Jump to: navigation, search


Revision as of 15:47, 9 May 2014 by Doug-hellmann (talk | contribs) (Review Links)

Official Title: OpenStack Common Libraries

PTL: Doug Hellmann <doug.hellmann@dreamhost.com>

Mission Statement:
To produce a set of python libraries containing code shared by OpenStack projects. The APIs provided by these libraries should be high quality, stable, consistent, documented and generally applicable.

The Oslo Team

The Oslo program brings together generalist code reviewers and specialist API maintainers. They share a common interest in tackling copy-and-paste technical debt across the OpenStack project.

Generalist Code Reviewers

Oslo's core reviewers take on a generalist role on the project. They are folks with good taste in Python code, provide constructive input in their reviews and make time to review any patches submitted to the project, irrespective of the area which a given patch targets.

Specialist API Maintainers

Each library or incubating API has one or more specialist maintainers who have responsibility for evolving the API in question. They work to ensure the API meets the needs of all OpenStack projects and helps to ensure the APIs are widely adopted across the project, wherever the APIs can reduce duplication of functionality.

Project Meetings

See Meetings/Oslo.

Getting in Touch

We use the openstack-dev@lists.openstack.org mailing list for discussions and we all hang out in #openstack-oslo and #openstack-dev on freenode.

Each project also designates a liaison for handling integration issues. See Oslo/ProjectLiaisons.


The following libraries are currently published by the Oslo program. Where we felt that a library had real potential for widespread use outside OpenStack, we chose not to include them in the oslo namespace.

New libraries need to be careful to avoid introducing circular dependencies. See Oslo/Dependencies.


cliff is a framework for building command line programs.

Please file bugs in the python-cliff project in launchpad.



cookiecutter Cookiecutter is a project that creates a skeleton OpenStack project from a set of templates.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad.


oslo.config is a library for parsing configuration files and command line arguments. It is maintained by Mark McLoughlin.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad.

See this historical blueprint describing the initial requirements for the API.


cookiecutter oslo-cookiecutter creates a skeleton Oslo library from a set of templates.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad.


oslo.db is a proposed database handling library.


oslo.i18n is a wrapper around Python's gettext module for string translation and other internationalization features.


The oslo.messaging provides a messaging API which supports RPC and notifications over a number of different messaging transports. It is maintained by Mark McLoughlin.

Bugs and blueprints should be filed using the oslo.messaging launchpad project.

This etherpad captures the latest status and background to this project.


oslo.rootwrap Rootwrap allows fine filtering of shell commands to run as root from OpenStack services.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad and tag them with "rootwrap"


oslosphinx provides theme and extension support for Sphinx documentation from the OpenStack project. It is maintained by Doug Hellmann.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad.


oslo.test provide base classes and fixtures for creating unit and functional tests.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad.



oslo.version handles getting the version for an installed piece of software from the python metadata that already exists. It is maintained by Monty Taylor.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad.


Code common to the VMware drivers in several projects.

Please file bugs in the oslo project in launchpad.


hacking is a set of tools for enforcing coding style guidelines. It is maintained by Joe Gordon and Sean Dague.

Please file bugs in the hacking project in launchpad.


pbr (or Python Build Reasonableness) is a set of sensible default setuptools behaviours. It is maintained by Monty Taylor.

Please file bugs in the pbr project in launchpad.


pyCADF is a python implementation of the DMTF Cloud Audit (CADF) data model.

Please file bugs in the pycadf project in launchpad.


stevedore is a library for managing plugins for Python applications.

Please file bugs in the python-stevedore project in launchpad.


taskflow is a library that helps create applications that handle state/failures... in a reasonable manner. It is maintained by taskflow-dev

More details can be found at: https://wiki.openstack.org/TaskFlow

Please file bugs in the taskflow project in launchpad.


APIs included in Oslo should reflect a rough consensus across the project on the requirements and design for that use case. New OpenStack projects should be able to use an Oslo API safe in the knowledge that, by doing so, the project is being a good OpenStack citizen and building upon established best practice.

To that end, we keep a number of principles in mind when designing and evolving Oslo APIs:

  1. The API should be generally useful and a "good fit" - e.g. it shouldn't encode any assumptions specific to the project it originated from, it should follow a style consistent with other Oslo APIs and should fit generally in a theme like error handling, configuration options, time and date, notifications, WSGI, etc.
  2. The API should already be in use by a number of OpenStack projects
  3. There should be a commitment to adopt the API in all other OpenStack projects (where appropriate) and there should be no known major blockers to that adoption
  4. The API should represents the "rough consensus" across OpenStack projects
  5. There should be no other API in OpenStack competing for this "rough consensus"
  6. It should be possible for the API to evolve while continuing to maintain backwards compatibility with older versions for a reasonable period - e.g. compatibility with an API deprecated in release N may only be removed in release N+2


The process of developing a new Oslo API usually begins by taking code which is common to some OpenStack projects and moving it into the oslo-incubator repository. New APIs live in the incubator until they have matured to meet the criteria described above.

