[openstack-tc] Discussion about a new umbrella / project for consumer / user experience

Jesse Noller jesse.noller at RACKSPACE.COM
Fri Jan 24 17:41:16 UTC 2014

Hi all; please excuse my newbness. Despite being involved in a lot of other OSS/Foundations/etc - I’m still adapting to the OpenStack way.

Based on the unified client discussion on the -dev list, as well as discussions I’ve had with many others over the past two months, some on the TC, some PTLs, etc there seems to be a general consensus that:

1: The end-user (consumer) experience for the CLI tools / clients is sub-optimal
2: The developer experience for consuming openstack clouds is sub optimal
3: Oslo is not the right place for this work

If you look at the current structure of the projects - a few things pop out - most of them are focused on operators / deployers of OpenStack or, the services themselves. The standouts in this are Horizon and openstack client which have a different audience focus (consumers).

Working through the unified SDK plan, this audience focus again comes around - we are discussing:

1: Creating a unified software development kit for openstack
2: This SDK is aimed at making consumers of openstack clouds lives simpler - single namespace, etc.
3: This would centralize a lot of the code and work on the Python APIs to consume OpenStack services 
4: This would mean that the individual python-* clients would be ideally lightweight front-ends to this SDK
5: Openstackclient would be able to act like item 4: it would be a command line only wrapper to the main SDK

Given the schism in audiences, it looks like Horizon, this project, a unified CLI project and management of the individual CLI tools would fall under a Consumer / User Experience umbrella. 

If you look at the governance setup:


It seems to make sense that the UX proposal potentially be revived; but have actionable items under 3-4 sub teams:

1: Unified SDK / Consumer-Developer tools
2: Unified Client tools (CLI)
3: Horizon (UI)
4: Security
5: i18n 

The last two are sort of tied into this as well, as well as potentially Accessibility - but that’s more of a line item deliverable for Horizon.

I’d appreciate your thoughts: currently I am heads down on a Unified SDK wiki page + blueprints but taking a step back and looking at it holistically, this may be one piece of the overall User Experience of OpenStack. However I think that 1, 2 and 3 stay in their own repositories (and not be pushed into an oslo-like incubator) while 4 & 5 work on deliverable timelines under this umbrella.

I have gotten feedback from HP, others at Rackspace, Dreamhost and users / maintainers that a goal like this is desirable and would greatly help openstack in the eyes of the consumer. However my lack of familiarity and background as a programmer means my gut is to write a spec and then go do that versus discussing the bigger view :)


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