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From Greg Hogan <c...@greghogan.com>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Structure the Flink Open Source Development
Date Fri, 13 May 2016 15:03:57 GMT
+1 to better scaling :)

Many Jira tickets are good ideas with no current traction. Some have a pull
request (usually closed), many have comments or discussion. It seems these
old tickets tend to hang around because closing the ticket feels like
rejecting the idea. How do we track requested features without cluttering


On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 5:24 AM, Stephan Ewen <sewen@apache.org> wrote:

> Hi everyone!
> We propose to establish some lightweight structures in the Flink open
> source community and development process,
> to help us better handle the increased interest in Flink (mailing list and
> pull requests), while not overwhelming the
> committers, and giving users and contributors a good experience.
> This proposal is triggered by the observation that we are reaching the
> limits of where the current community can support
> users and guide new contributors. The below proposal is based on
> observations and ideas from Till, Robert, and me.
> ========
> Goals
> ========
> We try to achieve the following
>   - Pull requests get handled in a timely fashion
>   - New contributors are better integrated into the community
>   - The community feels empowered on the mailing list.
>     But questions that need the attention of someone that has deep
> knowledge of a certain part of Flink get their attention.
>   - At the same time, the committers that are knowledgeable about many core
> parts do not get completely overwhelmed.
>   - We don't overlook threads that report critical issues.
>   - We always have a pretty good overview of what the status of certain
> parts of the system are.
>       -> What are often encountered known issues
>       -> What are the most frequently requested features
> ========
> Problems
> ========
> Looking into the process, there are two big issues:
> (1) Up to now, we have been relying on the fact that everything just
> "organizes itself", driven by best effort. That assumes
> that everyone feels equally responsible for every part, question, and
> contribution. At the current state, this is impossible
> to maintain, it overwhelms the committers and contributors.
> Example: Pull requests are picked up by whoever wants to pick them up. Pull
> requests that are a lot of work, have little
> chance of getting in, or relate to less active components are sometimes not
> picked up. When contributors are pretty
> loaded already, it may happen that no one eventually feels responsible to
> pick up a pull request, and it falls through the cracks.
> (2) There is no good overview of what are known shortcomings, efforts, and
> requested features for different parts of the system.
> This information exists in various peoples' heads, but is not easily
> accessible for new people. The Flink JIRA is not well
> maintained, it is not easy to draw insights from that.
> ===========
> The Proposal
> ===========
> Since we are building a parallel system, the natural solution seems to be:
> partition the workload ;-)
> We propose to define a set of components for Flink. Each component is
> maintained or tracked by one or more
> people - let's call them maintainers. It is important to note that we don't
> suggest the maintainers as an authoritative role, but
> simply as committers or contributors that visibly step up for a certain
> component, and mainly track and drive the efforts
> pertaining to that component.
> It is also important to realize that we do not want to suggest that people
> get less involved with certain parts and components, because
> they are not the maintainers. We simply want to make sure that each pull
> request or question or contribution has in the end
> one person (or a small set of people) responsible for catching and tracking
> it, if it was not worked on by the pro-active
> community.
> For some components, having multiple maintainers will be helpful. In that
> case, one maintainer should be the "chair" or "lead"
> and make sure that no issue of that component gets lost between the
> multiple maintainers.
> A maintainers' role is:
> -----------------------------
>   - Have an overview of which of the open pull requests relate to their
> component
>   - Drive the pull requests relating to the component to resolution
>       => Moderate the decision whether the feature should be merged
>       => Make sure the pull request gets a shepherd.
>            In many cases, the maintainers would shepherd themselves.
>       => In case the shepherd becomes inactive, the maintainers need to
> find a new shepherd.
>   - Have an overview of what are the known issues of their component
>   - Have an overview of what are the frequently requested features of their
> component
>   - Have an overview of which contributors are doing very good work in
> their component,
>     would be candidates for committers, and should be mentored towards
> that.
>   - Resolve email threads that have been brought to their attention,
> because deeper
>     component knowledge is required for that thread.
> A maintainers' role is NOT:
