Blueprints and Specs

The Neutron team uses the neutron-specs repository for it’s specification reviews. Detailed information can be found here. Please also find additional information in the reviews.rst file.

The Neutron team does not enforce deadlines for specs and blueprints. These can be submitted throughout the release cycle. The drivers team will review this on a regular basis throughout the release, and based on the load for the milestones, will assign these into milestones or move them to the backlog for selection into a future release.

Please note that we use a template for spec submissions. It is not required to fill out all sections in the template. Review of the spec may require filling in information left out by the submitter.

Neutron BP and Spec Notes

There are occasions when a spec will be approved and the code will not land in the cycle it was targeted at. For these cases, the work flow to get the spec into the next release is as follows:

  • The PTL will create a <release>-backlog directory during the RC window and move all specs which didn’t make the <release> there.
  • Anyone can propose a patch to neutron-specs which moves a spec from the previous release into the new release directory.

The specs which are moved in this way can be fast-tracked into the next release. Please note that it is required to re-propose the spec for the new release however.

Neutron Request for Feature Enhancements

We are introducing the concept of feature requests. Feature requests are tracked as Launchpad bugs, tagged with the new ‘rfe’ tag, and allow for the submission and review of these feature requests before code is submitted. This allows the team to verify the validity of a feature request before the process of submitting a neutron-spec is undertaken, or code is written. It also allows the community to express interest in a feature by subscribing to the bug and posting a comment in Launchpad. Note the temptation to game the system exists, but given the history in Neutron for this type of activity, it will not be tolerated and will be called out as such in public on the mailing list.

RFEs can be submitted by anyone and by having the community vote on them in Launchpad, we can gauge interest in features. The drivers team will evaluate these on a weekly basis along with the specs. RFEs will be evaluated in the current cycle against existing project priorities and available resources.

The process for moving work from RFEs into the code involves someone assigning themselves the RFE bug and filing a matching spec using the slimmed down template in the neutron-specs repository. The spec will then be reviewed by the community and approved by the drivers team before landing in a release. This is the same process as before RFEs existed in Neutron.

The workflow for the life an RFE in Launchpad is as follows:

  • The bug is submitted and will by default land in the “New” state.
  • As soon as a member of the neutron-drivers team acknowledges the bug, it will be moved into the “Confirmed” state. No priority, assignee, or milestone is set at this time.
  • The bug goes into the “Triaged” state once a discussion around the RFE has taken place.
  • The neutron-drivers team will evaluate the RFE and may advise the submitter to file a spec in neutron-specs to elaborate on the feature request.
  • The PTL will work with the Lieutenant for the area being identified by the RFE to evaluate resources against the current workload.
  • In either case (a spec being required or not), once discussion has happened the bug will get an assignee, priority and milestone.
  • Once a patchset targeting the bug is submitted the bug will move into the “In Progress” state.
  • When all patches targeting the bug are merged or abandoned, the bug will be moved to the “Completed” state.

Cutover to RFEs From Pure Specs

Prior to the Liberty release, Neutron relied purely on a waterfall model for handling specs. During Liberty, the goal is to move to the above referenced RFE process. This will allow for the separation of the “What” from the “How”, and ideally allow for better scheduling of work by the PTL and Lieutenants. However, given the fact we have a backlog of specs already and new specs proposed, we need a path forward to not create extra work for everyone.

For Liberty-1, we will allow the old specs to be reviewed as-is. The drivers team will ensure all specs submitted a week before the Liberty-1 deadline are given a review and approved or rejected. After Liberty-1, people will not be required to convert their specs over to RFE bugs during Liberty-1. Once Liberty-1 passes, all old specs will be moved to a “liberty-backlog” directory and anything new will follow the new RFE process fully.

RFE Submission Guidelines

Before we dive into the guidelines for writing a good RFE, it is worth mentioning that depending on your level of engagement with the Neutron project and your role (user, developer, deployer, operator, etc.), you are more than welcome to have a preliminary discussion of a potential RFE by reaching out to other people involved in the project. This usually happens by posting mails on the relevant mailing lists (e.g. openstack-dev - include [neutron] in the subject) or on #openstack-neutron IRC channel on Freenode. If current ongoing code reviews are related to your feature, posting comments/questions on gerrit may also be a way to engage. Some amount of interaction with Neutron developers will give you an idea of the plausibility and form of your RFE before you submit it. That said, this is not mandatory.

When you submit a bug report on, there are two fields that must be filled: ‘summary’ and ‘further information’. The ‘summary’ must be brief enough to fit in one line: if you can’t describe it in a few words it may mean that you are either trying to capture more than one RFE at once, or that you are having a hard time defining what you are trying to solve at all.

The ‘further information’ section must be a description of what you would like to see implemented in Neutron. The description should provide enough details for a knowledgeable developer to understand what is the existing problem in the current platform that needs to be addressed, or what is the enhancement that would make the platform more capable, both for a functional and a non-functional standpoint. To this aim it is important to describe ‘why’ you believe the RFE should be accepted, and motivate the reason why without it Neutron is a poorer platform. The description should be self contained, and no external references should be necessary to further explain the RFE.

In other words, when you write an RFE you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is that I (specify what user - a user can be a human or another system) cannot do today when interacting with Neutron? On the other hand, is there a Neutron component X that is unable to accomplish something?
  • Is there something that you would like Neutron handle better, ie. in a more scalable, or in a more reliable way?
  • What is that I would like to see happen after the RFE is accepted and implemented?
  • Why do you think it is important?

Once you are happy with what you wrote, add ‘rfe’ as tag, and submit. Do not worry, we are here to help you get it right! Happy hacking.

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