I’m proud to announce that we’re broadening access to Drupal development tools by creating Kalabox 2.0 -- now in the works. The new version, supported by a Kickstarter campaign (and hopefully, you!) will include technologies that will make it faster, easier to use, and accessible to a much wider user base.
Before Kalabox, developers lost time performing repeatable tasks like setting up local development servers, constructing vhosts and configuring advanced functionality. Kalabox brings advanced tools together and puts them in the hands of novices and pros via a one-click installer.
Kalabox 2.0 will be a boon to developers, designers, and technical project managers of all skill levels. The new version will integrate Docker for increased performance and improved customizability, and a robust API to enable additional platform providers to write their own plugins. Kalabox 2.0 will also run on Windows, more than doubling its audience. Myself and our team are hard at work making all this good stuff happen. (Come say hi at DrupalCon in Austin at my June 5 talk called “Local Dev for the Masses: Vagrant + Virtual Box + Puppet + Kalabox.”)
For some background: Kalabox 1.0 integrates with Pantheon to provide a complete desktop to live workflow loop. Its stack is contained in a Vagrant-backed virtual machine that includes nginx, PHP5, MySQL, Apache Solr, Apache Tomcat and provides easy access to tools such as SSH, git, drush, PHPMyAdmin, samba, webgrind, xdebug and more. All these powerful features are fronted by an elegant node-js control panel that is easy to use, even if the above acronyms mean little to you.
In any case -- what Kalabox 2.0 means is that now even more tools will be accessible to more people. More internet, more messages, more realness.
Advanced web tools now belong to the people, through Kalabox, an integrated workflow solution for Drupal developers.
Developers lose time performing repetitive tasks like setting up local dev environments, constructing vhosts, and configuring advanced functionality like Solr or redis. People collaborating on the same project do things differently and have different access to disparate tools. We waste cycles supporting these environments and getting team members up to speed. We need to get working easily, within a standardized environment, with best-practices and integrated tools. We need simplicity.
Kalabox brings together everything you need to code, test, and go live, with ease. It moves beyond the "local development environment" to provide a complete desktop-to-live workflow loop.
Kalabox ships with a one-click installer which sets up a fully configured dev stack within a virtual machine. It’s the only stack that ships with NGINX and Apache Solr by default, and is performance-tuned for Drupal -- making developing on a local rig blazing fast and more efficient than ever.
It’s loaded with an impressive array of goodies, ssh, git, apc, drush, PHPMyAdmin, samba, webgrind, xdebug and loads more giving you instant access to the basics (ssh, git, phpMyAdmin,) and advanced tools like caching, debugging and profiling tools, right out of the box. It exposes the Kalabox webroot to your file-system so you can load your code in your favorite code-editor or IDE, rather than from within the virtual machine.
Kalabox provides a Node.js frontend so you can quickly spin up new Drupal sites, access utilities and tweak your environment without earning devOps ninja-pants.
It also integrates with Pantheon, allowing you to build your Pantheon sites locally, refresh your data, files and code -- all with a single click.
It works, it’s totally rad… and we want to make it better. With your help.
Kalabox 2.0 Changes by Donation Level
Our free, open source Kalabox 2.0 will be a boon to developers, designers, and technical project managers of all skill levels. The funding we’re requesting will help us keep the lights on as we revamp Kalabox to perform faster and become open source. But if your donations exceed our basic goal, we will be able to massively improve Kalabox, making it easier to use and more accessible to more people. Below is a summary of what higher funding levels will enable us to do.
$23,000: Making Kalabox Open Source, Implementing Docker + API (as command line utilities)
Open Source. This amount will enable us to help the Drupal community converge on a common, community supported local development solution for Drupal that can sustain itself.
Docker Integration. Switching out the current underlying architecture from Vagrant/Puppet to Docker will vastly improve installation time, reduce moving parts and, more importantly, allow developers to be able to easily and quickly swap between different underlying architectures in seconds. This means you can use your own tools with Kalabox, too!
API. Kalabox will be able to support multiple platforms by providing a mechanism for providers to integate with it.
$33,000: Porting + Reconfiguring the user interface from Kalabox 1 to Kalabox 2 + Souping It Up
The new Kalabox 2.0 features invite the design of a new user interface. This simple, friendly interface will bring the power of Kalabox to novices.
$50,000: Creating a Windows Version
Tons of people have told us that they'd love to be able to use Kalabox on Windows. We want to use your donations to keep the lights on while we create a free version for Windows, potentially more than doubling the number of people who would have access to it.
$60,000: Custom Plugin Creation for Integration w/ Acquia, Aberdeen Cloud, and Digital Ocean
Right now, Kalabox 1.0 provides workflow integration tools only for Pantheon via Drush and the Terminus/Terminatur projects. This allows users to “download” their Pantheon sites onto their local machines for development. When changes are made locally, developers can push their changes back up to the platform or to a continuous integration server of their choice. All of this magic is accessible through the UI with a few clicks, and we want Kalabox 2.0 to enable you to do this using Acquia, Aberdeen Cloud, and Digital Ocean.
$75,000. Providing Solr and Redis containers + Docker Containers that Mimic the Pantheon, Acquia, Aberdeen Cloud environments.
Once we provide Solr and Redis containers, you’ll be able to develop and test with more advanced functionality. When we provide Docker containers that mimic the Pantheon, Acquia, and Aberdeen Cloud environments, you’ll be to establish production parity. That means you can safely push your code knowing it will work how you expect.
Kalabox is currently a Drupal product, but we'd love to bring all of its magic to Wordpress, as well.
Kalamuna is a small bunch of activists, artists, mathematicians, punsters and history buffs who were more likely to major in the humanities than in computer stuff. We’re voracious learners who take things apart, play with them, and see what we can make. And these are the reasons we’re great at making the Internet.
While we’ve got serious tech chops, our critical inclinations make us less concerned with technology for its own sake, and more more concerned with how we can strategically place it in the service of social change.
Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
We're confident we can create a Kalabox 2.0 that meets our users' needs. In order to reach our goals, we'll encounter some hurdles. These include:
1. Providing stability on Windows, Mac and Linux
2. Bringing the veneer of simplicity to a complicated set of moving parts.
3. Integrating emergent technologies with their own set problems
4. Building an active community for support and growth in the future
One of the key reasons this project will succeed is that a lot of the discovery work has already been done. Kalamuna and a lot of other people have been using the prototype internally for over 6 months which means we've already got a great handle on the big pain points and more importantly architected solutions to alleviate them.
Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary people which is why we've built a team that consists of leaders in the Drupal, PHP, DevOPs and NodeJS spheres. We've all "been there, done that" and relish the opportunity to tame a beast of this size and scope.
The final key factor is community support. Kalamuna has traveled extensively over the past year talking about Kalabox and the promise it carries to alleviate pain in developers day-to-day operations. The people have positively responded. The desire to be freed from the shackles of MAMP and other development solutions resonates deeply in the community and that passion will allow Kalabox to stay supported and maintained for the long haul.