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StarlingX community interview - How StarlingX shines in the starry sky of open source projects in China

By Sunny Cai on 25/02/2020

StarlingX is a pilot project supported by the OpenStack Foundation that was announced in May 2018. The project integrates well-known open source projects including OpenStack, Ceph, Kubernetes, and more to create a cloud platform that is fine tuned for edge and IoT use cases.

The StarlingX community recently participated in the 10th China Open Source Hackathon and won the China Excellent Open Source Project Award at the 9th China Cloud Computing Standards and Application Conference in 2019. Last year, the project has made 3,359 changes committed by 147 authors from more than 10 organizations.

Superuser got a chance to interview a StarlingX community member in China, Austin Sun from Intel. He talked about how the StarlingX community is doing in China, the obstacles they are facing, the best practices they use to overcome the challenges, and what they are looking forward to in the StarlingX 4.0 release in 2020. Without further ado, let’s dive into it.

How have you participated in or contributed to the open infrastructure community? I am a developer on StarlingX projects, so my major work is developing new features and fixing bugs. In the meantime, I am also taking the role of project lead on the StarlingX Distro project team, mainly coordinating work like project meeting, task prioritization, and issue tracking. To promote StarlingX, I've participated in various events sponsored by the OpenStack Foundation, such as PTG, meet-up, hackathon, Summits, and so on.

How did you get started working with StarlingX? In the past years of my career, I had mainly worked on closed-source products or projects. However, in May 2018, I got a chance to join an open-source project when the Intel StarlingX team was recruiting internal developers. It opened a door for me to join this amazing world where everybody can make contributions in many ways, and at the same time, everybody can be supported by each other.

Why do you think organizations use StarlingX? In my point of view, StarlingX is not just an open-source project, it's more like a close-to-product-ready solution. If users need to have a software platform to manage their edge sites, they can take advantage of StarlingX from day-0 installation and provisioning, day-1 operation and day-N administration and maintenance. On the other hand, StarlingX is open to everybody, so users can participate in the community, bring their requirements and feedback, and partner with other members to drive StarlingX moving forward.

How can interested contributors get started/get involved in StarlingX? As said all the time, StarlingX welcomes everyone and many kinds of contributions, from code to documentation, from reports to user/dev experience feedback, from testing to sharing case stories. There are many ways, and here I just named a few. StarlingX provides many communication channels, including regular project meetings, mailing list and IRC.

How do you help others to connect the Chinese community with the global community? What challenges have you overcome? Our team is in China, so one of our missions is to help the Chinese community to develop the software, contribute code, documentation, and more. Most of the StarlingX project meetings are held late at night in China, so the presence and participation for the Chinese community members are quite challenging. To overcome these obstacles, together with other community members (like friends in 99cloud) in China, we made some initiatives, such as engaging with other Chinese community members at the meet-ups, hands-on workshops ad-hoc tech meetings in Chinese, translating some documents to Chinese, and continuously interacting in WeChat groups (just like a 24/7 on-call services for and by everyone)

What are some areas that the community can improve on? StarlingX is one big project, and there are many dependencies among sub-projects. We definitely need to make modules less-coupled and make sure the community is moving in this direction. In addition, it would be great to have a sandbox environment available for developers that the community is looking into and also welcoming anyone to help to build it.

What are some highlights of the StarlingX 4.0 release? Things you are looking forward to? Based on my observation from the community discussions, enhancements to the Distributed Cloud feature will be definitely the number one highlight. Other than that, we will also have some exciting features like Kata Containers support and containerized Ceph in 4.0.

All these cool things will make StarlingX a better solution and satisfy more of our partners and customers in the ecosystem.

Learn about the project, how to contribute and support the community at starlingx.io. Join these channels to get involved and contribute: