Proposing Features

Proposing Features

Requests for enhancements or new features must follow a process that requires using bug reports and specifications. We publish the contents of the keystone-specs repository at

RFE Bug Reports

All code, documentation, and tests implementing a feature should be tracked. To do this, we use Launchpad bug reports. We use bug reports because the OpenStack review infrastructure has existing tooling that groups patches based on commit message syntax. When you propose a patch that is related to a bug or a feature, the OpenStack Infrastructure bot automatically links the patch as a comment in the bug report. Comments are also immutable, allowing us to track long-running initiatives without losing context.

To create an RFE bug report, file a bug against the appropriate project. For example, if we were to create an RFE bug report for supporting a new Foobar API within keystone, we’d open that RFE against the keystone project. The title should start with “RFE: “, followed by a snippet of the feature or enhancement. For example, “RFE: Implement a Foobar API”. The description should be short. Since we use specifications for details, we don’t need to duplicate information in the body of the bug report. After you create the bug, you can tag it with the “rfe” tag, which helps people filter feature work from other bug reports. Finally, if your specification has already merged, be sure to include a link to it as a comment. If it hasn’t, you can propose, or re-propose, your specification with Partial-Bug: followed by the bug number, at the bottom of your commit message. The OpenStack Infrastructure bot automatically updates the RFE bug report you just created with a link to the proposed specification. The specification template explains how to link to RFE bug reports, which should prompt you to open your RFE bug prior to proposing your specification.

If your feature is broken up into multiple commits, make sure to include Partial-Bug in your commit messages. Additionally, use Closes-Bug in the last commit implementing the feature. This process ensures all patches written for a feature are tracked in the bug report, making it easier to audit. If you miss the opportunity to use the Closes-Bug tag and your feature work is complete, set the bug status to “Fix Committed”.


We use specifications as a way to describe, in detail, the change that we’re making and why.

To write a specification, you can follow the template provided in the repository. To start writing a new specification, copy the template to the directory that fits the project and release you plan to target. For example, if you want to propose a feature to keystone for the Stein release, you should do the following:

$ cp specs/template.rst specs/keystone/stein/feature-foobar.rst

Once you have a template in place, work through each section. Specifications should be descriptive and include use cases that justify the work. There are sections dedicated to the problem statement, the proposed solution, alternative solutions, security concerns, among other things. These sections are meant to prompt you to think about how your feature impacts users, operators, developers, related projects, and the existing code base. The template acts as a guide, so if you need to inject an ad-hoc section to describe additional details of your feature, don’t hesitate to add one. Do not remove sections from the template that do not apply to your specification. Instead, simply explain why your proposed change doesn’t have an impact on that aspect of the template. Propose your specification for review when you’re ready for feedback:

$ git review

The process for reviewing specifications is handled using Gerrit. We don’t restrict the specification selection process to a particular group of individuals, which allows for open and collaborative feedback. We encourage everyone to be a part of the review process. Applying a code-review methodology to specifications allows different people to think through the problem you’re trying to solve. Everyone wants to ensure the best design possible, given various resource constraints. This process takes time. Don’t be discouraged if it takes longer than you anticipated for your specification to get feedback. A specification must have support (+2) from at least two keystone-spec core reviewers and it is typically approved (+Workflow) by the PTL, in order to be formally accepted.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Except where otherwise noted, this document is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. See all OpenStack Legal Documents.