While incubating, all APIs should have a specialist API maintainer. The responsibility of these maintainers and the list of maintainers for each incubating API is documented in the MAINTAINERS file in oslo-incubator.

Developers making major changes to incubating APIs in oslo-incubator must be prepared to update the copies in the projects which have previously imported the code.

Incubation shouldn't be seen as a long term option for any API - it is merely a stepping stone to inclusion into a published Oslo library.

Please file bugs for incubating APIs in the oslo project in launchpad.

We track the graduation status of incubated code in Oslo/GraduationStatus.

Syncing Code from Incubator

APIs which are incubating can be copied into individual openstack projects from oslo-incubator using the update.py script provided. An openstack-common.conf configuration file in the project describes which modules to copy and where they should be copied to.

Usually the API maintainer or those making significant changes to an API take responsibility for syncing that specific module into the projects which use it by doing e.g.:

$> cd ../
$> git clone .../oslo-incubator
$> cd oslo-incubator
$> python update.py --nodeps --base nova --dest-dir ../nova --modules jsonutils,gettextutils

Alternatively, it can make sense for someone to batch sync more minor changes into a project by doing e.g.: To sync all code for a specific project, you can do:

$> python update.py ../nova
Copying the config,exception,extensions,utils,wsgi modules under the nova module in ../nova

in this latter case, the update.py script uses the openstack-common.conf config file to determine which modules to copy. The format of that file is e.g.

$> cd ../nova
$> cat openstack-common.conf

# The list of modules to copy from oslo-incubator

# The base module to hold the copy of openstack.common

Projects which are using such incubating APIs must avoid ever modifying their copies of the code. All changes should be made in oslo-incubator itself and copied into the project.

Please, note, that all changes, which are related to code synchronization from oslo-incubator, must be 'atomic' with this sync. For example, if you remove some feature during synchronization, you must add it back in the same commit. This will help us to avoid losing project functionality.

Using an Oslo Library

See Oslo/UsingALibrary for steps for successfully introducing an Oslo library to a project.


Code in the incubator is expected to move out to its own repository to be packaged as a standalone library or project.

See Oslo/CreatingANewLibrary for the steps involved.

When that process starts, the MAINTAINERS file should be updated so the status of the module(s) is "Graduating". While the module is in the Graduating state, bug fixes and features will need to be maintained in the incubator and in the new library.

After the first release of the new library, the status of the module(s) should be updated to "Obsolete." During this phase, only critical bug fixes will be allowed in the incubator version of the code. All changes should be proposed first to the new library repository, and then bug fixes can be back-ported to the incubator. New features and minor bugs should be fixed in the released library only, and effort should be spent focusing on having downstream projects consume the library.

The incubator version of the code will be supported with critical bug fixes for one full release cycle after the library graduates, and then be deleted. If all integrated projects using the module(s) update to use the library before this time period, the module(s) may be deleted early. Old versions will be maintained in the stable branches of the incubator under the usual long-term deprecation policy.

Discussion on the mailing list here,here, and here


Why aren't alpha releases of oslo.config published to PyPI?

oslo.config is considered part of the OpenStack coordinated release and follows the same release cadence.

The thinking behind this is that any major development that happens in oslo.config is done in support of the projects in OpenStack's coordinated release. Similar benefits accrue from having nova and oslo.config on the same release schedule as say nova and glance. For example, we front-load the major, risky development towards the start of the release cycle and towards the end of the cycle we restrict ourselves to bugfixes. This reduces the risk of major regressions blocking us from doing a release. That's not to say that trunk should ever intentionally be broken. Nor should nova trunk ever be broken. We are committed to supporting folks who wish to deploy from trunk but still recognize that (for the forseeable future, at least) releases are less risky to consume than trunk.

The point is simple - oslo.config is part of the OpenStack release-based development process.

Users of OpenStack releases may just be using 'pip install' to install OpenStack dependencies. If we published oslo.config development releases to PyPI, we'd find ourselves inadvertently breaking working configurations for some users and having to scramble to release fixes for those issues. During our heavy development phase, we really want to avoid the pressure of knowing that any release we make may immediately break working installations of the previous OpenStack release.

