[OpenAFS] Re: Proto-TAC

Jeffrey Altman jaltman@secure-endpoints.com
Thu, 06 Nov 2008 10:39:35 -0500

Evan Macbeth wrote:
> Jeff,
> Absolutely and understood. I wasn't talking about replacing anything already
> in place or the community! I was simply supporting moving the TAC from
> "idea" to "implementation."

The most important aspect of the TAC is the use of the TAC in
combination with OpenAFS membership to generate funds that
can be used to support the infrastructure and processes of the
organization.  The idea that is currently being discussed provides for
three classes of membership that will balance the weight of the large
organizations, the smaller organizations and individuals within the
OpenAFS community.

Organizations that write OpenAFS a check for $?0,000 or more receive a
guaranteed seat on the TAC.  The number of organizations that do so
determine the size of the TAC.  The TAC would contain three times the
number of seats as the number of largest contributors.  (I think $?0,000
is $49,500 as that number has been well received by several large
organizations but it is still up for debate.)

Organizations that write a check for at least $5,000 but less than
$?0,000 fall into the second tier.  These organizations are not
guaranteed a seat at any particular period of time.  Instead, the
available seats are rotated among the members of the group.

Finally, eligible individuals from the community who have demonstrated
sufficient participation (as measured by karma points which can include
individual contributions of money or code or assistance to other
community members) will elect their representatives.

If in the case that there would be an even number of representatives
the individuals get an extra seat.  The size of the TAC can change
from year to year based upon the number of contributing organizations.

In order to move the TAC forward, OpenAFS needs to begin soliciting
contributions.  While Usenix is willing to accept the checks on our
behalf, organizations have indicated that until there is a legal
Foundation whose membership they can purchase, there is no mechanism
by which a check can be written.  Hence in my opinion the Foundation
and the Board of Directors must come first.

In the meantime, the openafs-devel@openafs.org mailing list is the place
to send any ideas regarding architectural changes to the OpenAFS
implementation of the AFS protocols.  Examples of such ideas include but
are not limited to:

 * operating system independent library routines.   We hope to
   hear soon from Tom Keiser with a proposal covering threading,
   locking, date/time management, and safe string processing

 * asynchronous request interfaces to the Rx protocol stack

 * workflow based redesign of the services

 * support for new file server backends other than inode and namei

 * porting of OpenAFS to new platforms

Anything that requires a protocol change can be discussed on
openafs-devel but once the discussions get to a set of protocol
extensions the AFS standardization process must be completed before
OpenAFS specific discussions can take place.  An example of a work item
that has been going through the AFS standardization process and now
should be discussed on openafs-devel from an implementation perspective

 * Extended Callbacks

Speaking for myself, I don't think that formalizing the TAC before the
Foundation is instantiated is worth while. There is nothing that the TAC
will be able to accomplish at the present time that cannot be
accomplished via community consensus discussions on the mailing lists.

The TAC ensures that those organizations that are putting up funding for
OpenAFS have a voice in how that funding is used while at the same time
ensuring that simply because a company wrote a check for $250,000 they
do not get to decide on their own what goes into the product.  Until the
large donors exist we are all just community members.  As such, I
believe the discussions should take place on the mailing lists.

Jeffrey Altman