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From Cody Koeninger <c...@koeninger.org>
Subject Re: Spark Improvement Proposals
Date Sun, 09 Oct 2016 17:40:11 GMT
Here's my specific proposal (meta-proposal?)

Spark Improvement Proposals (SIP)


Background:

The current problem is that design and implementation of large features are
often done in private, before soliciting user feedback.

When feedback is solicited, it is often as to detailed design specifics,
not focused on goals.

When implementation does take place after design, there is often
disagreement as to what goals are or are not in scope.

This results in commits that don't fully meet user needs.


Goals:

- Ensure user, contributor, and committer goals are clearly identified and
agreed upon, before implementation takes place.

- Ensure that a technically feasible strategy is chosen that is likely to
meet the goals.


Rejected Goals:

- SIPs are not for detailed design.  Design by committee doesn't work.

- SIPs are not for every change.  We dont need that much process.


Strategy:

My suggestion is outlined as a Spark Improvement Proposal process
documented at

https://github.com/koeninger/spark-1/blob/SIP-0/docs/spark-improvement-proposals.md

Specifics of Jira manipulation are an implementation detail we can figure
out.

I'm suggesting voting; the need here is for a _clear_ outcome.


Rejected Strategies:

Having someone who understands the problem implement it first works, but
only if significant iteration after user feedback is allowed.

Historically this has been problematic due to pressure to limit public api
changes.

On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 5:16 PM, Reynold Xin <rxin@databricks.com> wrote:

