Open Hour 2020-SEP-03

January 23, 2021 - slangadmin


  • Salt news, updates, and SaltConf 20 Virtual
  • SEP 25: Add runtime registers to Salt
  • New contributor greeting & experience
  • Community Advisory Board planning
  • Open community discussion & questions
  • Meeting video 2020-09-03

Salt News and Updates

Community Manager Cassandra Faris

  • Triage added to Twitch streams.
  • Releases, SEPs, and Updates.
    • Core Team Focus
      • Development: Continued work on tech debt, ZeroMQ work, label and potential SEP discussions.
      • Community: Continued work on the new contributor greeting and orientation tools, Docs Jam planning.
    • A new Salt-Enhancement Proposal (SEP) on packaging Salt with Tiamat is available for discussion and review. We will be discussing it during the September 10 Open Hour.
  • In the coming weeks, Salt will switch to PyTest as the only test runner because is reaching its end of life. A blog post is live on the community site:
  • Events
    • Docs Jam setup clinic Sep. 30
    • Docs Jam Oct. 7
  • SaltConf Virtual: Oct. 29
    • The Call for Proposals (CFP) is open to anyone who would like to give a talk. Tell us the cool stuff you’re doing with Salt.
    • Proposal submission form
    • If you need ideas for talks or help writing your proposal, reach out to Cassandra.

SEP 25: Add Runtime Registers to Salt

SaltStack Project Manager Sage Robins
Discussion begins at 3:05 on the video

  • The SEP is available here.
  • The SEP is in its initial stage. Its author is going to review it again but can’t join an Open Hour to discuss due to time zone constraints.
  • If a SEP author wants to have a live discussion, we can schedule that. SEP discussions can work well with asynchronous communication.

Community Advisory Board Planning

SaltStack Community Manager Cassandra Faris
Discussion begins at 7:22 on the video

  • We are in the early stages of creating a Community Advisory Board.
    • We would like to hear what the community would like from this board.
    • At this moment, we’re doing research and discussing what the Board would do.
    • If you’d be interested in joining the Advisory Board, contact Cassandra.
  • The Advisory Board may be responsible for the following:
    • Suggesting, determining, and monitoring best practices.
    • Coauthoring and monitoring SEPs.
    • Provide feedback on Working Group Captains and other community leadership decisions.
    • Provide technical influence and direction for the Salt project.
  • As we get closer to implementing the board, we’ll narrow the goals, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Some benefits of an advisory board:
    • Helps more voices be heard.
    • Provide leadership and community representation.

New Contributor Greeting, Experience, and Unit Test Discussion

Salt Community and Core Team
Discussion begins at 13:57 on the video

  • Overview: We’re trying to improve the new contributor experience by telling new contributors what to expect after submitting their first PR or issue. In addition to acknowledging the new contribution, we want to provide them with some useful Salt resources.
    • We’re creating a greeting bot that will automatically comment on new contributions in GitHub. We want the bot to be useful and want community feedback on what it should say.
    • We also want to know what information new contributors need when they begin working on the project. Like documentation improvements, this is going to be an ongoing project. Today’s discussion will help determine which improvements to focus on first.
  • Basic information new contributors need:
    • What is Salt? How is it different from other projects in the same space?
    • What is the development and PR process and timeline?
    • Who are our personas? What might they need?
  • Community member suggestions for new contributor info (Quotes taken directly from contributor comments in Zoom and Twitch chat and verbal discussion):
    • “Continuing the current top of new Salt user instead of new developer. IMHO one issue I have is the workflow of developing new Salt code. The normal process of commit to a git repo in a branch, and then testing it on a Salt master is a bad workflow while developing. I found salt-ssh to be a far better workflow, but I also consider salt-ssh to be the redheaded step child of the Salt project. Improving salt-ssh to make it more usable would be great. I was just running into a new feature from 3000, jinja.load_map, and found it doesn’t work with salt-ssh, because of the extra_refs issue. There are many other salt-ssh-isms that get in the way”.
    • “The current workflow is slow, hard to iterate quickly, and hard to debug. For someone that is not a python expert, and needs to test constantly to see what they’re doing is correct, it takes like 5-10 minutes to iterate a changeā€¦. Perhaps a guide on setting up a salt development environment that makes it easier to quickly iterate through writing modules, etc”.
    • “Examples are way too basic. Need more “howto” advanced guides Write an external pillar? When to use them? Formulas are terrible to digest for a newcomer”.
    • “Vault integration with approve approach doc basically says “go to hashicorp docs for details” Documentation assumes contributors know a lot of things”.
    • “Perhaps a guide on setting up a salt development environment that makes it easier to quickly iterate through writing modules, etc. Right now the current workflow is slow and sucks, but I got some suggestions on using LXC/kitchen to make it faster. Perhaps a guide on setting that all up”.
    • “How-to turn a salt module into a pop/idem project”.
    • “People starting get easily confused by terminology. They can read pillar, and even read a description of it, but still don’t understand it. On the top of why people don’t find documentation is people don’t directly navigate the Salt site, they google search for a term and read what they find.”.
  • Reference material needed:
    • “Better graphics to represent processes and flows”.
    • “Not specifically related to PR process, but I can tell you as a new Salt user, and not coming from a development background, that my biggest challenge has been documentation. It’s mostly find as a reference, but even the non-python documentation is very python-focused, and can be difficult to digest”.
    • “There is a real dearth of “how to do this documentation”, and not nearly enough examples”.
    • “There’s a huge learning curve to do almost anything useful in Salt, and I fear you’re losing market share to Ansible because Ansible is much easier to jump into”.
  • Unit Test information and streamlining
    • “The single biggest issue historically and now with PRs has been lack of unit tests and now the requirement to have unit tests. I think the new requirement for unit tests is a general good idea, but a way to streamline the unit test process would be great. Some of the things mentioned like clear documentation, easy to find documentation, and on the clinics get the word out more. I didn’t know they existed”.
    • Test clinics are a great place to start learning tests. Those occur on Twitch every Tuesday at 1:00pm MT/7:00pm UTC and Thursday at 9:00am MT/3:00pm UTC. Join a clinic for help with your tests or hands-on assistance working through them.

Open Community Discussion and Questions

Salt Community and Core Team

  • There were no general questions. The group continued discussing the new contributor experience until Open Hour ended.