On 8/6/14, 1:41 PM, "Timur Sufiev" <tsuf...@mirantis.com> wrote:

>Hi, folks!
>Two months ago there was an announcement in ML about gathering the
>requirements for cross-project UI library for
>Heat/Mistral/Murano/Solum [1]. The positive feedback in related
>googledoc [2] and some IRC chats and emails that followed convinced me
>that I'm not the only person interested in it :), so I'm happy to make
>the next announcement.
>The project finally has got its name - 'Merlin' (making complex UIs is
>a kind of magic), Openstack wiki page [3] and all other stuff like
>stackforge repo, launchpad page and IRC channel (they are all
>referenced in [3]). For those who don't like clicking the links, here
>is quick summary.
>Merlin aims to provide a convenient client side framework for building
>rich UIs for Openstack projects dealing with complex input data with
>lot of dependencies and constraints (usually encoded in YAML format
>via some DSL) - projects like Heat, Murano, Mistral or Solum. The
>ultimate goal for such UI is to save users from reading comprehensive
>documentation just in order to provide correct input data, thus making
>the UI of these projects more user-friendly. If things go well for
>Merlin, it could be eventually merged into Horizon library (I¹ll spare
>another option for the end of this letter).
>The framework trying to solve this ambitious task is facing at least 2
>(1) enabling the proper UX patterns and
>(2) dealing with complexities of different projects' DSLs.
>Having worked on DSL things in Murano project before, I'm planning at
>first to deal with the challenge (2) in the upcoming Merlin PoC. So,
>here is the initial plan: design an in-framework object model (OM)
>that could translated forth and back into target project's DSL. This
>OM is meant to be synchronised with visual elements shown on browser
>canvas. Target project is the Heat with its HOT templates - it has the
>most well-established syntax among other projects and comprehensive
>Considering the challenge (1), not being a dedicated UX engineer, I'm
>planning to start with some rough UI concepts [4] and gradually
>improve them relying on community feedback, and especially, Openstack
>UX group. If anybody from the UX team (or any other team!) is willing
>to be involved to a greater degree than just giving some feedback,
>you're are enormously welcome! Join Merlin, it will be fun :)!
>Finally, with this announcement I¹d like to start a discussion with
>Horizon community. As far as I know, Horizon in its current state
>lacks such UI toolkit as Merlin aims to provide. Would it be by any
>chance possible for the Merlin project to be developed from the very
>beginning as part of Horizon library? This choice has its pros and
>cons I¹m aware of, but I¹d like to hear the opinions of Horizon
>developers on that matter.

I would like to see this toolset built into Horizon. That will make it
accessible to integrated projects like Heat that Horizon already supports,
but will also allow other projects to use the horizon library as a
building block to providing managing project specific DSLs.

>[3] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Merlin
>[4] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Merlin/SampleUI
>Timur Sufiev
>OpenStack-dev mailing list

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