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Ignite Devops Fast Moving Software
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Ignite Devops Fast Moving Software

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The API Contract is Dead, Long live the API Contract. Examining how to reduce the amount of work required to keep up with all this fast moving software ... in 20 slides, 15 seconds each.

The API Contract is Dead, Long live the API Contract. Examining how to reduce the amount of work required to keep up with all this fast moving software ... in 20 slides, 15 seconds each.


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  • 1. The API Contract is Dead LONG LIVE THE API CONTRACT Clint Byrum Canonical – Ubuntu Server Team
  • 2. Things move fast today! ● API's Used to be Stable ● Dependencies were few and loosely coupled http://www.flickr.com/photos/mwichary/3582507128/
  • 3. How do we keep our sanity? ● Test Coverage – Continuous Integration ● Automatic Dependency Resolution http://xkcd.com/754/
  • 4. Reality CHECK ● Test coverage is not automatic – Unless it is part of your culture ● The consumers of a library tend to over-trust the upstream's tests to ensure things are working. ● On the fly dependency resolution often makes for an unrepeatable build (YO, Maven, this means you!)
  • 5. GOOD things about FAST change ● Newer versions often add stability AND performance ● Progress – Without constraints, developers are able to add features and refactor at will ● v*.0 is bad, but v0.* is t3h awesome! http://www.flickr.com/photos/metallirat/217984892/
  • 6. BAD things about FAST change ● Stuff breaks ● Repeated Integration Cost ● Encourages bad behavior like embedding specific versions ● Kills kittens
  • 7. Case Study: libmemcached ● 0.31 released almost 1 year ago ● 0.40 current release ● Somewhere between 0.31 and 0.40, the API changed enough to break everything, requiring porting of most apps. ● 1 year of development added features like SASL support and 'memcapable' test tool
  • 8. MongoDB ● v1.2.3 released Feb 23 2010 ● Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid ships with v1.2.2 Apr 29 2010. ● v1.4.3 released May 24 2010
  • 9. Cassandra ● Very new, gaining traction quickly ● So far, releasing about 4 times per year ● Huge number of dependencies, all ship embedded at specific working versions ● Old releases are deprecated very quickly
  • 10. So why do we bother packaging? ● Stability? NO ● Predictibility, “Stasis” ● Uniformity – Easier to support just one version
  • 11. What can authors do? ● Think twice about breaking an API that has been published for a while ● Consider that just because it is v0.x doesn't mean only power users will end up using it. ● Use bold and <blink> for the “THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE” link on the download page..
  • 12. What can distributors do? ● Cry ● Refuse to move forward at the pace of these projects ● Refuse to support old library versions ● Try to support all versions ● All of the above get done in Ubuntu regularly
  • 13. How about a better idea? Something sysadmins already do...
  • 14. NO not more hand waving! http://www.flickr.com/photos/igalko/4690480668/
  • 15. Leverage YOUR Core Competencies ● Python people don't want distro python ● Perl people don't want distro perl ● And MySQL in the distro is ok, but I need percona! ● Most sysadmins just install with the OS, then build everything important from source and drop it in /usr/local
  • 16. Rather than build.. ● PPA or “Personal Package Archive” ● Launchpad service to easily build packages then make the built packages available in a special apt repository. ● Easy to add on ubuntu: 'add-apt-repository ppa:user_or_team/ppaname
  • 17. PPA details ● Once a PPA is established, Server Team would upload packages into it for an upstream ● Allows upgrades to be made available to Ubuntu users very quickly. ● Users who utilize it can upgrade instantly with 'apt-get upgrade'
  • 18. Author Participation ● Upstream can be granted upload access very easily. ● Our first “blessed” team with a PPA: https://lanchpad.net/~cassandra-ubuntu
  • 19. Derivitives Made Easy? ● Kubuntu is Ubuntu w/ KDE as the default ● How about “Youbuntu” which has your packages added on top of the distro. ● What if we made this easy?
  • 20. Got any good ideas about this? I want to hear what you think! #ubuntu-server on Freenode clint@ubuntu.com http://fewbar.com