The open source OpenStack cloud platform is being built by a diverse and large group of vendors and developers. Among those vendors is Linux leader Red Hat, a company that is no stranger to being part of a multi-stakeholder open source effort, like the GNOME Linux desktop, for example.
Helping to lead Red Hat's OpenStack efforts is Senior Principal Software Engineer, Mark McLoughlin. McLoughlin isn't just a leader at Red Hat, he was also the leading contributor by code commits to the recent OpenStack Grizzly release. In an exclusive video interview with Datamation (see below), McLoughlin explains how his years of experience in the GNOME desktop community prepared him and Red Hat to help OpenStack to succeed.
McLoughlin joined Red Hat nine years ago, working on the GNOME desktop and has also worked on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV). From an OpenStack contribution perspective, McLoughlin is a bit embarrassed to be identified as the top comitter to the project. He explained that his time spend on OpenStack is not specifically directed by Red Hat's CTO. His responsibilities including helping both the project as well as Red Hat's own effort around OpenStack.
"I'm trying to help make the upstream project a success by what I see as cross-project issues," McLoughlin said. "The other half of my job is to help with the internal direction of what we're doing with OpenStack."
As to why McLoughlin sees himself as being successful within the OpenStack community, it has a lot to do with his experience in the GNOME community.
"I put down a lot of my success in OpenStack to the fact that I've been through this before with GNOME and I know the dynamics of working with lots of developers with different interests and priorities," McLoughlin said.
His experience with GNOME taught him how to enable consensus across developers and how futile flame wars could be. The OpenStack community is as diverse as the GNOME community and is also filled with passionate developers.
One of the biggest controversies in recent years with GNOME was the move to the GNOME Shell with GNOME 3. GNOME Shell replaces the GNOME Panel, which is a technology that McLoughlin was very involved with. The change to GNOME 3 is something that McLoughlin noted the GNOME project went through in the transition to GNOME 2 as well.
OpenStack has been through one major transition so far, in the rewrite of the Keystone authentication engine.
"In another community that might have extremely painful, but in OpenStack, controversies tend not to lead to the same out of proportion flame war discussions," McLoughlin said.
Watch the video interview with Mark McLoughlin below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamaion and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.