Tag: Monocular
22 Feb 2017 in Helm, Announcement, Monocular

Building A Helm Repository UI.

Readers of this blog are well acquainted with the amazing, rapid success of Helm. Matt Butcher, who leads Deis's Helm efforts, narrated the unlikely origin story here.

I'll add some additional subtext to that tale: one of the assumptions of our hackathon design efforts was that such a product would need a web UI for users to explore, search, and get detailed info on published charts (of course we hadn't yet named these packages charts!). Though this UI was key in communicating the value proposition of a standard Kubernetes package manager ecosystem to our honorable hackathon judges, it was largely set aside as we went about actually building the core components of the Helm stack, and most importantly, building the community of contributors and users.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Today, Bitnami presents the first public web UI to interface with official published Helm charts:

https://kubeapps.com.

Very importantly, this site is an instance of a very intentional effort to introduce a Helm front end as a general purpose, open project that builds upon the ideas of the chart repository as a general purpose, open specification. That project is lovingly named Monocular:

https://github.com/helm/monocular

Introducing the first Helm web UI as an open source project honors the spirit of the Helm community, and greater Kubernetes community. Monocular sprung from Kubernetes SIG-Apps, and this initial iteration is a joint effort between by Bitnami and Deis. Bitnami's Miguel Martinez outlines the technical implementation in great detail in his recent blog post.

Cooperation ftw

Starting with the very first architectural discussion, this was a pure collaboration between two companies: Deis and Bitnami. Miguel, Adnan Abdulhussein , and Ángel M de Miguel at Bitnami focused on the front end, while I led the Deis team building the RESTful backend and advocating for a generic, re-usable architecture. The inter-company cooperative experience was natural, engaging, and productive. It was amazing to see that level of common investment on a nascent open source project.

We are thrilled to see https://kubeapps.com in action. There's no better way to discover the rich, diverse work of so many Helmers! (Remember to refresh your browsers, because things are moving quickly!)

The Future of Monocular is You!

Are you building your own charts, and interested in hosting private repositories with a full UI stack for publication, search, and discovery? Are you keen to shape the public web presentation of the official Helm chart community? Get involved in Monocular!