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Checking In On Project Spacewalk

Back at this year’s Red Hat Summit in June, we announced that we were open sourcing Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite under the name Project Spacewalk. In the nine weeks or so since the debut of Spacewalk, we’ve been blown away by the level of interest, the contributions and the excitement generated by the project. We’ve seen some cool results delivered quickly and we wanted to share some of Spacewalk’s milestones to date.

With the start of most open source projects, it takes a little while for the user participation and list traffic to drum up to high levels. So, we predicted that it would take months to get Spacewalk ramped up, and some time before we started receiving patches. Well, much to our surprise and excitement, Spacewalk generated early interest and results came much more quickly than we predicted.



Here are some of the impressive Spacewalk stats so far:

  • Participants
  • spacewalk-list@redhat.com : currently has over 250 members

    This is the main project list where those interested in the project can subscribe. We discuss current features, troubleshoot issues, announce and discuss future designs and send any project-related announcements.
  • spacewalk-devel-list@redhat.com: currently has about 120 members

    Spacewalk-devel is primarily targeted toward development-related discussions, patches, feature implementation discussions, bug fixing and other development-related tasks.

First patches

  • The first patch from inside Red Hat came within three days of the opening of the mailing list.
  • The first patch from the community came within eight days.
  • A total of nine patches have been contributed as of mid-August.

Live chats

  • #spacewalk: averaging approximately 80 members per day

    Building a community quickly, this Spacewalk chat allows community members to talk about installation help, design discussions, patch wrangling, development discussions and more.

From here, our community is continuing to grow and evolve. The development of Spacewalk has a public and open roadmap for our plans over the next 12 months, and the community has helped shape this roadmap already. One of the largest planned features is PostgreSQL support, which was resoundingly demanded from the community as a feature to add. Initial scoping and planning for this complex but crucial development work has already begun. Spirited discussions about how to best approach this feature has evolved on the Spacewalk mailing list with the hope that the best solution will rise to the top. Adding support for an open source database like PostgreSQL will hopefully accelerate collaboration and adoption of Spacewalk for more users and environments for years to come.

We’re really excited about the early progress that Spacewalk has seen and will keep you updated on the latest things we’re working on in upcoming blogs.

We’ll leave you with some memorable messages from the early Spacewalk chats:

  • It all begins

    Jun 17 07:49:31 source code is live!
  • First non-Red Hatter to install Spacewalk

    Jun 17 20:38:16 okay successfully logged in :)

    Jun 17 20:38:24 now comes the client side

    Jun 17 20:38:31 jeevan_ullas: rock. congrats on being the first non Red Hat person to install Spacewalk.