> ----------------------------------
>   - Review all pull requests of that component
>   - Answer every mail with questions about that component
>   - Fix all bugs and implement all features of that components
> We imagine the following way that the community and the maintainers
> interact:
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>   - Pull requests should be tagged by component. Since we cannot add labels
> at this point, we need
>     to rely on the following:
>      => The pull request opener should name the pull request like
> "[FLINK-XXX] [component] Title"
>      => Components can be (re) tagged by adding special comments in the
> pull request ("==> component client")
>      => With some luck, GitHub and Apache Infra will allow us to use labels
> at some point
>   - When pull requests are associated with a component, the maintainers
> will manage them
>     (decision whether to add, find shepherd, catch dropped pull requests)
>   - We assume that maintainers frequently reach out to other community
> members and ask them if they want
>     to shepherd a pull request.
>   - On the mailing list, everyone should feel equally empowered to answer
> and discuss.
>     If at some point in the discussion, some deep technical knowledge about
> a component is required,
>     the maintainer(s) should be drawn into the discussion.
>     Because the Mailing List infrastructure has no support to tag threads,
> here are some simple workarounds:
>     => One possibility is to put the maintainers' mail addresses on cc for
> the thread, so they get the mail
>           not just via l the mailing list
>     => Another way would be to post something like "+maintainer runtime" in
> the thread and the "runtime"
>          maintainers would have a filter/alert on these keywords in their
> mail program.
>   - We assume that maintainers will reach out to community members that are
> very active and helpful in
>     a component, and will ask them if they want to be added as maintainers.
>     That will make it visible that those people are experts for that part
> of Flink.
> ======================================
> Maintainers: Committers and Contributors
> ======================================
> It helps if maintainers are committers (since we want them to resolve pull
> requests which often involves
> merging them).
> Components with multiple maintainers can easily have non-committer
> contributors in addition to committer
> contributors.
> ======
> ======
> Ideally, JIRA can be used to get an overview of what are the known issues
> of each component, and what are
> common feature requests. Unfortunately, the Flink JIRA is quite unorganized
> right now.
> A natural followup effort of this proposal would be to define in JIRA the
> same components as we defined here,
> and have the maintainers keep JIRA meaningful for that particular
> component. That would allow us to
> easily generate some tables out of JIRA (like top known issues per
> component, most requested features)
> post them on the dev list once in a while as a "state of the union" report.
> Initial assignment of issues to components should be made by those people
> opening the issue. The maintainer
> of that tagged component needs to change the tag, if the component was
> classified incorrectly.
> ======================================
> Initial Components and Maintainers Suggestion
> ======================================
> Below is a suggestion of how to define components for Flink. One goal of
> the division was to make it
> obvious for the majority of questions and contributions to which component
> they would relate. Otherwise,
> if many contributions had fuzzy component associations, we would again not
> solve the issue of having clear
> responsibilities for who would track the progress and resolution.
> We also looked at each component and wrote the names of some people who we
> thought were natural
> experts for the components, and thus natural candidates for maintainers.
> **These names are only a starting point for discussion.**
> Once agreed upon, the components and names of maintainers should be kept in
> the wiki and updated as
> components change and people step up or down.
> *DataSet API* (*Fabian, Greg, Gabor*)
>   - Incuding Hadoop compat. parts
> *DataStream API* (*Aljoscha, Max, Stephan*)
> *Runtime*
>   - Distributed Coordination (JobManager/TaskManager, Akka)  (*Till*)
>   - Local Runtime (Memory Management, State Backends, Tasks/Operators) (
> *Stephan*)
>   - Network (*Ufuk*)
> *Client/Optimizer* (*Fabian*)
> *Type system / Type extractor* (Timo)
> *Cluster Management* (Yarn, Mesos, Docker, ...) (*Max, Robert*)
> *Libraries*
>   - Gelly (*Vasia, Greg*)
>   - ML (*Till, Theo*)
>   - CEP (*Till*)
>   - Python (*Chesnay*)
> *Table API & SQL* (*Fabian, Vasia, Timo, Chengxiang*)
> *Streaming Connectors* (*Robert*, *Aljoscha*)
> *Batch Connectors and Input/Output Formats* (*Chesnay*)
> *Storm Compatibility Layer* (*Mathias*)
> *Scala shell* (*Till*)
> *Startup Shell Scripts* (Ufuk)
> *Flink Build System, Maven Files* (*Robert*)
> *Documentation* (Ufuk)
> Please let us know what you think about this proposal.
> Happy discussing!
> Greetings,
> Stephan

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