OpenStack is dead, says a defector
Saw a pretty funny article today (thanks to Matt Asay's Google Juice). To begin, take a healthy gulp of petty historic revisionism:
Ceilometer’s quality is bad, even by OpenStack standards. [...]
What I came to understand is that solving metering was not the primary motive. No one really cared about that. Certainly not in the way one would approach a project they intended to deploy and operate. The primary motivation was to have a project so that someone could be a Project Technical Lead (PTL).
I'm here to tell you that the above is a bald-faced lie. In reality, there was a need to have metering, and people moved on to fulfill it. Undoubtedly Ceilometer's progress lifted some careers, while retarding others, but to assign "primary motivation" to the whole project this way is not truthful. If it were a random voice on the Internet, I'd call it "misinformed", but since the guy started the whole thing by establishing his "I was there" credentials, he can only be lying.
That said, Ceilometer's code may be bad, I can't know. Ask Eoghan for a state of the union on that.
One other funny thing was this:
How many engineers do you think are working on AWS? GCE? How many of those committers will be the ones responsible for the performance and failure characteristics of their code? How many of those committers are dedicated to producing a world class service bent on dominating an industry? There has been some interesting, and even impressive work dedicated to improve code reviews and continuous integration, but that should not be confused with a unified vision and purpose. [...]
This is the same "Cathedral vs Bazaar" thing that RMS and ESR seemingly settled decades ago. Is Openstack too "organic" in its development? Ironically there never was any unifying vision and purpose behind AWS either (or Linux, for that matter ), in terms of this article. S3 survived and prospered despite Vogel plugging Dynamo, for example.
I came to regard Openstack as the best meritocracy in action. People who enjoy politicking end on various committees. People who write excellent code for a major impact end driving core projects. That's how Russell Bryant ended in Nova. Or how Peter Portante leapfrogged me for Swift core: why let seniority lead when ability does better? But what happens to people who lose this competition? Mediocre engineers, managers, and politicians -- the vast majority of contributors? Usually they end drifting around the periphery, sometimes starting projects, sometimes contributing here and there, but mostly responding to interests in the day jobs.
That's nothing wrong with that model, it's what happens anywhere from AWS to Linux, and it cannot spell the doom of OpenStack. Something else may, but not this.
So, overall, the article is funny to read and it may point out at some problems. I, for one, also think that Glance should not have existed. Instead, the image registry should have been in our main DB and image storage should have been in something better suited, like Swift. I am far from assigning the blame for Glance to jockeying for PTL position, because exactly the same naive mistake was committed in Aeolus, by a high-profile architect, who was supposed to provide the unified vision and purpose.
As I heard it related by Alan Cox, various industry people pestered Linus for the vision and purpose. His answer always was "world domination and penguins".