A New Galaxy

August 21, 2015 by Chris Houseknecht

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We launched Galaxy back around the beginning of 2014 with the intent of creating a place for the community to find and share Ansible roles.

Since that time some truly amazing things have happened including: tremendous growth in the Ansible community, huge successes with Tower, and the steady growth of our company to name just a few. During this time Galaxy grew as well, reaching more than 16,000 users and over 3,000 Ansible roles.

Galaxy as a web site and an application, however, changed very little since the early part of 2014. The home page looks almost exactly as it did the day we launched the site. About the only thing we changed was removing the BETA label and maybe fixing a bug or two.

Well, I’m happy to announce that this is changing. Galaxy will now get the attention it deserves - the attention our community and users deserve. Starting 4 weeks ago we officially made the decision and commitment to treat Galaxy as a product. Galaxy is now on a regular release schedule, and we have a team in place, dedicated to building Galaxy. Our first release launches today. Yay!

From this point forward Ansible is committed to making Galaxy a truly useful and valuable resource for our community. Our goal is to make Galaxy the source for really good Ansible roles - roles that make starting an automation project easier and faster; and roles that showcase Ansible best practices. Galaxy will be a source of help to new Ansible community members, enabling them to get up and running faster. And, we see Galaxy as a way to forge connections between the Ansible community and other open source software communities by providing Ansible roles, documentation and tools that make installation and configuration simple.  

To make this happen our team is already putting the pieces in place. We’re building continuous integration to automate future builds and releases. We’re laying the groundwork to build automated testing. We’re actively fixing bugs and working on enhancements. And, most importantly, we opened a public issue tracker on Github to encourage the community to track our progress and provide feedback. Anyone can report a bug, make a suggestion and comment on our backlog items.

We’re off to a good start already with some much overdue bug fixes and enhancements in this first release, including:

  • Style and page layout redesigns to make navigation easier.

  • Improved documentation.

  • Limiting contribution to Github connected accounts only, allowing for tighter Github integration in the future.

  • Made it easier to see overall rating for a role.

  • Made it easier to add a rating.

  • Search roles by platform

  • Show search results in descending order automatically when sorting by creation date or highest score.

  • Provide visual cues while the system is retrieving data.

And we’re not taking a break. We’re already thinking about future releases of Galaxy and kicking around potential items for the road map:

  • More UI enhancements to make it easier to find and discover

  • Tighter integration with Github

  • Linting roles - to enforce minimum standards

  • Dynamic testing of roles - to improve quality

  • Travis integration

  • Add a role download count

  • Search Galaxy with the ansible-galaxy command line tool

  • Track module usage by role

It’s amazing to think about where Ansible has come from and all the great successes we’ve had these last couple years. But we’re not done yet. We’re continuing to move forward, and we’re bringing Galaxy with us fullsteam.

The Galaxy team is excited and committed to getting it right. Check out the new site, and share your thoughts on the issue tracker. Give us your honest feedback; report bugs; share your ideas for future enhancements, and join us as we work hard and continue to improve.

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Topics:
Ansible Galaxy


 

Chris Houseknecht

Chris is the Principal Engineer at Ansible by Red Hat. Starting as employee number five, Chris keeps watch over Ansible Docker modules, maintains Ansible Galaxy and is the lead Engineer for Ansible Container. When he’s not working he spends his time cooking, walking his dogs or outside on his mountain bike or motorcycle. He can be found on twitter at @chouseknecht.


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