The OpenStack Blog

Category: Measurement

Reviewing how Blueprints are handled

OpenStack Compute Tech Lead Russell Bryant has triggered an important discussion on the OpenStack Development mailing list about the process to review blueprints. The Blueprints wiki page currently assigns to Project Tech Leads the task of assigning priority to the blueprints and Russell is suggesting that a wider group of people in the community shares such responsibility..

Blueprints are used by project leaders to track development of significant features in all OpenStack programs: a blueprint is made of a title and a brief description, plus a URL to a wider description of architecture and specifications (usually a wiki or etherpad page).  Given the growing size of OpenStack code base, scaling development operations is increasingly hard and one person cannot handle reviewing all the proposed blueprints and set priorities in a way that guarantees finalization.

This brings us to the second issue that needs to be addressed: managing expectations of new contributors. With so many blueprints being proposed it’s hard for a PTL to be accountable for developers to deliver the code based on blueprint’s priorities. Since the PTL used to set the priority for the blueprint, it is hard to held him/her accountable when the code is not delivered accordingly. There is clearly a separation of powers between the person evaluating the blueprints, the developers that will implement them and the reviewers that will review the code submitted.

Russell’s proposal is to assign the responsibility to review the blueprints to the same team of people that will be responsible for reviewing and approving the code during the implementation phase, the core reviewers. The role of the PTL will still be to set the deadlines for the blueprints and to make sure that the roadmap for the program is sound. The core reviewers will then be sharing with the PTL the responsibility and accountability for the deliverables at each release milestone

In the discussion that’s following on the mailing list there are also proposals to include user input while setting the priorities for blueprints. There are risks also associated with this setup. So far, the process has been discussed only taking into account the needs of OpenStack Compute. The project is the largest OpenStack project by number of blueprints, making it the first to need reviewing the existing process. However, the expectation is that several other OpenStack projects may evolve to this point in the future and this is an important test for that time. As such, we welcome holistic feedback: join the discussion on the development mailing list and in Hong Kong.

Participate in the OpenStack User Survey by September 30!

We’re kicking off the second round of the OpenStack User Survey this month! You may remember before the April Summit we helped the User Committee run a survey to aggregate OpenStack deployments and share the results.

The first User Survey provided great insight to the types of deployments and technology decisions made by the OpenStack community. We were able to catalogue 230 unique deployments – you can see the results presented by the User Committee at the last Summit. Another huge benefit was the ability to uncover new users willing to talk about their OpenStack deployments, which can be found at http://www.openstack.org/user-stories.

If you are an OpenStack user or have customers with OpenStack deployments, please take a few minutes to respond to our User Survey or pass it along to your network. The goals of the survey are to better define the OpenStack user community and requirements, facilitate engagement and communication among the user community, and uncover new use cases or OpenStack users who might be willing to tell their stories publicly.

Below you’ll find a link and instructions to complete the User Survey by September 30, 2013 at 23:00 UTC. If you already completed the survey earlier in 2013, no need to start from scratch. You simply need to log back in to update your Deployment Profile, as well as take the opportunity to provide any additional input.

Take the Survey: http://www.openstack.org/user-survey

All the information provided is confidential and will only be presented in aggregate unless the user consents to making it public. Aggregate responses will be shared with the OpenStack Board, Technical Committee and community at large to help shape the roadmap and share useful information regarding operational decisions.

You can also help us by promoting the survey so we can secure as much participation as possible, for example by retweeting the OpenStack handle.

Remember you can hear directly from users and see the aggregate survey findings by attending the next OpenStack Summit http://www.openstack.org/summit, November 5-8, in Hong Kong.

Thank you for your support!

Who’s growing the OpenStack Pie?

Stackalytics OpenStack Contributions. Presented by Mirantis

The OpenStack community is nearing 10,000 members in nearly 100 countries, with foundation support by more than 200 companies. Wondering who all those people are and what they’re doing? We did too. That’s why today we are announcing the release of our latest open source tool, Stackalytics.com.

