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Chasing the most discussed OpenStack blueprints

There are multiple ways to follow the latest and greatest developments in OpenStack: blogs, mailing lists, IRC channels, git commits – you name it. The amount of information about OpenStack is growing every day and I have personally decided to limit drinking from this informational fire hose to occasional checks of the openstack-dev mailing list.

One of the things that I found particularly useful is to follow the discussions about interesting blueprints: at the end of the day all of the functionality available in OpenStack will go through this process. But often I find myself thinking: “I remember that there was a blueprint which provides this functionality and there was a huge discussion around it, but for some reason it was deferred or never has been implemented”. Yes, it is possible to master inbox search functionality and train your brain to keep all these hints in your head, but being lazy we decided to choose a different approach:

  1. Crawl all the data from the openstack-dev mailing list archive
  2. Search for all mentions of the https://blueprints.launchpad.net* pattern, since each blueprint has a unique URL, such as https://blueprints.launchpad.net/neutron/+spec/quantum-l3-routing-plugin, from which you can get the blueprint name and project.
  3. Group all mailing list entries which have links to Launchpad by these unique URL
  4. Count all mentions of a specific blueprint and collect data about it’s current status
  5. PROFIT!!!

If all you have is a hammer basic programming experience, everything looks like a nail candidate for an automation (luckily today’s technologies allow us to create prototypes like this in a couple of days). So we applied this precious gift in the following manner:

  • Implemented a crawler which gets all the data from pipermail archives and stores it in MongoDB
  • Implemented and published a simple web application that allows us to see mention counts of each blueprint, as well as all the drama reasoning behind it (or at least, all that’s publicly available)

Now I can just select several blueprints to follow and monitor story development with several clicks. It doesn’t solve the “fire hydrant” problem, but at least it gives me gives a nice excerpt on the blueprints side. Give it a try and tell us what you think in the comments!

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