Everett Toews

Helping you shave narwhals

Forming the OpenStack API Working Group

16 Oct 2014

Have you ever been flummoxed by the inconsistencies and odd design decisions of the OpenStack APIs?

A new working group about APIs is forming in the OpenStack community. Its purpose is “To propose, discuss, review, and advocate for API guidelines for all OpenStack Programs to follow.” To learn more read the API Working Group wiki page.

API Working Group Participation

You too can help make the OpenStack APIs better going forward by participating in this group. Many people have already committed to making the APIs better. I invite you to add yourself to the members on the wiki page and watch the openstack-dev mailing list for emails prefixed with [api]. If you’re only interested in this topic on the mailing list then you can only subscribe to the API Working Group topic under the Subscription Options.

It’s important that this working group have deliverables. Specific things the group can do so that the member’s work has a measurable impact on improving the OpenStack APIs.

The deliverables for the API WG are:

  1. Agreed upon and accepted guidelines must be added to version controlled documents.
  2. Review comments on code changes and specs that affect any OpenStack Program API.

The purpose of these deliverables is to not only create guidelines but to act on them as well. As the guidelines are settled upon, the members can use them to review code and spec changes that affect APIs in Gerrit. Commenting on reviews and giving a +1 or -1 to APIs that follow or don’t follow the API guidelines will give this working group the potential to affect real change in OpenStack.

There’s an ongoing thread (starting here) on the openstack-dev mailing list about kicking things off. Not every aspect of how the API WG will operate has been settled so feel free to comment. And new conversations around the APIs have already begun. For example, this thread discussing a task based API for long running operations.


This is only the beginning of the API Working Group. Let’s continue the conversation on the openstack-dev mailing list. Let’s propose cross project API guideline sessions at the OpenStack Paris Summit. Above all, let’s focus on meeting our deliverables.