Statistics are critical to turning data into information, and everyone needs detailed information in order to make decisions, especially in fast moving cloud technology. Since here we practically wallow in code day in and day out we find it useful to know what’s really going on with our development, and how our fellow contributors are participating in the community.

OpenStack Analytics: Stackalytics

Pie Chart of OpenStack contributions dataStackalytics is a data visualization tool that collects data from GitHub and presents it in an array of useful forms. Not only can Stackalytics break down the data into companies, projects, and contributors, but it also lets you track commits and overall lines of code.

All of the collected data is collated and linked so you can drill down into different projects, contributing companies, and even individual contributors for a more detailed view. Want to know how much attention the Cinder project is getting for the upcoming Havana release? Just choose Havana in the pulldown at the top, then click on the project name. Do you want to see what work has made Mirantis the #4 code contributor to OpenStack? Just click the company name.

Lines and Commits

One of the more important metrics that illustrates work hours and productivity is the number of commits made against the lines of code produced by developers. A commit is a unit of work that is performed by a developer when they create, fix, or delete some code in a particular module. This code is then processed by Gerrit, Jenkins, and/or SmokeStack, reviewed by at least two core developers, and is finally merged into the Master Branch. Lines of Code (or LoC) is the number of actual lines of code that are created, fixed, or deleted.

Sample OpenStack contribution data by project

The difference between these two is critical because the values can show project managers where the team’s productivity is yielding results. Consider a developer who produces 5,000 lines of code and yet only has a handful of small commits. Alternately, a developer who produces 400 lines of code might have dozens of commits. This kind of information can help project managers better guide their projects and developers. Additionally, you can compare one company’s progress with your own or others. For greater detail into the development tracks being taken on various projects, you can also examine the project blueprints used by the developers to manage the planned changes and improvements.

Of course, that information won’t mean as much if you can’t effectively navigate the collected data. We’ve set up the data view to be configured to show what you are looking for. You can pick individual releases and see lines of code or just commits. You can choose to look at the project view, giving you a 10,000 ft. view, or drill deep into module details to see exactly which commitments have been made by which developers.

Search and Drilldown

In addition to the view selectors, you can also dynamically search for information. Each column of data has a search field at the top. Enter search terms and watch as the results change, which helps you find what you’re looking for. Every list has a search field, making it faster and easier to find something specific. Finally, if the default of 25 results isn’t enough, you can use the selector to change how many items are displayed.

Now that you’ve seen the picture of top-down results of OpenStack community work, you might be interested in bottom up. First, if you’re trying to see how quickly changes are getting into OpenStack, check out the Zuul project page. Unlike its predecessor projects such as you might find at The Apache Software Foundation, OpenStack is continuously integrated as code is committed and validated; Zuul provides pipeline oriented project gating and automation system that produces a continuously integrated updated code base. The rate of change is graphed at the bottom. Second, if you’re interested in examining the pulse of specific changes to specific projects day-to-day, take a look at the OpenStack Foundation’s activity trackers. The browser gives a day-to-day pulse of activities at the micro-level. You can also search the individual changes based on who made them at the company and individual level using the OpenStack Community Insights browser.

Stackalytics Project Roadmap

As you come back up out of the depths of day-to-day activity, you can get a sense of how much developer work OpenStack and its associated projects represent. Helping visualize the collective results, on a scale of releases you might choose to adopt — that’s what we set out to do with Stackalytics. There are other projects and other ways to slice the data, and we’re only just getting started.

A few future improvements you can look forward to include that addition of review statistics to lines of code and commits, a well-documented API that will enable developers to leverage Stackalytics data, and Stackalytics widgets you can add to your website by copying and pasting a few lines of code. We’re also working on an interface and workflow for peer driven corrections and updates to committer attributions. (In other words, if you leave one company and go to another, you can provide this data yourself so your work is attributed correctly.)

Want to see something else? We’ll have the project posted on stackforge soon so you can hack at the code yourself.

David M. Fishman is VP of Marketing at Mirantis.

