Starting August 1st, 2020, the User Committee will no longer operate as a separate entity. The entire OpenStack community will be represented by a single elected body, including developers, operators and end users of the OpenStack software, and inclusive of all types of contributions to the project.
To avoid a costly amendment of the Bylaws, that single elected body will be called "the Technical Committee", but its role will be expanded to cover duties formerly filled by the User Committee.
When the OpenStack project governance was established in 2012, we defined two separate bodies. The Technical Committee represented developers / code contributors to the open source project(s), while the User Committee represented the operators running the resulting software, as well as users of the APIs.
That setup served us well in those early days. The focus on the upstream side was strongly around development of code, we did not have that many users, and even less users directly involved in upstream development. A separate User Committee resulted in the formation of an engaged community of users, and ensured that our community in general (and our events in particular) took the needs of operators into account.
We now have a lot of users, and thanks to the efforts of the User Committee they are increasingly directly involved in the open source project development and maintenance, with several operators leading upstream project teams directly.
Keeping two separate bodies maintains the illusion that devs and ops are different breeds, and that you have to choose a side. Having a unified body will encourage more operators to contribute directly, to run for election to the Technical Committee, and to influence the shape of the software.
The User Committee is defined in the OpenStack bylaws. To avoid amending the bylaws, the User Committee will still formally exist, with the following rules.
The User Committee consists of five members: the Technical Committee chair and four other members, elected from within the current Technical Committee membership. Not more than half of the members of the User Committee should be affiliated with the same organization.
The User Committee will therefore formally be a subcommittee of the Technical Committee, although the User Committee mission (representing and serving the user community of OpenStack) will be filled by all the Technical Committee members.
The bylaws require a chair of the User Committee to be designated. The chair of the Technical Committee will fill that role.
The chair of the User Committee is a honorific title, they do not fill any specific duty.
The bylaws define 'Active User Contributors' as being the electorate to elect the User Committee. Since the Technical Committee members now elect the User Committee members, starting on August 1st, 2020, Active User Contributors are the elected Technical Committee members.
The Active User Contibutors electorate (previously used to elect the separate User Committee body) will be included in the electorate electing the Technical Committee. To that effect, the Active User Contributor criteria will be used by the Foundation to propose such contributors as extra Active Technical Contributors if they are not part of the Technical Committee electorate already.
The User Committee is considered meeting every time the Technical Committee meets and at least three of the User Committee members are present.
This charter may be amended by a simple vote by the Technical Committee members.