This is an important and exciting JEP for me, because it sets the mission & scope for a new project “Jenkins X.”
Starting from Jenkins 2, in contributor events and Jenkins Worlds, I’ve always pitched that our Jenkins project needs to take a bigger role and responsibility in serving our users and solving their challenges. Historically, by and large we did it by writing plugins, but we’ve been so successful in doing that, now we need to create solutions that combine those plugins.
I said “starting from Jenkins 2” because the default recommended set of plugins, initial setup wizard to start Jenkins more securely, and so on was the first step toward us doing more than writing plugins.
Blue Ocean followed, in which we focused on important parts of Jenkins and provided great UX for that. It decidedly blended together feature areas that are internally provided by a whole bunch of different plugins, but users see much less seam between them now.
Jenkins Essentials, which Tyler posted in recent weeks, is one more step forward. That project is aiming to take an even bigger responsibility in keeping people’s Jenkins instances up and running, and further de-emphasize individuality of plugins and emphasize the combined solution.
I see Jenkins X very much on this same path. Jenkins X brings a different aspect to building a solution — it focuses on a specific vertical area, a Kubernetes application development, and really drastically simplify the software development by bringing together Jenkins, a whole bunch of plugins, the opinionated best practice of how you should use Kubernetes.
Especially early in the days of Jenkins, this kind of integration was done by heroic Jenkins admins and provided for the organizations they were working in, but they were never really shared upstream in the community. So we all had to re-invent that.
Jenkins X is a significant step because it is trying to bring those hard-earned integration work back into the community. It makes Jenkins approachable and valuable to a whole new set of users who are not currently using Jenkins.
From that perspective, I hope more projects like this will follow, in different domains of software development. This is a little bit like how Eclipse has evolved from just a Java IDE to an umbrella of projects.
On top of all that, the icing on the cake, or the main cake, depending on who you are, is that Kubernetes application development is a very exciting area of technology where there’s a lot of interest. I’m sure many of you are already doing that or thinking about doing that, and so this project should be useful to many folks.
I know James has a lot of ideas of what he can do on Jenkins X, and I also fundamentally believe that a lot of good ideas also come from outside. So please help James and his team build a better software by participating in the effort. If you don't feel like you don't have any specific point to make, even just providing them an encouragement would help them feel good to press forward in the current direction. That's an useful feedback on its own.
I hope we’ll see a very lively discussion.