Contribute to OpenStack Activity Board

We’ve released the complete documentation for OpenStack Insights, with binaries and source code downloadable from Sourceforge while the OpenStack Dash tools are the vanilla MetricsGrimoire set hosted on github. The code is free as in freedom so you’re welcome to play with it. We’re working to put both pieces of code in the hands of the OpenStack Infrastructure team soon.

Following up on the long session hosted during the  Summit in Portland and 1-on-1 discussions, I’ve created a new topic on the Development mailing list.  You can join the conversations about OpenStack metrics and the Activity Board  avoiding the high volume traffic on the Development list by subscribing only to the Metrics topic. You’ll receive only messages that have the words [metrics] or [activity] in the subject and nothing else.  Go to http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/options/openstack-dev to subscribe and pick “Metrics” among the topic categories you would like to subscribe to.

If you want to know how the OpenStack Activity Board can help you understand your team’s activities in the project, build reports, integrate data from different sources, join the webinar we’re hosting on May 9th. We’ll keep ironing out the known issues while we think about the future of the platform.

Introducing the OpenStack Activity Board

I am pleased to announce that a beta release of the OpenStack Activity Board (beta) is now live. The development Activity Board announced few months ago provides a visual overview of all the OpenStack public activity of community members across multiple dimensions: contributors and organizations, projects and tools. From a single interface, you can easily surf OpenStack project content, whether it is coming from the LaunchPad bug tracker, Git or Gerrit, all mapped against the OpenStack Foundation members database.

The Vision Behind the Activity Board

The intention is to give the community a way to answer very precise questions like: who’s contributing to that particular feature of OpenStack? What is that developer/company working on? Which commits/changes are related to a particular bug? Who’s joined the development community recently? With the Activity Board, we have integrated information across the different systems used to develop OpenStack to give corporate and community users a unified view of all the efforts going into OpenStack. There are two main parts of the Activity Board: the Dash and the Insights. The Dash contains reports built by Bitergia using the free software suite MetricsGrimoire, it focuses on trends and quantitative presentation. The Insights, enriched with a semantic layer, powered by zAgile’s open source Wikidsmart adds qualitative details with faceted search of concepts across all the different repositories, tracing people and artifacts across different repositories and bug tracker in order to reconcile people and corresponding contributions.

Looking to the Future

With the integration, we know that we can become a much more efficient project in terms of communicating to members, monitoring our progress, and getting work done. The project is its infancy and we wish to continue to evolve the solution and enhance it with everyone’s feedback. First of all we need you to look at the data and let us know if you find any mistake (we’re keeping a log of known issues). There are a number of areas we want to consider, for example:

  • Streamline the faceted search interface according to the community’s desires
  • Add more reports based on community requests
  • Add integration with other OpenStack project data sources (blueprints, mailing lists, Ask, user groups, IRC)
  • Potentially enable interoperability (which is inherent in the Wikidsmart abilities) so that an event in one tool, for example LaunchPad, kicks off another action or update within another tool
  • Remove the dependency on Confluence, port the visualization to an open source wiki or portal,
  • Publish all the code and tools, integrate the Activity board in the OpenStack infrastructure processes

Learn More

If you would like to learn more, we are featuring the OpenStack Activity Board in the upcoming events:

I look forward to your comments and further collaboration to make sure this solution benefits the whole community to the maximum extent.

OpenStack Community Weekly Newsletter (July 27-Aug 3)

Highlights of the week

OpenStack Foundation Board – 2012 Election Candidates

See the current list of nominees for the OpenStack Foundation 2012 Board Member Elections who have received at least one nomination. A candidate must receive at least 10 nominations to appear on the ballot. Any active member of the OpenStack Foundation can support a nominee or nominate a new candidate http://www.openstack.org/community/openstack-foundation-board-2012-election-candidates/. A candidate must receive at least 10 nominations to appear on the ballot and must be a member of the Foundation.

The final day to nominate a candidate is Monday August 6, 2012.

