[openstack-dev] [tc][appcat] The future of the App Catalog

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Mon Mar 6 11:26:59 UTC 2017

Hello everyone,

The App Catalog was created early 2015 as a marketplace of pre-packaged
applications that you can deploy using Murano. Initially a demo by
Mirantis, it was converted into an open upstream project team, and
deployed as a "beta" as apps.openstack.org.

Since then it grew additional categories (Glance images, Heat & Tosca
templates), but otherwise did not pick up a lot of steam. The website
(still labeled "beta") features 45 glance images, 6 Tosca templates, 13
heat templates and 94 murano packages (~30% of which are just thin
wrappers around Docker containers). Traffic stats show around 100 visits
per week, 75% of which only read the index page.

In parallel, Docker developed a pretty successful containerized
application marketplace (the Docker Hub), with hundreds of thousands of
regularly-updated apps. Keeping the App Catalog around (including its
thinly-wrapped Docker container Murano packages) make us look like we
are unsuccessfully trying to compete with that ecosystem, while
OpenStack is in fact completely complementary.

In the past we have retired projects that were dead upstream. The App
Catalog is not in this case: it has an active maintenance team, which
has been successfully maintaining the framework and accepting
applications. If we end up retiring the App Catalog, it would clearly
not be a reflection on that team performance, which has been stellar
despite limited resources. It would be because the beta was arguably not
successful in building an active marketplace of applications, and
because its continuous existence is not a great fit from a strategy
perspective. Such removal would be a first for our community, but I
think it's now time to consider it.

Before we discuss or decide anything at the TC level, I'd like to
collect everyone thoughts (and questions) on this. Please feel free to
reply to this thread (or reach out to me privately if you prefer). Thanks !

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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