OpenStack Summit Hong Kong

From my very personal view on the past OpenStack summit in Hong Kong, it has been a good and productive summit. Luckily, both of my sessions were accepted:

Separate OpenStack Dashboard and Horizon

The first session was about how to separate Horizon and OpenStack Dashboard. It is very little known to folks outside the Horizon project, how both parts relate to each other.

Just looking at Horizon's source code, one will see mainly two directories, horizon and openstack_dashboard. The subject is, to distribute code from both directories in two separate projects. The directory horizon contains the framework, which is used to build the WebUI provided in the directory openstack_dashboard. The latter is mostly known as Horizon. Mixing the terms is quite confusing for anyone. For the rest, I'll use the terms WebUI and framework for OpenStack Dashboard resp. for the code provided in the horizon dir.

In the past, most changes on the source code have been made in only one of both parts, where the majority of changes were improvements at the WebUI part. The idea behind dividing both is, that we'll be able to promote the framework separate from OpenStack at all, and it might attract new developers or users for this. The framework fills gaps in the Django, and thus will be a valuable addition directly to Django or to the Django eco-system outside the OpenStack context. In distributions, like in Ubuntu or Fedora, both parts are separated for a long time or have been divided since ever. When using a different WebUI, there will be no need to handle dependencies for the unused WebUI part at all.

The main question here, if we shall do this or not is simply: is the framework mature and stable enough. Since changes in the framework itself will affect two repositories instead of one, this is the key question. Attendants of the session agreed, it's a good idea to split both parts, and I'm planning to do this during the next development cycle.

Plugin architecture for OpenStack dashboard

This session was more technical than the other. Currently, when adding an additional dashboard, tab, etc. to the WebUI, it's required to change each time. This is e.g not update safe and not packaging friendly at all. The outcome of the session was, we (== Horizon developers) should investigate stevedore, which is used by other OpenStack projects for the same reasons. The same should work with a bit of hacking for auto-discovery for Panels and PanelGroups. This is something on my personal todo list as well, and luckily Monty Taylor offered his help for this topic as well.