
>>>>>> communication? Can we not use issues in github now instead of 
>>>>>> jira if someone needs to open an issue but does not yet have code

>>>>>> to contribute. If not, jira could still be used for that.
>>>>>> I think duplicating data between jira and the PR is kind of 
>>>>>> pointless. I feel like the github PRs and the cide going in 
>>>>>> should be the source of truth, not a random third party tool.
>>>>>> For the 4.9 release notes, i built a tool to generate the release

>>>>>> notes from the PRs merged in that release. I think that is easier

>>>>>> and more accurate than depending on jira since it does not track

>>>>>> the actual code tree.
>>>>>> Thats my 0.02$.
>>>>>> On Jun 29, 2017 5:25 AM, "Paul Angus" <>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Such a view of CloudStack is what holds CloudStack back.
>>>>>> It stops users/operators from having any chance of understanding

>>>>>> what CloudStack does and how it does it.
>>>>>> Code for code's sake is no use to anyone.
>>>>>> Jira is about communication between developers and to everyone else.
>>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>>> Paul Angus
>>>>>> 53 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London  WC2N 4HSUK @shapeblue
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: Daan Hoogland []
>>>>>> Sent: 29 June 2017 10:14
>>>>>> To: dev <>
>>>>>> Subject: Re: JIRA - PLEASE READ
>>>>>> On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:06 AM, Paul Angus 
>>>>>> <>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> + Release notes will be impossible to create without a proper 
>>>>>> + Jira
>>>>>>> history.
>>>>>> And no one will know what has gone into CloudStack.
>>>>>>> No they are not mr Grumpy. they should be base on the code 
>>>>>>> anyway,
>>>>>> hence on git, not jira. I do not appose to the use of Jira but it

>>>>>> is not required for good coding practices and as we are not and 
>>>>>> will not function as a corporation, jira is an extra for those 
>>>>>> that grave for it. not a requirement.
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Daan
>>>>>> --
>>>>> Ron Wheeler
>>>>> President
>>>>> Artifact Software Inc
>>>>> email:
>>>>> skype: ronaldmwheeler
>>>>> phone: 866-970-2435, ext 102
>>>>> --
>>> Ron Wheeler
>>> President
>>> Artifact Software Inc
>>> email:
>>> skype: ronaldmwheeler
>>> phone: 866-970-2435, ext 102
> --
> Ron Wheeler
> President
> Artifact Software Inc
> email:
> skype: ronaldmwheeler
> phone: 866-970-2435, ext 102

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