Rostyslav Slipetskyy’s Thesis on OpenStack security

This is a pretty awesome bit of work done by a researcher in Denmark. I enjoyed reading it and I highly recommend it as day 1 reading for Infosec professionals and researchers getting into OpenStack. Slides and you can download the full thesis (PDF).

API Stability Statement

It is critical to the success of OpenStack that operators be willing to upgrade to new OpenStack releases. All OpenStack APIs use a versioning scheme that is completely independent from the named releases (Essex, Folsom, etc.). One obstacle to upgrading to a new OpenStack release is if there are incompatible API changes that could cause user applications to stop working. Operators want great new features and APIs to be the only aspect of the upgrade process visible to their users. Old API versions should continue to work. More on http://wiki.openstack.org/Governance/Approved/APIStability

OpenStack PPB defined “Supporting Project”

There is a new category of OpenStack projects in addition to Core, Incubated, Library and Gating projects: “Supporting projects”. The initial list of projects in this category is available on the wiki, with more details: http://wiki.openstack.org/Governance/Accepted/SupportingProjectDefinition.

OpenStack Security Primer

Matt Joyce introduction to security and OpenStack. He’s maintaining the blog http://secstack.org, now available also on http://planet.openstack.org.

Tips and tricks

Upcoming Events

Other news

Stats from traffic on docs.openstack.org

Statistics taken from the traffic on docs.openstack.org, from January 1st 2012 to July 31st.

Country/Territory visits to docs.openstack.org from Jan 1 2012 to July 31 2012

The weekly newsletter is a way for the community to learn about all the various activities occurring on a weekly basis. If you would like to add content to a weekly update or have an idea about this newsletter, please leave a comment.

 

Community Weekly Review (Apr 6 – 13)

OpenStack Community Newsletter – April 13, 2012

HIGHLIGHTS

IMPORTANT LINKS FOR THE SUMMIT AND CONFERENCE

OTHER NEWS

COMMUNITY STATISTICS

This week’s statistics are contributed by Bitergia, a startup company expert in analysing open source communities. They developed for us a tool to analyse the history of OpenStack bug reports hosted on Launchpad. The charts below represent data taken from the projects: nova, glance, swift, horizon, keystone, manuals, quantum, tempest, python-keystoneclient, python-novaclient, python-quantumclient

This weekly newsletter is a way for the community to learn about all the various activities occurring on a weekly basis. If you would like to add content to a weekly update or have an idea about this newsletter, please leave a comment.

Documentation Wrangling and Statistics Sharing

I’ve been tracking web analytics on the documentation site since we put it up in February, and I thought I’d share some of the more interesting nuggets of data I’ve mined. I believe the documentation statistics offer a crystal ball, a window showing the future of what’s up-and-coming for OpenStack. Let’s gaze together.

Flickr: pasukaru76

The docs.openstack.org site regularly tops 1,700 visits a day which is about 40,000 a month. Nearly 10% of visitors are site regulars, with 9-14 visits in a month, and new visitors account for over a third of the traffic. I find search and content analytics much more interesting than just site traffic, though.

At the top of the docs.openstack.org site is a custom search engine that searches the docs site, the wiki, and each developer doc sites (such as nova.openstack.org). The engine is fine-tuned to only show results for the Cactus release documents in docs.openstack.org/cactus so that there aren’t a lot of duplicates with docs.openstack.org/trunk. Yesterday I further expanded the custom search engine to include the documentation for projects in docs.openstack.org/incubation, namely Keystone, the Identity Service for OpenStack. As a result, you can more easily find Keystone API documentation and Keystone developer documentation. Hopefully it means those of you tweeting that you can’t find the Keystone docs while you’re out shopping with your family can now find them no matter your mobile circumstances!

Last month, the top search term for the docs.openstack.org site was Quantum, which revealed the need for our newly incubated project Quantum to add more documentation. Fortunately Dan Wendlandt is on the case and working on developer and administrator documentation now. Also, the custom search engine gives results on the OpenStack wiki for Quantum.

