What I wished my studio looked like (are.na/block/6501928)

This month in Co-op Cloud October (+ September 🙈) 2021

Heyaaa 👋 As we ran overdue on getting the September edition out and it is nearly the end of October, here’s a bumper double month edition for your reading pleasure! Happy Hacking!

Abra is stabilising

We can happily report that the new Golang version of abra has started to become the daily driver for several folks involved in the project. We have been doing a serious amount of testing, bug squashing, UI/UX work on the tool. The new abra has certainly reached feature parity with the old Bash version and is now starting to provide new functionality. Here are some of the highlights so far:

  • We’ve finally cracked automating our release process via goreleaser. The results can be seen on our releases page. The change logs are generated directly from our Git commit messages, binary checksums are included out-of-the-box and our CI system publishes a release whenever we tag a commit. It’s been working out fine and we’ve already published a scorching 12 releases! Thanks to comrade @knoflook for helping get this set up.

  • The new recipe maintainer work flow with abra has been finalised and is already in use. We’ve been working quite intensively on a simple but reliable versioning system for recipes and have come up with this approach. abra now supports upgrading, labelling, tagging and publishing new recipe versions, see these docs for more. Thanks again to comrade @knoflook for helping get this out the door, see their proposal for more background context on this work.

  • The UI/UX for 3rd party integrations is being finished up with proof-of-concept integrations with capsul-flask and Hetzner Cloud for VPS management and Gandi for DNS management. Here is a short preview video showcasing that progress. There are more bugs to fix on this feature but we’re happily accepting change sets for other integrations!

  • We’ve migrated our issue tracker from here to there so that we can streamline issue support and make it more clear how the project is being managed. We’ve wired up corresponding milestones and have created a number of issue templates to help folks report problems or make feature requests.

  • libcapsul has been published (a prototype client library for capsul-flask) separately outside of abra core and a rake of new commits have landed on tagcmp. The Golang libraries can be installed via the usual got get coopcloud.tech/... method.

  • A hefty amount of fixes went into the latest point release (20+ 🤯) and a new 0.3.0-alpha release should be coming out this month with another round of improvements. Thanks to all the brave souls who have been testing the tool so far. Now is a great time to get involved in alpha testing and coming into the loop, providing feedback and shaping what abra can be!

European Networked Media

We were excited to head to the kick-off session of the “Networked European Media” project. This project by the European Cultural Foundation (our main funder for the beta version of Co-op Cloud!) has already started helping us understand even more about the infrastructure needs of pro-social organisations, and we’re also getting to know the other excellent ECF grantees better. Stay tuned for more!

Kite-Flying Hour rhythm and notes

Due to budgeting and capacity issues, we’ve switched from having weekly “open floor” calls (read more on the purpose of the Kite-Flying Hour here) to having them once a month. They’ve been wonderful informal discussions with folks popping in from all over the world. It’s always left us with a warm and fuzzy feeling after the call. We wanted to re-share some notes from a discussion which was a very rambling and enjoyable scenic journey through the various philosophical underpinnings of the project which might be of interest to curious folks. Notes are here.

Co-op Cloud @ Home

@aadil, @travvy and @3wc kicked off an exploration of the long-hoped-for-but-so-far-neglected use case of running Co-op Cloud apps on a home-server. We’re starting off with working out how to use Co-op Cloud’s Traefik instance as a reverse proxy for existing apps on a homeserver that’s already internet-accessible – once that’s done we’ll be moving on to working around the requirement for a public IP (possibly helping test our comrade @forest’s newly-launched “Greenhouse” system), and then packaging some of the key homeserver apps like Jellyfin and friends.

App backups are coming

3wc has come up with a very promising prototype for a generalised backup solution for Co-op Cloud apps! Following prior art, discussions and experiences with various backup tools, a new backup-bot-two has arrived and is already being tested in 150c953c51. Follow along via #30.

New & improved apps

  • owncast, self-hosted live video and web chat server for use with existing popular broadcasting software, is undergoing some alpha testing on https://owncast.demo.coopcloud.tech, read more below!
  • federatedwiki, share pages circulating within a creative commons, is now in use on https://wiki.cafe and shortly the OpenLearning project.
  • snikket, Chat that is simple, secure, and private (N.B. still a work in progress!)

If you’ve got ideas for other apps you’d like to see packaged, feel free to add them straight to the app packaging request list on git.coopcloud.tech (remember, you can log in directly with either Gitlab or Github).

The CoopCloudCast

We’ve started an experimental livestream via owncast.demo.coopcloud.tech – so far, we’ve worked on adding OpenID Connect Single Sign-On to Penpot, and revving up the engines for backup-bot-two. Drop into our Matrix channel if you’ve got an idea for something you’d like us to look at during a future stream, or if you’d like to join us on one!

Sustainable infrastructure

We’re delighted to announce that nice folks such as the PeachCloud project are migrating their source code to git.coopcloud.tech/PeachCloud! This prompted a discussion about how to manage costs of this infrastructure and we’ve since set up a new tier on our Open Collective for wiring up a recurring payment. See our shiny new contribution tab here and huge shout-out to PeachCloud folks who have set up the first payment. Very Exciting ™

Co-op Cloud In The Wild

@3wc has been working with @Bortseb to migrate OpenLearning’s Cloudron- / manual-Docker-hosted infrastructure to Co-op Cloud, which has already provided a bunch of super-valuable testing – including abra’s “local server” mode, and the OpenID Single Sign-On set-up process for various apps. More news soon!

If any of this sounds interesting, please drop by our Matrix space and say hello 👋. We’d love to hear from you and to have a chat about what you think of the project and how it might be useful for you 💗 You can also follow the project on Twitter and/or the Fediverse.