Agenda for 3/21 TOC meeting
Amye Scavarda Perrin
We'll be meeting at 8am tomorrow for a TOC + TAG Chairs meeting.
Elevated during discussion of Milestones:
Regarding the Criteria: ( Note much of the discussion focused more on the process and logistics of moving levels, not on the specifics of the existing criteria or proposed criteria - this feedback exists on the issues)
Elevated during discussion of Criteria:
Actions / Requests from the call:
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The CNCF must be valuable as-is: look at the queue of people trying to join!
Not all projects join the CNCF because they want more contributors. Many just want more adoption. They join because being a CNCF project is (a) a shorthand that some adopters require, or at least expect (b) the gatekeeper for acceptance into KubeCon.
(I have substantial experience in a Cloud Native open source project that was not part of the CNCF.)
Projects want to join the CNCF. They also want to move levels as quickly as possible, because that is a signal to the marketplace which spurs adoption, and their maintainers’ ability to build a business. As an example for contribution, Boeing announced their staff are able to contribute to CNCF Incubating or Graduating projects. If you are in the aviation or defense space and you want Boeing to support your project, you want to move up the levels quickly. (I’m pretty sure you can consider heavily regulated industries “the late majority”.)
We shouldn’t want every project to join the CNCF; we have more projects than we can logistically handle or support
The charter currently states: “The goal is to have an increasing bazaar of projects related to and that integrate with projects already accepted into the CNCF.” To gain admission to the playing field, you must join, and to gain adoption, you must move up the treadmill.
We are but a few people with hundreds of projects on the landscape
This could be an opportunity to revisit if having 11 people on the TOC is still correct, or if some of the responsibility for vetting projects could be delegated.
The TOC was founded as 9 members when the CNCF had one project, and expanded to 11 at a time when it had 42 projects. There are 152 projects today. It is reasonable to think that 11 members can no longer provide the same level of service.
In the past, Chris Aniszczyk has described the TOC as “the Supreme Court” of the CNCF. The means of selection by different groups suggests it is meant to be representative of the whole CNCF community. Is it time to tweak the process so that the expectation isn’t that “TOC members will do all the level-moving work”, but instead that they are a body that is the final check and balance on work done by other groups?
Moreover, because projects want to move levels, why not have the onus be on them to actually prove they meet all the criteria? Or create a TAG Project Maturity?
There is no shortage of volunteers. There were 18 qualified candidates who put themselves forward for the 5 TOC spaces that were selected in the last 2 months.
We can’t just provide a checklist and then you’re graduated.
Why not? That is true for an OpenSSF Best Practices badge, for example, which is also a signal of maturity (albeit in a different area).
The graduation criteria read as a checklist. As written, the vote required seems to be does the project meet all the criteria, all of which are individually measurable.
Vitess graduated in less than a month. I think that's a reasonable expectation for a timeline, given that you should know in advance if you meet the criteria and only apply when you do. Even if there are to be new criteria added, it’s important to decide if there is still a “judgment call” criteria to be made by the Court TOC.
I don’t think the solution to the current situation is just that the TOC makes small tweaks. If we hypothetically introduced a “Super Graduated” level, then the CNCF’s promotion and event offerings to this level would determine whether a project needed to pursue it.
In closing, I’d like to return to the CNCF charter: “Fast is better than slow. The foundation enables projects to progress at high velocity to support aggressive adoption by users.”
On Wed, Mar 22, 2023 at 10:41 AM Emily Fox <themoxiefoxatwork@...> wrote:
Bill Mulligan <bill.mulligan@...>
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I would +1 to a lot of what Craig said. I think part of the challenge is that a lot of things at the CNCF were designed for a different scale than they currently operate. We can see that in the recent update on the Ambassador program and it is even why TAGs were originally created. Maybe it is time to rethink the operations and role of the TOC.
Craig Box <craigb@...> schrieb am Mi., 22. März 2023, 00:45:
As discussed on 3/21, we’re providing you with an update regarding moving levels.
From the meeting on 3/21:
- Regarding criteria and moving levels
- TOC will confer on next steps (community teaming or TOC-driven changes) and provide a decision with engagement and direction for the community to engage on this by April 4th.
- Regarding the freeze - the TOC will confer on changing this to rebalance expectations, activities, and timeliness for this. If a community member has a proposal to restructure that freeze that includes considerations from the discussion from the call, we would welcome it, otherwise this requires a TOC member to champion and execute.
We’re looking to approach this from a variety of activities to ensure we have well rounded feedback from everyone that considers what is as well as what isn’t working.
The CNCF staff will update the Maintainer Survey to collect input from maintainers on their experience thus far moving levels, it will be developed to consider positive and negative aspects of the experience.
Additionally, we’re exploring a separate survey intended for the broader community on their experience and understanding of moving levels.
CNCF staff will also be available for conversations during KCCN EU 2023 to receive more open ended feedback from maintainers on moving levels that couldn’t be received through a survey format (or due to low survey responses).
We will be opening an issue with TAG Contributor Strategy to gauge the level of effort and scoping of a working group to collect additional community feedback on moving levels. If you are interested in contributing to this discussion, please joining TAG Contributor Strategy to voice your interest.
We anticipate the culmination of these three activities will provide us with a comprehensive picture of the current shortcomings and successes so we may consider and apply recommended changes to the existing levels.
Please expect these to take time to set up and review and to develop recommended changes from. We are also planning a complete refresh of the TOC repo to reflect those changes and to improve the discoverability of information.
Thanks again everyone! Stay tuned for more info!
- Emily Fox
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