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Governance/Foundation/TechnicalCommittee

OpenStack Technical Committee charter

Mission

The Technical Committee ("TC") is tasked with providing the technical leadership for OpenStack as a whole (all official programs, as defined below). It enforces OpenStack ideals (Openness, Transparency, Commonality, Integration, Quality...), decides on issues affecting multiple programs, forms an ultimate appeals board for technical decisions, and generally has oversight over all the OpenStack project.

OpenStack Programs

OpenStack "Programs" are efforts which are essential to the completion of the OpenStack project mission, which is to produce the ubiquitous Open Source Cloud Computing platform that will meet the needs of public and private clouds regardless of size, by being simple to implement and massively scalable. Programs can create any code repository and produce any deliverable they deem necessary to achieve their goals.

Programs are placed under the oversight of the TC, and contributing to one of their code repositories grants you ATC status (see below). Current efforts or teams which want to be recognized as a Program should file a motion to the TC. The TC has ultimate authority over which programs are accepted or declined.

The current, official list of programs can be found here.

Program Leads

Program leads ("PTLs") manage day-to-day operations, drive the program goals and resolve technical disputes within their program. Each program community should be self-managing by the contributors, and all disputes should be resolved through active debate and discussion by the community itself. However if a given debate cannot be clearly resolved, the PTL can decide the outcome. Although the TC is generally not involved in program-internal decisions, it still has oversight over program-specific decisions, especially when they affect other programs or go contrary to general OpenStack project goals.

TC Members

The TC is composed of 13 directly-elected members. It is partially renewed using elections every 6 months. All TC members must be OpenStack Foundation individual members. You can cumulate any other role, including Foundation Director, with a TC seat.

TC Chair

After each election, the TC proposes one of its members to act as the TC chair. In case of multiple candidates, it may use a single-winner election method to decide the result (see below). The Board of Directors has the authority to approve the TC chair and shall approve the proposition, unless otherwise justified by its bylaws. The TC chair is responsible for making sure meetings are held according to the rules described below, and for communicating the decisions taken during those meetings to the Board of Directors and the OpenStack community at large. It may be revoked under the conditions described in the Foundation bylaws.

Meeting

TC meetings happen publicly, weekly on IRC. The meeting time should be decided among TC members after each election. If there isn't consensus on a meeting time, the option of rotating the time weekly should be explored. The TC maintains an open agenda on the wiki. A TC meeting is automatically called if anything is posted to that wiki by one of its members at least one day before the meeting time. For a meeting to be actually held, at least half of the members need to be present (rounded up: in a 13-member committee that means a minimum of 7 people present). Non-members affected by a given discussion are strongly encouraged to participate to the meeting and voice their opinion, though only TC members can ultimately cast a vote.

Motions

Before being put to a vote, motions presented before the TC should be discussed publicly on the development mailing-list for a minimum of 4 business days to give a chance to the wider community to express their opinion. TC members can vote positively, negatively, or abstain. Decisions need more positive votes than negative votes (ties mean the motion is rejected), and a minimum of positive votes of at least one third of the total number of TC members (rounded up: in a 13-member committee that means a minimum of 5 approvers).

Proxying

When a TC member is unable to make a meeting, they are encouraged to name a proxy that will represent their opinion and vote on their behalf during the meeting. Only members really present at the meeting (directly or proxied) can vote. A TC member may proxy another member, but nobody should ever represent more than two votes.

Election for PTL seats

PTL seats are completely renewed every 6 months. A separate election is run for each program. These elections are collectively held 5 weeks prior to each design summit, with nominations due 6 weeks prior to the summit and elections held open for no less than five business days.

Voters for PTL seats ("APC")

Voters for a given program PTL election are the active program contributors ("APC"), which are a subset of the Foundation Individual Members. Individual Members who committed a change to a repository of a program over the last two 6-month release cycles are considered APC for that program.

Candidates for PTL seats

Any APC can propose their candidacy for the corresponding program PTL election. Sitting PTLs are eligible to run for re-election each cycle, provided they continue to meet the criteria.

Election for TC seats

The 13 TC seats are partially renewed every 6 months using staggered elections: 6 seats are renewed every (Northern hemisphere) Fall, and 7 seats are renewed every Spring. Seats are valid for one-year terms. For this election we'll use a multiple-winner election system (see below). The election is held 3 weeks prior to each design summit, with nominations due 4 weeks prior to the summit and elections held open for no less than five business days.

Voters for TC seats ("ATC")

The TC seats are elected by the Active Technical Contributors ("ATC"), which are a subset of the Foundation Individual Members. Individual Members who committed a change to a repository under any of the official OpenStack programs (as defined above) over the last two 6-month release cycles are automatically considered ATC. Specific contributors who did not have a change recently accepted in one of the OpenStack programs but nevertheless feel their contribution to the OpenStack project is technical in nature (bug triagers, technical documentation writers...) can exceptionally apply for ATC either by sending an email to the TC chair or by being nominated by an existing ATC via email to the TC chair. Final approval on the exception is decided by the TC itself, and is valid one year (two elections).

Candidates for TC seats

Any Foundation individual member can propose their candidacy for an available, directly-elected TC seat.

Initial committee

The current TC will serve as TC until the elections in Fall 2013. At that point, the two TC members who still had 6 months to serve get a 6-month seat, and an election is run to determine the 11 other members. Candidates ranking 1st to 6th would get one-year seats, and candidates ranking 7th to 11th would get 6-month seats. Spring 2014 elections should see the normal renewal of 7 seats.

Election systems

For single-winner elections, a Condorcet system shall be used.

For multiple-winner elections, a Condorcet or a STV system should be used.

Amendment

Amendments to this Technical Committee charter shall be proposed in a special motion, which needs to be approved by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the total number of TC members (rounded up: in a 13-member committee that means a minimum of 9 approvers).