Re: Sandbox process needs to evolve to support cross industry collaboation

Liz Rice

I should add, that’s not intended as a criticism -  the number of very early stage applications from individuals and single vendors has increased, which over time opened up the question for the TOC of whether it’s really right to commit CNCF resources for these projects. 

Those discussions naturally move us away from the original intention that the process should involve very little assessment or subjective judgement (e.g. the intention was to avoid a complicated definition of what is “mature enough” for sandbox) 

On Mon, 2 May 2022 at 18:48, Liz Rice <liz@...> wrote:
A little history: the current process was supposed to be super-lightweight, to reflect the very, very low bar for Sandbox projects - essentially, is it cloud native. I don’t remember the exact number but I’m pretty sure we got through a lot more than 12 applications in the first meeting.

Maybe it’s worth the TOC revisiting what that low bar really should be so that it’s easier and quicker to assess?  Here’s a suggestion that would make it super lightweight but I think still be in line with the CNCF mission. 

One of our reasons to exist is to enable multiple organisations to have a neutral place to collaborate, even if the project is little more than at the paper napkin stage. Based on this, we could define the bar for Sandbox as: a project needs to have support from minimum two CNCF member organisations who consider themselves stakeholders in the project. That could mean they’re involved in building it, or interested in using it. The onus is on the project to find those stakeholders before applying. The TOC’s approval would simply be a check that they agree that it’s a cloud native project and that they don’t have any other objection to it being included 

On Sun, 1 May 2022 at 19:29, alexis richardson <alexis@...> wrote:

On Sun, 1 May 2022, 19:27 Matt Farina, <matt@...> wrote:
I, for one, would love to see the sandbox process be faster and improve.

With regard to moving more work to the TAGs, two things come to mind.

First, when TAGs did more in the past they were inconsistent across each other and added their own criteria. This was a problem I don't want to see again. For example, I remember when one project lead was proposing a project for sandbox. He was frustrated because his project was criticized for not meeting a graduation criteria and for a criteria that was of the TAGs own making. I don't think we want this to happen again.

Second, sandbox projects don't get or need an in depth technical analysis. That shows up for incubation. I'm wondering, what would a TAG do here that wouldn't be repeated by the TOC when they go to look at it?

Having been through sandbox reviews twice now and having given advice to some projects that wanted to go for sandbox I've learned a few areas that could use some improvement...
  1. I've answered a lot of questions about things not in the docs. Things that provide context to the CNCF, what sandbox is, what I think the TOC is looking for, and how to communicate well to the TOC. I think this could be better documented.
  2. TAGs have a unique intersection where they have experts in an area and they work with the projects. I (and the rest of the TOC) don't scale on advising projects for sandbox. The TAGs may be able to do that. While I wouldn't require it, it could be useful for those who want to submit a sandbox project to present to the appropriate TAG and get guidance from them. For those who need it, getting some mentoring from a TAG could be useful.
These are just my initial thoughts. Happy to hear agreement, disagreement, or things built upon this.


On Sun, May 1, 2022, at 11:09 AM, Matt Young wrote:
We have been thinking about this in TAG Observability as well, and have work in flight that’s related:

* Form Program: Annual Sandbox Review [1]
    * Create summary slides [2]


Will have details Tuesday as part of TAG update.


On Sun, May 1, 2022 at 9:41 AM Josh Gavant <joshgavant@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

+1 to pushing more to TAGs. Perhaps each proposed project can be assigned to a TAG and a member of the TAG can lead a technical review and guide the project's leads on criteria for acceptance. That could help TOC reviews go more smoothly, make them more likely to succeed, and ensure projects and contributors don't get lost or feel unsupported along the journey.

It could also give first-time CNCF/TAG contributors an idea of where to start - they could pick an open project for the TAG and review and present it to the group.

As a start in this direction a couple months ago I created a label in TAG App Delivery to track project review requests from TOC:

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