[Advisors] Updates and Next Steps

John Mark Walker jowalker at redhat.com
Thu May 16 16:53:04 UTC 2013

I just realized that I never responded to this. Taking care of that now.

----- Original Message -----
> So  a couple of side comments - Apache and Eclipse are very different open
> source orgs (as is oVirt). I understand some of the attraction to the
> Eclipse model, but the mixing and matching causes some concern. Each of
> those foundations has been successful in its own right, can you tell us why
> not copy one or the other?

Because we seem to be fairly unique. On one hand, we have a flagship project much like Eclipse, but on the other hand, I don't like how Eclipse mandates one specific license. As a result, I don't think Eclipse ever matured beyond the "we're a Java IDE" stage.

Apache just seems to have too much overhead for my taste, but I admit to being biased there.

oVirt did some good things and is probably the closest analog to what we're doing. However, they didn't mandate that its members actually make contributions and they didn't put in a clause where board members could be removed if they didn't fulfill their obligations, which is what we've done.

> Members:
> So this is somewhat confusing to me. So plenty of assumptions here on my part
> - it appears that we are setting the stage for the Gluster Software
> Foundation  - there will be multiple projects within the 'GSF'. What isn't


> clear is how membership is handled across those groups, there is talk about
> different standards being set within the group once a project is large
> enough. So I guess a point of clarification - are you a member of the
> 'Gluster Project' - or are you a member of Gluster sub-projects? or??

There are a couple of different things here.

- Organizations can join the Gluster community as contributing members, if they sign the LOI.

This is separate from

- Anyone can contribute a project to the Gluster Community. These projects will have to reach milestones before bringing a vote for graduation. The voting will be handled by the community board. Once reaching graduation, they can be included in the official Gluster Software Distribution. Right now, there are two projects in the GSD: GlusterFS and Gluster-Swift. 

> Unwritten things:
> So there is plenty of talk about the responsibilities, and making the board
> more active. But there doesn't seem to be much about the authority of the
> board. Where does authority end and begin?

Legally speaking, Red Hat owns the Gluster copyrights and trademarks. However, because I want this to eventually be a foundation, I will run the board functionally as a foundation. Right now, that's the best we can do.

> There are no officers defined - not necessarily a problem, but…..

That will be voted on at the first board meeting.

> So not to call out the 800lb Gorilla in the room - but there is zero mention
> in the governance document or this email of the relationship to Red Hat.
> Is the project completely free from RHT strings? Is it truly independent? Is
> there to be a legal entity holding various pieces of IP and providing some
> framework?

See above re: trademarks and copyrights. Each project will be run individually by the engineers who work on it in a "whoever contributes code guides the projects". The Gluster board will function independently and govern the community process. 

> Assuming the answer to this is 'no'. What is the relationship to Red Hat,
> what are the limits on project (and board) authority?

Right now, Red Hat controls the chairperson position in the form of "me". My hope is that we'll get to the point where we'll get so much momentum that Red Hat will be forced to push into a full-blown foundation, either joining another or forming its own. 

Legally speaking, if Red Hat wanted to pull the plug and be the heavy, they could. But our goal is entirely opposite of that, and our strategy is that in order for us to be successful, we have to build long-lasting partnerships with community members. That means giving up control in return for a better software base and a more active community. I know itt's not the definitely answer you're looking for, but it basically amounts to "trust us."

For determining the direction of Gluster.org and the Gluster community, the board holds the authority. I've managed this very carefully so that we don't get executives trying to push their viewpoints on the community. 

Finally, some of you work for certain companies that I hope will join the Gluster Community as official members. It's too late now to join as a charter member, but becoming a member will be good for everyone.


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