> Alright looks like there are quite a bit of support. We should wait to
> hear from more people too.
>
> To push this forward, Cody and I will be working together in the next
> couple of weeks to come up with a concrete, detailed proposal on what this
> entails, and then we can discuss this the specific proposal as well.
>
>
> On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 2:29 PM, Cody Koeninger <cody@koeninger.org> wrote:
>
>> Yeah, in case it wasn't clear, I was talking about SIPs for major
>> user-facing or cross-cutting changes, not minor feature adds.
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 3:58 PM, Stavros Kontopoulos <
>> stavros.kontopoulos@lightbend.com> wrote:
>>
>>> +1 to the SIP label as long as it does not slow down things and it
>>> targets optimizing efforts, coordination etc. For example really small
>>> features should not need to go through this process (assuming they dont
>>> touch public interfaces)  or re-factorings and hope it will be kept this
>>> way. So as a guideline doc should be provided, like in the KIP case.
>>>
>>> IMHO so far aside from tagging things and linking them elsewhere simply
>>> having design docs and prototypes implementations in PRs is not something
>>> that has not worked so far. What is really a pain in many projects out
>>> there is discontinuity in progress of PRs, missing features, slow reviews
>>> which is understandable to some extent... it is not only about Spark but
>>> things can be improved for sure for this project in particular as already
>>> stated.
>>>
>>> On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 11:14 PM, Cody Koeninger <cody@koeninger.org>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> +1 to adding an SIP label and linking it from the website.  I think it
>>>> needs
>>>>
>>>> - template that focuses it towards soliciting user goals / non goals
>>>> - clear resolution as to which strategy was chosen to pursue.  I'd
>>>> recommend a vote.
>>>>
>>>> Matei asked me to clarify what I meant by changing interfaces, I think
>>>> it's directly relevant to the SIP idea so I'll clarify here, and split
>>>> a thread for the other discussion per Nicholas' request.
>>>>
>>>> I meant changing public user interfaces.  I think the first design is
>>>> unlikely to be right, because it's done at a time when you have the
>>>> least information.  As a user, I find it considerably more frustrating
>>>> to be unable to use a tool to get my job done, than I do having to
>>>> make minor changes to my code in order to take advantage of features.
>>>> I've seen committers be seriously reluctant to allow changes to
>>>> @experimental code that are needed in order for it to really work
>>>> right.  You need to be able to iterate, and if people on both sides of
>>>> the fence aren't going to respect that some newer apis are subject to
>>>> change, then why even mark them as such?
>>>>
>>>> Ideally a finished SIP should give me a checklist of things that an
>>>> implementation must do, and things that it doesn't need to do.
>>>> Contributors/committers should be seriously discouraged from putting
>>>> out a version 0.1 that doesn't have at least a prototype
>>>> implementation of all those things, especially if they're then going
>>>> to argue against interface changes necessary to get the the rest of
>>>> the things done in the 0.2 version.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 2:18 PM, Reynold Xin <rxin@databricks.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> > I like the lightweight proposal to add a SIP label.
>>>> >
>>>> > During Spark 2.0 development, Tom (Graves) and I suggested using wiki
>>>> to
>>>> > track the list of major changes, but that never really materialized
>>>> due to
>>>> > the overhead. Adding a SIP label on major JIRAs and then link to them
>>>> > prominently on the Spark website makes a lot of sense.
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 10:50 AM, Matei Zaharia <
>>>> matei.zaharia@gmail.com>
>>>> > wrote:
>>>> >>
>>>> >> For the improvement proposals, I think one major point was to make
>>>> them
>>>> >> really visible to users who are not contributors, so we should do
>>>> more than
>>>> >> sending stuff to dev@. One very lightweight idea is to have a new
>>>> type of
>>>> >> JIRA called a SIP and have a link to a filter that shows all such
>>>> JIRAs from
>>>> >> http://spark.apache.org. I also like the idea of SIP and design
doc
>>>> >> templates (in fact many projects have them).
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Matei
>>>> >>
>>>> >> On Oct 7, 2016, at 10:38 AM, Reynold Xin <rxin@databricks.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>
>>>> >> I called Cody last night and talked about some of the topics in
his
>>>> email.
>>>> >> It became clear to me Cody genuinely cares about the project.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Some of the frustrations come from the success of the project itself
>>>> >> becoming very "hot", and it is difficult to get clarity from people
>>>> who
>>>> >> don't dedicate all their time to Spark. In fact, it is in some ways
>>>> similar
>>>> >> to scaling an engineering team in a successful startup: old
>>>> processes that
>>>> >> worked well might not work so well when it gets to a certain size,
>>>> cultures
>>>> >> can get diluted, building culture vs building process, etc.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> I also really like to have a more visible process for larger changes,
>>>> >> especially major user facing API changes. Historically we upload
>>>> design docs
>>>> >> for major changes, but it is not always consistent and difficult
to
>>>> quality
>>>> >> of the docs, due to the volunteering nature of the organization.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Some of the more concrete ideas we discussed focus on building a
>>>> culture
>>>> >> to improve clarity:
>>>> >>
>>>> >> - Process: Large changes should have design docs posted on JIRA.
One
>>>> thing
>>>> >> Cody and I didn't discuss but an idea that just came to me is we
>>>> should
>>>> >> create a design doc template for the project and ask everybody to
>>>> follow.
>>>> >> The design doc template should also explicitly list goals and
>>>> non-goals, to
>>>> >> make design doc more consistent.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> - Process: Email dev@ to solicit feedback. We have some this with
>>>> some
>>>> >> changes, but again very inconsistent. Just posting something on
JIRA
>>>> isn't
>>>> >> sufficient, because there are simply too many JIRAs and the signal
>>>> get lost
>>>> >> in the noise. While this is generally impossible to enforce because
>>>> we can't
>>>> >> force all volunteers to conform to a process (or they might not
even
>>>> be
>>>> >> aware of this),  those who are more familiar with the project can
>>>> help by
>>>> >> emailing the dev@ when they see something that hasn't been.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> - Culture: The design doc author(s) should be open to feedback.
A
>>>> design
>>>> >> doc should serve as the base for discussion and is by no means the
>>>> final
>>>> >> design. Of course, this does not mean the author has to accept every
>>>> >> feedback. They should also be comfortable accepting / rejecting
>>>> ideas on
>>>> >> technical grounds.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> - Process / Culture: For major ongoing projects, it can be useful
to
>>>> have
>>>> >> some monthly Google hangouts that are open to the world. I am
>>>> actually not
>>>> >> sure how well this will work, because of the volunteering nature
and
>>>> we need
>>>> >> to adjust for timezones for people across the globe, but it seems
>>>> worth
>>>> >> trying.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> - Culture: Contributors (including committers) should be more direct
>>>> in
>>>> >> setting expectations, including whether they are working on a
>>>> specific
>>>> >> issue, whether they will be working on a specific issue, and whether
>>>> an
>>>> >> issue or pr or jira should be rejected. Most people I know in this
>>>> community
>>>> >> are nice and don't enjoy telling other people no, but it is often
>>>> more
>>>> >> annoying to a contributor to not know anything than getting a no.
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >> On Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 10:03 AM, Matei Zaharia <
>>>> matei.zaharia@gmail.com>
>>>> >> wrote:
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Love the idea of a more visible "Spark Improvement Proposal"
>>>> process that
>>>> >>> solicits user input on new APIs. For what it's worth, I don't
think
>>>> >>> committers are trying to minimize their own work -- every committer
>>>> cares
>>>> >>> about making the software useful for users. However, it is always
>>>> hard to
>>>> >>> get user input and so it helps to have this kind of process.
I've
>>>> certainly
>>>> >>> looked at the *IPs a lot in other software I use just to see
the
>>>> biggest
>>>> >>> things on the roadmap.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> When you're talking about "changing interfaces", are you talking
>>>> about
>>>> >>> public or internal APIs? I do think many people hate changing
>>>> public APIs
>>>> >>> and I actually think that's for the best of the project. That's
a
>>>> technical
>>>> >>> debate, but basically, the worst thing when you're using a piece
of
>>>> software
>>>> >>> is that the developers constantly ask you to rewrite your app
to
>>>> update to a
>>>> >>> new version (and thus benefit from bug fixes, etc). Cue anyone
>>>> who's used
>>>> >>> Protobuf, or Guava. The "let's get everyone to change their
code
>>>> this
>>>> >>> release" model works well within a single large company, but
>>>> doesn't work
>>>> >>> well for a community, which is why nearly all *very* widely
used
>>>> programming
>>>> >>> interfaces (I'm talking things like Java standard library, Windows
>>>> API, etc)
>>>> >>> almost *never* break backwards compatibility. All this is done
>>>> within reason
>>>> >>> though, e.g. we do change things in major releases (2.x, 3.x,
etc).
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >
>>>>
>>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail: dev-unsubscribe@spark.apache.org
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Stavros Kontopoulos
>>>
>>> *Senior Software Engineer*
>>> *Lightbend, Inc.*
>>>
>>> *p:  +30 6977967274 <%2B1%20650%20678%200020>*
>>> *e: stavros.kontopoulos@lightbend.com* <dave.martin@lightbend.com>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>

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