[openstack-dev] [Murano] Developer's productivity with MuranoPL

Alexander Tivelkov ativelkov at mirantis.com
Tue Aug 16 14:31:04 UTC 2016

Hi folks,

The developer's productivity and ease of use is critical for the language
adoption, and I believe we have issues with these in MuranoPL. The things
are slowly getting better (thanks to the guys who are bulding th MuranoPL
syntax checker [1] which will be a very useful tool), but that's not
enough: we need more tools to simplify dev's life.

Let me provide a quick example: what does it take to run a "Hello World" in
To create such an introductory MuranoPL program the developer has to:
1) Install Murano with the rest of openstack (i.e. spin up devstack with
Murano and Glare plugins)
2) Write the actual HelloWorld "program" (mind the absence of simple
"print" function and the non-so-obvious need to extend
io.murano.Application class for the example to be runnable as murano's
entry point)
3) Write the UI.yaml file to provide the input object graph (even if there
is no user-supplied paramters - we still have to have this file)
4) Write a manifest.yaml
5) zip the program, the ui and the manifest into a package
6) Upload the package to Glare
7) Create an environment in Murano dashboard
8) Add the demo app to the environment
9) Deploy the environment

I hope I din't miss any step. Even excluding the time to spin up devstack
(and the high probability that a newcomer will not do that properly from
the first attempt) this is going to take at least 30 minutes. Even when the
environment is set up, the whole "make code changes - recreate the package
- reupload the package - recreate the environment - redepoy" cycle is

What do we need is a simple and easy way to run MuranoPL code without the
need to set up all the server-sides components, generate object model and
interact with all the production-grade machinery murano has under the hood.
To do something like:

   $ cat "- print('Hello, World')" > ./hello.yaml
   $ murano-pl ./hello.yaml

Ideally there should be an interactive REPL-like shell, with smart
indentation and code completion similar to the Python's (we have one for
yaql, and so we should for MuranoPL).

That is not a very hard thing to do, and it will simplify the developers'
onboarding dramatically.

So, I propose to start with a simple thing: to separate the MuranoPL
interpreter (mostly the code located in murano.dsl package, plus some other
stuff) from the rest of Murano. Put it into a standalone reporitory, so it
may be packaged and distributed independently. The developers will just
need to 'pip install murano-pl' to have the local interpreter without all
the dependencies on murano api, engine, database etc. This new package may
include the murano-pl test-runner (this tool is currently part of the main
murano repo and is hard to use since it requires to have a valid config
file which is not a proper option for a cli tool). Then we may include some
other devloper-side tools, such as a murano-pl debugger (when we finally
have one: this is a separate topic).
Finally, we will need to remove the core library (murano.engine.system)
package from the main murano repo and also make it a standalone
repo/package with its own lifecycle (it would be very helpfull if we could
release/update the core library more frequently). So the main murano repo
(and appropriate package) will contain only the server-side murano
components: the REST API, the engine, DB api, model and migrations etc.

When this is done we may begin adding other developer's productivity tools:
starting with debugger and then to various kinds of IDE integrations.

Thoughts, opinions?

Alexander Tivelkov
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