Juju GUI pain points

Canonical’s Director of IS, James Troup, collected some of his pain points with the GUI recently. I’m going to record them here, along with some status and plan updates.

  • No role-based access control (RBAC)
    PLANNED. This is within Juju, not the GUI, and is on the road map (possibly for 13.10).
  • No way to integrate OpenID
    WORKAROUND SOON. This is also within Juju, not the GUI. I’m not sure if it is on the roadmap, though I know Juju devs are aware of the request as they plan their authentication and authorization work. That said, one use case IS has for this is to give Canonical devs restricted access to the environment. Anonymous access, protected by an Apache with OpenID, would be fine. We have worked out some plans with Juju core devs for this, which I will be writing up within a week or so, and which can hopefully be delivered within another week or so.
  • Layout is stored in the environment
    NO CHANGE PLANNED. There’s a specific practical concern James has about this, which I’ll address below. However, he also doesn’t like the fact that we share placement information across a Juju environment using annotations, as a matter of principle. It was a conscious design decision, both in terms of UX and technical architecture, and until we see more practical concerns or more user concerns here, we won’t address this bigger picture.
    • Doesn’t play nice with readonly mode.
      FIXED IN TRUNK. The restricted mode does not allow any writes to the environment, including annotations. The GUI was complaining every time it tried to annotate after someone moved a service. The errors he showed are addressed in trunk. We’ll release the fix within a week or so.
  • Tries to upsell you on Chrome/Chromium
    FIXED IN TRUNK. We officially support Firefox, and the upcoming release will make this explicit. Chrome/Chromium are still a lot faster, though.
  • No auto-layout
    FIXED IN TRUNK. Technically, this complaint should be “the autolayout really does not work well when you have more than a few services.” Trunk (and the next release) have a significant improvement here, and we’ll look at it more in the future as well.
  • Needs to be spun-up for every environment
    NO CHANGE PLANNED. That’s true and we don’t have any active plans to change it. In pyJuju, you can spin it up on the state server node to save money/resources, and that will be possible in Juju Core soon too. I have a few more thoughts on this if anyone is interested.
  • No multi-select of services
    PLANNED. I believe James brought this up in the context of visually arranging services on the environment. It can be used for other tasks as well. This is on our roadmap for 13.10 (as is snap-to-grid, which also would have helped his example). Ben Saller has a working prototype of both of these.
  • Doesn’t appear to display floating IPs
    INVESTIGATING. Yeah, that’s irritated me as well, both for OpenStack and EC2. This again is on the Juju side. I’ll see if I can escalate this on the Juju side.
  • He saw memory leaks over the course of 4 hours that brought the GUI browser tab to 3 Gigs
    INVESTIGATING. We were already working on this, thanks to a previous bug report from Dave Cheney. Hopefully we’ll have something good to report soon.