Open Hour 2020-JUL-09

January 23, 2021 - slangadmin


  • Salt news and updates
  • Sodium point release
  • Magnesium planning updates
  • Community PR Merge jam details
  • Open discussion and questions

Salt news and updates

Community Manager Cassandra Faris

  • Moving forward, there should be 3-4 virtual user group meetings per month. Most topics will be repeated twice to accommodate audiences in different countries and time zones.
  • Working Group schedule changes are posted in their respective Slack channels, the announcements channel, IRC, and on the Google Community Event calendar.
  • PR Merge Jam planning in progress. The event is scheduled for July 28-30 and will include PR support plus a kickoff event and lightning talks at the end.
  • Test Clinics happen every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00am MT/5:00pm UTC on The clinics are a time for contributors to get support with their tests.

Sodium Point Release

SaltStack Engineer Daniel Wozniak

  • The point release is held up due to some branch test failures that have been failing since they were tagged. As soon as they’re fixed, the team will merge everything that’s tagged and complete the release.
  • The targeted release date is moving from July 15 to July 20.

Magnesium planning updates

SaltStack Project Manager Sage Robins and Cassandra Faris

  • Magnesium will include many items that have been pushed back, community empowerment initiatives, testing, and technial updates. The deliverables are spaced throughout the release rather than all due at once.
  • Technical planning
    • Items that have been pushed back to this release include Tornado and several bug fixes
    • Working on packaging to single binary and increased Python 3 support.
    • Heavy focus on testing, test times, and PR runs so that people aren’t waiting for hours to discover whether their PRs are ready to be merged.
  • Community planning
    • Considering how to expand the working groups and potentially create an architecture board. We’d like to increase Working Group and community member access to GitHub so they can help with triage, labeling, assignments, and the backlog.
    • Communication-wise, Magnesium will focus on improving communications about PR statues, submitted issues, and releases. The team is looking into automation options.
    • Community deliverables: PR Merge Jam, creating a single source of info/forum for announcements and updates, and clarifying documentation and guidance for new contributors.

Community PR Merge jam details

Cassandra Faris and Sage Robins

  • What is a merge jam?
    • When Salt went from develop to master, there was a ~1000 item backlog that needed merged. That’s been burned down to about 250. The jam is a community effort to burn those down and either merge them in or determine whether they no longer need merged.
    • The core team did an internal merge jam during Sodium and is using that as the basis to organize the community jam.
    • One delay to getting things ported is a lack of testing. The merge jam will be a time to write tests in order to port items. People who want to learn to write tests should attend the merge jam.
  • Logistics
    • The event will run July 28-30 with core team members available to support contributors. It will kick off with a small talk and will end with some lightning talks to wrap up the event.
    • The week before the event, the team will publish a document with preparation instructions and a list of the PRs to be addressed.
    • If you’re interested in giving a lightning talk, contact Cassandra. Topic-wise, talks on how people are using Salt in their work or side projects are great. The event is also open to DevOps, Security, and Professional Skills topics.

Open discussion and questions

Community and Core Team

  • We’re trying to determine the best place for people to get Salt information. This is a recurring question/request from community members. What are some suggestions and ideas for communicating information?
    • Possible options include a forum and an RSS feed. The team is researching options and tools.
    • Community suggestions and comments
      • “An RSS feed should include information for new releases, breaking changes and known errata”.
      • “Definitely see the benefit of forums, as that’s more permanent and less realtime than both slack and irc. it’s also got a wider scope than issues can cover”.
      • “I think a forum would be great. I was hoping the google groups would satisfy that, but it hasn’t. Slack is too quick imo for longer discussions such as a forum.”
      • “Need to be careful not to split focus too much tho. as a user i wouldn’t want there to be lots of places i need to keep track of”.
      • “Zulip: It’s like Slack but allows threads with topic names per channel. That brings it a step closer to being forum-like — and keeps the entire history (searchable). We’re using it for the CI for the Formulas Working Group and collecting everything into topics. — you’d need to use a GitHub-based login to check this out”. There are GitHub discussions, which we’re also using — but they’re not searchable (at the moment)”.
      • “Developers will likely have a GitHub account, but salt users aren’t all developers”.
      • “Of course you could always have a slack channel dedicated to automated notifications about issues/threads/posts/whatever in any other system being used”
  • IRC and forum tool suggestions
    • IRC: Weechat, Glowing Bear, IRC Cloud, irssi
    • Forum: Zulip, Discourse, GitHub (within PRs/issues)