Earlier this week, OpenStack community leader Jonathan Bryce posted to the community that the recent controversy over the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors resolved with neither side choosing to pursue any further action. But questions over corporate involvement in the OpenStack project still linger.
A quick primer: In late July, controversy hit the OpenStack Foundation, the still-developing guiding entity for the OpenStack open source cloud platform, when individual-level member Shanley Kane withdrew her nomination for the Board of Directors amid allegations that a corporate backer attempted to bully her out of the running.
In his message to the OpenStack Foundation membership at large, Bryce wrote that – as promised – independent counsel was made available to both parties, with the opportunity to bring the issue up in front of the Board of Directors once one’s been assembled. But neither Kane nor the mysterious unknown corporate member are taking matters to the next level.
Thus ends the election drama, not with a bang but a whimper. Bryce took the opportunity to remind the OpenStack Foundation members of a few things:
- Corporate nominations are not required for Individual Members who wish to run for an Individual Member seat. Any Individual Member regardless of his or her affiliation can nominate any other Individual Member.
- Individuals who have potential conflicts of interest are not prohibited from standing for election. If elected, their potential conflicts may be reviewed by the Board of Directors as provided in the code of conduct for officers, directors and employees, but it does not preclude their serving on the Board.
- No corporate members have appointed board members as of this date.
In other words, the OpenStack Foundation is trying to encourage everybody to join up as an individual member, regardless of who they work for – an individual member may have more to contribute than the projects his or her company is working on. And the Board of Directors will vet any candidate for potentially damaging conflicts.
But judging from the thread that resulted from Bryce’s message, the OpenStack community is not yet assuaged. It seems that many fear that individual memberships will be used to stuff the ballot, so to speak, in favor of representing the agenda of the larger Gold and Silver members (Rackspace Hosting, Comcast, and so on). In fact, a few members went so far as to suggest that individual memberships be barred from employees of Gold and Silver members. Clearly, the individual members don’t trust the corporate involvement in their open source baby.
Moreover, it doesn’t quite sit right that OpenStack, which is built on the idea of openness, still isn’t naming the other party in this matter. Even if Kane has let the matter drop, I can’t help but feel like the membership deserves to know who’s allegedly trying to manipulate the foundation. All the same, it seems like the OpenStack Foundation is looking to put this behind them as it tries to successfully hold its first-ever elections.