We also have a rather fancy implementation of custom Event Tracking so I can track search data when a reader searches within a particular manual. We have data starting with mid-June. Popular searches once someone’s within a manual are glance, dashboard, vlan, floating, and zone. Interestingly, terms like accounting and billing show up in both the individual guides search and on the main search. I can extrapolate a couple of items from this type of data:

  1. People recognize project names, and the Image Service (glance) docs are embedded within the Compute book for the Cactus release. For Diablo, the Image Service will have its own set of books.
  2. The Dashboard had been trending for a while, so I put the docs in the Compute books prior to its incubation. That looks to be a good decision still.
  3. Accounting or billing solutions don’t exist in the OpenStack ecosystem yet, but people are certainly searching for them.

Our custom event tracking tells us that we’re also getting about 100 comments a month using the Disqus tool, and users are answering other users, which is excellent, keep it up!

One additional tracking item that I find interesting is that downloading the PDF of the OpenStack Compute Admin Manual is in the top 10 exit pages. I think people get in, download what they need, and get out. PDF output is considerably more popular than I had realized. I guess a lot of people hop on a plane and read docs or want the manual at their bedside table to go to sleep with?

Hopefully this tracking doesn’t creep you out, because the data really can help me shape the future for OpenStack documentation. You can always opt out of these tracking devices, and I’m sure some of you do. Let me know if there are any other documentation insights you would like to know.

Q2 2011 Community Health Statistics

Welcome to the end of Q2 2011 and the start of Q3 2011 (at least by my calendar). I like to share the quarter by quarter growth of a variety of community health-points with the broader community so everyone can see where the community is heading. If you have other ideas for metrics to monitor please contact me at stephen.spector@openstack.org.

End of Q2 2011 Data

Measurement Q1 2011 Q2 2011
Number of registered developers 165 217
# entities in a formal relationship 62 80
# technology releases 1 (Bexar) 1 (Cactus)
# attendees at Design Summit 350 (Santa Clara, CA) 350 (Santa Clara, CA)
# members Facebook OpenStack group 319 587
# members LinkedIn OpenStack group 395 908
# members Ohloh Swift group 25 26
# members Ohloh Nova group 98 122
# of members announce mailing list 1144 1338

Totals Data

Measurement Q1 2011 Q2 2011
# visitors to OpenStack.org website 128,343 189,056
# pageviews to OpenStack.org website 293,892 452,502
# #openstack tweets 876* 4,112

* Missing 4 weeks of data due to measuring tool issue

I am also tracking several data points (bugs, blueprints, etc) that I publish in the OpenStack Wiki at http://wiki.openstack.org/WeeklyNewsletter.

OpenStack Social Media Survey Results

Over the past week, the OpenStack Community Management team has conducted an online Social Media Engagement survey to better understand the needs and wants of various community member types in relation to the information available. The survey results are available, SurveySummary_06082011 with no details on the participants who answered questions.

Based on these results, we are taking the following three actions to meet the needs of the community:

1. Result – OpenStack.org and the OpenStack presence on various social networks (especially Twitter and LinkedIn) are the primary information sources of most respondents with 60% looking to receive even more information on a regular basis.

    Action –  A social network plan will be drafted to better link the various OpenStack information repositories with community member information access points. This plan will drive content from OpenStack Slideshare, Vimeo, Flickr, OpenStack.org and other repositories to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Be on the lookout for this plan as we intend to ask the broader community for feedback on the various options available in this plan.

    2. Result – Two community member types stood out in the survey: Participating company prospects and Active contributor prospects.

    Action – A “Getting Started with OpenStack” document is planned for publication with all the information on becoming a participating company, active participant, developer, etc. This document will be visible in many social networking sites including the OpenStack home page to provide critical information for these community prospects.

    3. Result – The OpenStack Forum is showing strength for people looking for information and answers to common OpenStack user questions.

    Action – New marketing and promotion initiatives will be started to significantly raise the awareness of the OpenStack Forum and help drive more participation.

    Thanks again for everyone that participated and if you have more thoughts on this issue, please contact Summer Fouche; or Stephen Spector.

    image:futurity.org

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