Janitor News #11



Phew… what a year!

This is your recurrent burst of good news about Janitor, the IDE-as-a-service for open source projects.

Janitor Beta

We’re all out of Alpha! We’ve shipped everything we wanted to, including a fresh new web app (see below), and Janitor is now 100% operational. And it’s beautiful:


One last piece still needs to fall into place – our hard disks are full, and we need to auto-remove old containers to make space for newer project images. Our service is designed to support many, many containers. However, this only works when they’re fresh – the older a container gets, the more disk space it starts eating up (mostly because it prevents a big old project image from being garbage collected, but also because things like container logs grow to infinity over time).

So watch out for email reminders about expired containers – we’ll soon ask you to backup anything valuable in your containers that are over 6 months old (e.g. by pushing commits to a remote; or downloading important files; or migrating to a newer Janitor container) and after a short grace period, we’ll automatically delete them. This will free up enough disk space for us to continuously download newer project images, thus staying fresh forever, and accept many more users going forward.

2018 in a nutshell

We did a lot of things, some easy, some harder. Here are the highlights:

  • We shipped a beautiful new web app, based on Mozilla’s Photon design language
  • You gave us feedback via a survey – many thanks! Here are the results
  • You can now SSH into containers – configure your authorized_keys and see SSH instructions under “Advanced”
  • When you connect with GitHub, hub now gets pre-configured for your account (hint: you may need to reset your .config/hub and .netrc config files after connecting with GitHub)
  • DataDog started sponsoring Janitor with a premium account! Many thanks, this allows us to keep our servers healthy
  • @Coder206 created useful DataDog-based performance dashboard for our public data page
  • We added the PrivateBin project, thanks to @elrido’s help
  • We completed a Janitor Windows proof-of-concept for instant Firefox development
  • We started integrating the fast and powerful Theia IDE
  • We improved our Docker continuous integration with CircleCI and Docker Hub
  • Servo’s non-Rust code now builds with Clang 6.0 instead of GCC
  • Firefox containers got support for Phabricator and git-cinnabar
  • Thunderbird containers got a new source code layout thanks to Tom Prince
  • We successfully de-commissioned one of our oldest hosting servers, MOZ1 – thanks and farewell!
  • Janitor also has a short domain now – jntr.io
  • Overall we made our service much smoother, safer, and robuster

Janitor :heart: Gitpod

As a core developer of Janitor, I’m especially happy and proud to announce that after five years at Mozilla, I’m now joining TypeFox to help build Gitpod.io. It’s heart-lifting to see the world finally waking up to the potential of cloud-native software development, and the people at TypeFox have built a truly incredible product.

Gitpod and Janitor are very similar, but they also differ in a few interesting ways: for example, Gitpod can quickly check out any project / branch / pull request directly from GitHub (just prefix the URL with gitpod.io#), whereas Janitor is highly specialized for performance-hungry, opinionated-workflowed projects like Firefox, Servo, Chromium, Thunderbird (and more). I’m really looking forward to see what we’ll accomplish together on this new adventure.

And that’s all for now. We hope you had some magical holidays, and a good start into the new year.

Here’s to an exciting 2019!
Jan for Team Janitor