You might think that with the level of test coverage we have and our commitment to API stability, the risk of breaking working setups should be minimal. Our experience with oslo.config in Havana teaches us otherwise. At the beginning of the Havana development cycle we expected to be making minimal changes to oslo.config but actually made pretty massive changes to fix some broken semantics. This, in turn, caused issues for Quantum like this and this. In one case, we subtly changed a public oslo.config API we really didn't consider public and in another case Quantum was using a clearly internal oslo.config API. One of the issues was caught by Quantum unit tests, the other issue wasn't.

Ok, so why not restrict the versions of oslo.config used by releases? e.g. why didn't Grizzly restrict itself to '>=1.1.0,<1.2'? It's quite simple - we need to be able to run a mixture of projects from different releases in the same environment. You may choose to upgrade Glance before Nova, for example. If Havana Glance only works with 1.2 and Grizzly Nova only works with 1.1, that doesn't work. This is also the reason why Oslo libraries need to make such a strong commitment to API stability.

So, our requirement is that during the development cycle, the development versions of OpenStack projects should be able to use the development versions of Oslo libraries. But that users of existing stable releases should not be exposed to development versions of Oslo libraries.

The best solution we've come up with to date is to publish oslo.config pre-releases (aka alphas) using the X.Y.ZaN numbering scheme to tarballs.openstack.org and reference them in requirements.txt using:

-f http://tarballs.openstack.org/oslo.config/oslo.config-1.2.0a3.tar.gz#egg=oslo.config-1.2.0a3

The rationale for using this exact method is explained in this review.

We're still looking for better solutions.

We've discussed only pushing alpha releases to OpenStack's pypi and including a --extra-index-url in our requirements.txt pointing to this mirror during the development cycle. While we're only talking about a very small number of libraries, that really isn't much different to the above though.

The new --pre feature in pip 1.4 looked like a very promising solution. However, we realized that there will be people using older versions of pip for a long time to come. If we push pre-releases to PyPI, pip 1.4 users wouldn't be exposed to them by default but users of older pip would.

We are currently scheming about the possibility of only publishing pre-releases in wheel format, which would mean they could only be consumed by pip 1.4 users. This solution does indeed look promising, but we're still thinking through the implications.

Why does oslo.config have a CONF object? Global object SUCK!

Indeed. Well, it's a long story and well documented in mailing list archives if anyone cares to dig up some links.

Around the time of the Folsom Design Summit, an attempt was made to remove our dependence on a global object like this. There was massive debate and, in the end, the rough consensus was to stick with using this approach.

Nova, through its use of the gflags library, used this approach from commit zero. Some OpenStack projects didn't initially use this approach, but most now do. The idea is that having all projects use the same approach is more important than the objections to the approach. Sharing code between projects is great, but by also having projects use the same idioms for stuff like this it makes it much easier for people to work on multiple projects.

This debate will probably never completely go away, though.

Why does Oslo observe feature freeze

Feature freeze is a time to stabilize all of the new features that were added during a development cycle, but since Oslo projects don't necessarily release on the same six month schedule as the other OpenStack projects (or at all in the case of oslo-incubator) it might seem odd that Oslo observes feature freeze.

For the graduated libraries this serves the same purpose as for any of the other projects - it's a time for focusing on bug fixes and stability.

For oslo-incubator, the primary motivation is making last-minute fixes needed by other projects easier to sync. If a new feature lands in oslo-incubator and an unrelated bug is discovered by one of the consuming projects, it becomes a problem to sync just the bug fix to the project. When 11th hour bug fixes are needed it's best if the sync is as simple and small as possible. To avoid problems, oslo-incubator respects the feature freeze period just like any other project.


Review Links

Security Team

In addition to OpenStack's Vulnerability Management team, some members of the Oslo team have indicated their willingness to help with security related issues in Oslo code. See Oslo/Security for the current list.


We use launchpad blueprints to track design proposals.

The icehouse blueprints detail the work currently underway.


Juno Etherpads

Icehouse Etherpads

Etherpads from sessions at the Icehouse Design summit.

Messaging Related Work in Havana

During the Havana cycle, work is going on to re-design our messaging APIs and to add signatures and encryption to our messages.

See this etherpad for yet more details.

Havana Etherpads

Etherpads from sessions at the Havana Design summit.

Grizzly Etherpads

Etherpads from sessions at the Grizzly Design summit.

Folsom Etherpads

Etherpads from sessions at the Folsom Design summit.