Today we’re excited to announce the first preview release of Flynn!
There’s still a lot of work to do but today’s release lets developers start experimenting with Flynn and get a sense of what’s still to come.
We would like to stress that Flynn is definitely not production ready. It shouldn’t be used for customer-facing or critical services yet. We’re working hard on stability, security, and performance, but there are certainly many bugs of which we are unaware (and a few we know about).
Try it now or check out the code on GitHub to get started with Flynn.
Our current focus is on stability. Until we have complete test coverage for all the major components and feel that Flynn is stable in production, we generally won’t accept pull requests for new features.
We strongly encourage you to report any bugs or unexpected behavior and to help with test coverage and stability fixes. Check out our contribution guide for more information on how to help out.
We will be hosting a meetup in San Francisco at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 24. We’ll do our best to record the event for everyone who can’t make it in person.
The Flynn team is in Europe this week and will be holding meetups in London,
England and Dortmund, Germany. Thanks to a few community members we were able to
set up last minute events. We’ll demo Flynn, talk about the project, and discus
the best ways to get started using and contributing to Flynn.
We’d love to see you there! Anyone who would like to meet with us privately in
London should also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots of news from the world of Flynn today including the first demo of Flynn,
a video of our first meetup, and a status report.
Today we are launching the first Flynn
demo. The demo includes basic
features of Flynn layers 0 and 1 including the host service, service discovery,
and git receive. The demo is on
GitHub and a screencast is
embedded below. After you try the demo check out some of the underlying
components also on the Flynn GitHub repo.
Thanks to everyone who attended our first community meetup last week in San
Francisco. As promised, a video of the event was recorded, and is embedded
below. A special thank you to Twilio for hosting the event.
Our team has put more time into Flynn than expected (less than half the time
spent has been paid). We’ll run out of funds entirely around the Layer 1 release
in early 2014. We really want to continue our work on Flynn, especially as
companies are starting to deploy Flynn — we want to be there to provide bug
fixes, security updates, and additional features throughout the year. We’re
asking for an additional $350,000 for 2014 to support the existing team for the
year and possibly bring in a few additional developers. We also expect to see
significant contributions in the form of pull requests from users of Flynn as
the project evolves. If we reach this goal we expect Flynn to be extremely
stable and feature-rich by the end of 2014. Based on the results of our first
campaign, we are focusing on companies who can contribute on a monthly recurring
basis, but of course all types and amounts are appreciated.
We encourage everyone to check out the demo and dive into the code. We will be
in IRC and on
GitHub to answer any questions and respond to
comments. You can also email us anytime.
Thank you for your support and encouragement and being part of the Flynn
We’ve been hard at work for the past few months and things are moving along very
Everything is on schedule and we expect to have an MVP of the major components
ready in early November. We will post more details about the MVP and the roadmap
forward as that date approaches.
The entire Flynn team will be in the Bay Area in early November to meet with
potential users and sponsors for 2014. We will also be hosting a Flynn meetup at
the Twilio offices at 8pm on November 5th. We’ll demo what we have so far, talk
about what’s coming, and answer any questions you have. Please
RSVP so we can plan an appropriate
volume of refreshments and seating capacity.
We hope to see many of you in a few weeks and speak with the rest of you online
after the MVP launch. If you have any questions in the meantime or would like to
schedule a meeting with the team while we’re in SF, drop us an email. Our time
is limited but we’d love to meet as many of you as possible.
The community and industry response to Flynn has blown us away. We launched the project site two weeks ago as an easy way to explain what we were working on to potential collaborators and users. The crowdfunding campaign was only added at the last minute– we thought it might raise a few hundred dollars to help cover airfare for the team. Two weeks later more than 50 donors have contributed over $75,000 – almost the entire budget for the project. This support and enthusiasm from the industry, open source community, and potential users means the world to us.
We used a contribute button (powered by Selfstarter.us and Stripe) to avoid the all-or-nothing limitation of Kickstarter. We always planned to build Flynn with or without financial support. Cash would allow us to ship the project sooner and add more features, but we were committed to creating Flynn on our own if necessary. The amount raised so far will allow the core team to spend more time on the project for the rest of the year than we hoped. This improves our chances of staying on schedule and implementing all the core features. If you have not contributed yet, please consider doing so– more money means more features and the best chance of shipping on time. We are very excited about the list of reach features like autoscaling, ACLs, and log aggregation which are not funded yet. We will continue to accept contributions as we develop the project as well.
Everyone on our team is a major contributor to open source from creating SuperHappyDevHouse, Hacker Dojo, and Tent to publishing hundreds of open source repositories. We have also all been primarily employed by startups. Those experiences have left us wondering if there was a better way to fund major open source projects. Major open source software projects usually either start small and grow organically or have the support of a large organization. While open source software is widely used, few users contribute back to the maintainers. For some projects, even the MVP takes months of full time work. The success of crowdfunding models suggested another way: developers could publish a spec or description of a project online and request support in advance. Instead of rewards, reach features are promised if funding goals are reached. Finally, we strongly disapprove of early access or open sourcing a project as a reward. We believe that open source projects should be developed in the open and permissively licensed from day one. With your support this model allowed us to meet all those goals.
We thank the organizations and individuals who already sponsored Flynn, the Lockitron team for creating Selfstarter, the dotCloud team for the creation of Docker and their incredible moral and technical support, and the growing community who have reached out since we launched. We are honored by the opportunity to contribute back something as substantial as Flynn and look forward to the opportunity to serve the needs of the community.
We plan to ship an MVP by the end of October. Until then stay tuned to GitHub, this blog, our mailing list, and IRC channel for the latest on our progress.