A modern architecture for simplytest.me

simplytest.me was created by Patrick D, a longtime Drupal community member, and has been helping the community for several years. With simplytest.me you can set up a site in minutes and test it out for 24 hours. These test sites allow users to test Drupal as well as additional modules or patches. The sites are hosted for twenty four hours on servers provided by Patrick D with partners like druid.fi and maloon.de.

Not only do these test sites allow people to learn Drupal and experiment with new modules, it also helps a lot with testing and Drupal development. Traditionally testing new patches and code from the community required an extensive set of tools and knowledge. This meant that someone wanting to start testing, during a sprint for example, could spend an entire day just installing the tools that would allow you to test the things being developed in that day.

But with simplytest.me you don’t need any of that, you can test new patches almost instantly. By providing new users with a way to try Drupal and providing existing users with the ability to quickly and thoroughly test new developments, simplytest.me has become indispensable to the Drupal community.

The future of simplytest.me

Patrick has indicated that he is no longer able to maintain this tool and the community is looking for a solution. While there are many possible solutions, we at amazee.io would like to offer to help organize and coordinate the efforts to preserve and improve upon this important tool.

As Patrick said, there are two main courses of action that could be taken from here.The first is that he would hand over the project as it exists now. This would include maintaining the current code as well as providing the financial resources and support needed for the servers along with it.

The second option is to develop a new product that replaces simplytest.me, one that has feature parity with the current version but is more robust, built with modern tools and overall more maintainable.

Our proposal for the future of simplytest.me

We are especially interested in this second of Patrick’s mentioned options. Our open source project, Lagoon, was always meant to support features like this and we’d love to see it happen.

While we wish we could simply step in to maintain the current simplytest.me while developing an upgraded version, amazee.io cannot accomplish this without help. Therefore we would like to offer to help organize and shape the efforts to develop a new project, while somebody else maintains the current simplytest.me until it can be replaced by this new tool.

Update: Patrick has handed over the maintainer-ship of Simplytest.me to Adam Bergstein. With this the immediate future of Simplytest.me is secured! Thank you, Adam! ❤️

We prepared an outline for the architectural plan of Lagoon and simplytest on Github. We will put out a call for help, accept pull requests for Lagoon, do some of the work ourselves and collaborate with community members in sprints to get all the necessary pieces in place. We will be available for discussion and collaboration via Slack and Github and generally help coordinate the effort.

While this does not solve the problem of paying for the servers or maintaining the current form (by our estimates the new version will take ~6 months to develop) we believe this is a good way to move simplytest.me into the future and take the burden off of Patrick as well.

TL;DR:

To summarize we believe there are three steps to move forward:

  1. Someone steps forward to maintain simplytest.me and pay of the costs as it currently exists. 
    Update: Patrick has handed over the maintainer-ship of Simplytest.me to Adam Bergstein. With this the immediate future of Simplytest.me is secured! Thank you, Adam! ❤️
  2. Together with the Community and Adam as maintainer of Simplytest.me, we organize an effort to build a new tool based on Lagoon and the current simplytest.me code, tests this tool and launches it
  3. Amazee.io can provide maintenance and management resources for the new project. If we find some other companies/people that would contribute to these efforts (time/money) that would be awesome.

With the help of the community we can preserve the wonderful functionality of simplytest.me and offer even more usability to the outstanding Drupal community.