On February 26th, 2019, Pantheon silently pushed the button and released Terminus 2.0 into the world. With this release, we also have introduced our first Terminus End of Life Policy. We know that a lot of people are using Terminus and might have a few questions related to this change.
Why Terminus 2.0?
The simple answer is we are building for the future. Pantheon has always been forward-looking. We built the first containerized website platform and enforce a three environment workflow to help teams of any size streamline their work.
All the underlying changes are being made with one goal in mind: improve the underlying APIs for better user experience. Upon embarking on this work we uncovered a whole heap of issues and have firmed up the tooling along the route.
For example, we have added progress bars to traditionally long-running commands like 'env:deploy' and 'backup:restore' which previously had not provided any indication if a process had timed out or not. At the same time, we discovered some key issues causing those timeouts when they did pop up, and have seen a great reduction of these incidents in our testing.
The challenges of the future require some different thinking than we can currently support. Terminus 2.0 marks a change to how we will be addressing internal APIs. We are doing this to help our customers have a better overall account experience as we evolve how organizations, users, and sites can interact. We are doing this to help simplify and make our billing infrastructure more robust and more fully featured. We are doing this to help agencies and other organizations realize even better workflows in the future.
Why an EOL Policy?
Pantheon has decided not to keep everything alive forever. The biggest reason we are going to stop supporting older versions is quite simple: Technical Debt. In the same way no one should be asked to support Internet Explorer 6 in all their designs, we need to look to the future without being bound to the past.
As with any software, we have become aware of bugs, inefficiencies, and potential exploits that we have patched to fix as they occur. By freeing ourselves to fundamentally reimagine how we address the underlying goals of the system, we feel we can build a much hardier tool that our users can extend and adapt to an even wider set of needs than is now possible.
This marks the first time we have introduced an End of Life Policy for Terminus. We have resisted this path previously because we understand that many large scale organizations with complex workflows are reliant on the scripts and automation systems they have put in place in order to do their work. This is a big reason why we will not be enforcing our EOL Policy strictly until August 2019. We want to give everyone ample time to make the appropriate preparations and implement the needed changes. We're here to support you as needed through Customer Success channels, improved documentation, and potentially through Professional Services.
What should you do right now?
First, don’t panic. For many users, this change will be invisible, based on our analysis of command usage over time. It is not a rip and replace, but an easing into the future. We are giving you a heads up now, 6 months before the enforcement of this new policy.
Next, if you are a current Terminus user, install Terminus 2.0 beside your current installation instead of upgrading the current version. Make a new folder and simply install and run per normal from within that directory.
After that, we need your feedback. We have tested this in a lot of scenarios and with a great number of scripts, but we know that nothing can replace or simulate real world ‘trial by DevOps fire’.
To report on any issues or concerns found while testing, we would love for you to file a bug report on the official Terminus GitHub project. We more than welcome your direct feedback there.
Otherwise, if you are unclear or have questions, please leverage our award-winning Customer Success team. Simply open a new Support Chat from your Pantheon dashboard and let us know what is unclear, what breaks, and what your fears are after some initial testing.
You are not alone. We are here
We want to help point you in the right direction to make sure we iron out all the wrinkles before the August deadline. The sooner you report, the more likely we can work with you to find a plan of action that will make everyone happy.
For some customers we know that is going to be clarification of docs and internal warning messages. Your help now will ensure that all future users who join your organizations will have a smoother onboarding and be more productive, faster.
For some customers, you are likely going to need some advice for adapting your scripts and plugins to handle 2.0. Internally we are in this same boat and are working towards updating the repositories we maintain for our plugin directory to work on both versions 1.9 and 2.x. We would be happy to talk about that process and how to think about future-proofing your code.
And for some customers, constraints are simply going to require that we directly get involved in the changeover. This includes finding workarounds for API access patterns that will be changing and rewriting existing scripts that have been in use for years. We are here for you with our own Professional Services offerings or a referral to our network of our capable partners.
We know change can be scary, but don’t delay
The most import thing not to do right now is ignore this message and the coming change. If your workflows depend on scripting and plugins, then this is of immediate concern. Giving yourself the space and safety margin of months for adapting is the smartest choice you can make. In other words: Don’t delay, test today!
The Pantheon team is dedicated to making our customers successful now and long into the future. We are here to help. Test Terminus 2.0 today and let our Customer Success team know what issues you see. Together, we can make a better set of tools to make the internet.