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Add Technical Committee Charter #156

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merged 2 commits into from Sep 5, 2019

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@yurishkuro
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commented Aug 7, 2019

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Signed-off-by: Yuri Shkuro <ys@uber.com>
Signed-off-by: Yuri Shkuro <ys@uber.com>

## Establishment of the Technical Committee

TC memberships are not time-limited. There is no maximum size of the TC. The size is expected to vary in order to ensure adequate coverage of important areas of expertise, balanced with the ability to make decisions efficiently. The TC must have at least four members and is recommended to have an odd number of members for tie-breaking purposes.

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@mtwo

mtwo Aug 8, 2019

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Pasting discussion from the monthly governance meeting: we should consider making these time limited

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@yurishkuro

yurishkuro Aug 8, 2019

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are there arguments in favor fo time limited? The downside is that then TC would need to have formal election process similar to GC

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@bhs

bhs Aug 22, 2019

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The governance committee met today and discussed this topic (among others).

Briefly, we believe that there is a tradeoff between the "stability and velocity of the project" on one hand and "robust checks and balances on TC members" (including term limits) on the other. Given the current project stage (read: "very early and highly dynamic / chaotic"), we believe that OpenTelemetry's goals will be best-served by leaving term limits out of the TC charter for now, but we also recognize that this may very well shift in the future as the technical landscape around OpenTelemetry stabilizes.

As such, our resolution is to leave this section as-is for now (i.e., "no term limits"), but to intentionally reconsider this topic no later than July 2020; if the balance has shifted towards "checks and balances" and away from "stability" at that time, we may very well introduce term limits, a formal TC election process, and so forth.

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mtwo approved these changes Aug 8, 2019
@tedsuo

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commented Aug 12, 2019

Summarizing the proposal, please let me know if this is accurate.

  • The TC has final authority and responsibility for the specification and technical roadmap.
  • Decisions are made by consensus voting mechanisms chosen by the TC.
  • The TC may be any size greater than three.
  • Existing TC members choose new members.
  • No more than 1/4 of the TC may be employed by the same company.

There are more details in the proposal; are there any top level bullet points which I missed?

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commented Aug 15, 2019

@tedsuo, from this angle, one additional item here is also a note about SIG maintainers and their relationship to TC.

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commented Aug 15, 2019

One thing that occurred to me: in the current formulation, it will be awkward to add a single TC member since that would move the total TC headcount from odd to even. We could either assume the convention of adding pairs of people at a time?

I've thought more about having "real" elections for the TC. There is a clear tradeoff between...

  1. project velocity (both in terms of the overhead of running elections, and also the potential hit to velocity if/when new TC members arrive with their different technical vision and direction)
  2. checks and balances on the integrity and quality of the TC

One idea I wanted to float: IMO we really want to bias for stability of vision for at least the rest of 2019 and probably much of 2020. How would we feel about leaving formal TC elections out of the TC charter for now, but formally adding something at the GC level that the issue must be revisited in 2020 Q1? At that point, OpenTelemetry should be GA'd in most languages and the pendulum could swing back towards "checks and balances".

My two cents.

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@yurishkuro can you remind me if we're waiting on anything before merging this? (I did just refer to possible changes/improvements to this PR in this twitter thread, though... we could add a note somewhere explaining the importance of the mostly-silent constituency of developers who work on projects taking a hard dependency on OpenTelemetry.)

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commented Aug 28, 2019

@bhs if we don't need to add anything restrictions on the overlap between GC & TC, then it's ready to merge. I don't think we got a good justification why we want to prevent the overlap between governance (which deals with policies) and TC (which is fully in charge of all technical decisions).

Re the twitter feed, I also raised this question on the draft before, but Sarah pointed that we do have a clause in the current version: "Predictability of releases and standards of compatibility". The standards themselves are not part of the charter, it's something that TC will need to develop.

@bogdandrutu also had a comment about keeping an odd number of people in the TC, not sure if we need to add that.

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commented Aug 29, 2019

Well, in my mind, then, this is ready to merge; @bogdandrutu, please object soon if the odd-numbered consideration feels important.

@bhs bhs merged commit dd75103 into open-telemetry:master Sep 5, 2019
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