Maintenance notification: phabricator.vyos.net

phabricator.vyos.net is going down for a few hours at most. The original VM we deployed from a template had a disk too small for what we need, so we setup a VM with a bigger disk and LVM instead ordinary partition so we can expand it more or less online in the future.

But now we need to move the data to it, and for this we need to take the old machine offline. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sentrium? What Sentrium?

You may start wondering what's that mysterios Sentrium S.L. that appears in VyOS-related material sometimes.

It's pretty easy. Sentrium S.L. is the company that Daniil Baturin (one of VyOS maintainers) and his friend, Yuriy Andamasov who goes by syncer (a long time Vyatta and then VyOS user), and his friend Santiago Blanquet Bru De Sala setup for their IT consulting endeavors, and then thought that it can act as "the company behind VyOS" in cases when being a company makes things easier.

The company is registered in Spain and was funded completely out of our pockets, with no investors involved. Our source of income at the moment is a few consulting agreements with various companies.

To address some concerns it may raise, here are things that Sentrium S.L. may do:

  • Appear in the vendor/subject field in appliance catalogs, SSL certficiates, conference registrations and the like.
  • Provide support and consulting services specifically for VyOS (we are still wondering how to organize in a way that allows other maintainers and experienced community members to participate in it if they choose to).
  • Hire people and purchase services for VyOS (e.g. graphics design)
  • Take over the world.

What Sentrium S.L. will never do:

  • Assume copyrights to existing VyOS source code
  • Require VyOS contributors to transfer their copyright
  • Make a proprietary or freemium versions of VyOS
  • Wipe out the hackers forum
  • Sell VyOS to a FibreChannel switch manufacturer

In other words, for VyOS and its development process, it changes nothing. If we come up with any ideas for commercial support offerings for VyOS, we will tell, and if you have any ideas how to make it community-friendly, tell us!


VyOS infrastructure updates: new blog and new bugtracker/collaboration platform

Infrastructure changes always give people a mixed feeling. Nothing is exactly "the old thing but better", some long standing issues get fixed while some perfectly useful features become unavailable. I'm not an exception, and what I'm doing now also gives me a mixed feeling, but probably it's time to do it.

In any case, here's what we are up to. If you have any questions, or you spot any problems with any of new things we are going to use, please tell us.

TL;DR

The new blog will be on Posthaven (http://vyos.posthaven.com/ aka http://blog.vyos.net/).
The new development portal will be https://phabricator.vyos.net/
We need your feedback about both.

Blog migration

We've been using tumblr for our dev blog since the beginning. Not so many people complained, but there definitely are problems.

  • Twitter and facebook relay truncates posts at the first line instead of just posting the title and the link. This is annoying, and they are not going to fix it apparently.
  • There are multiple formatting issues, some of them didn't exist when we started. Lossless image formats are always converted to JPEG, sometimes the original file is not even preserved. Preformatted text eats some symbols, especially "<" and ">". Reblogging strips the post off its original formatting, if it had any.
  • Its content policy is, uhm, a bit too liberal. Not a bad thing per se, but it occasionally gets it blocked in workplace networks.

I looked into a number of options, including other services, traditional blog engines, and static blog generators. Posthaven costs $5/month if you want to host a blog there, but so far it's free of said problems and generally looks decent. 

The http://blog.vyos.net domain will be switched to here. The old blog will stay accessible at http://vyos-dev.tumblr.com as long as Tumblr is alive.

Bugtracker migration

What's even more important is that we are going to trade Bugzilla for Phabricator (http://phabricator.org/).

When we started the fork, the development process was modelled after the old process used by Vyatta, complete with the same tools. That process, and Bugzilla itself is obviously showing its age, and it's time to rethink it.

One of the greatest concerns is lack of integration with... anything, really. We still post links to commits by hand because there is no easy way to make it automatically update bugs with those links when someone references the bug number in commit message. The need to register an account and oldschool UI, things I normally don't care about myself, are also a deterrent for a large number of people. A number of people also find Bugzilla workflow itself confusing.

I've been looking for a bandwagon to jump on for a while, and Phabricator looks like the best option so far. What also looks appealing is that there were high profile cases of migrating to it from Bugzilla, including Wikimedia Foundation migrating a decade worth of content and workflow to it; Blender and GHC also use it now.

It's a lot more than just a bugtracker and includes applications for bug tracking, code review, questions and answers, a simple wiki, and more. There is OAuth support so people can register through Github, Google, or Facebook if they don't want a local account. Git integration works nicely, and the Q&A app can potentially replace the forum even.

Other maintainers at least don't hate it so far, but we are still to get any feedback from end users. Please go to https://phabricator.vyos.net/ , look around, and tell us what you think so we can reconfigure things to make it easier to use. There's also a question of migrating Bugzilla data to it. It's possible, we've been looking into Wikimedia's way of migrating the data, but I wonder if we really should migrate all data indiscriminately.

To address some immediate concerns, old Bugzilla and the forum will not be removed. They will stay in read only mode for the foreseeable future if we replace them.

We also do not plan to move the code to Phabricator yet. Unless Github becomes evil, primary repositories will stay there, and the ones in Phabricator will be mirrors.