The Puppet Forge is one of the most utilized resources in the Puppet world. With over one million unique visitors in 2017 and over 5,500 modules published, and growing exponentially we couldn’t be more proud. However, we’ve realized that while this resource is a dependable mainstay of Puppet users around the world, its design hasn’t kept up with the growth and evolution of the community.
With that said, we are excited to announce the new face of the Puppet Forge. After doing extensive research and usability testing (which you can read about in a follow-up blog post soon), we’ve re-designed the Forge homepage and search results to be easier to find what you need faster than before.
When Puppet Bolt and Puppet Enterprise Task Management launched at PuppetConf 2017, we made it easy to find modules with Tasks on the Forge. Today we’re also thrilled to launch "Compatible with PDK" badges to indicate that a module works with Puppet Development Kit.
New Forge homepage
The Forge homepage hasn’t changed much since it launched in 2012, so it was due for an update to reflect the goals and needs of the Puppet community in 2018. Today’s Forge user is more likely to be someone using a Forge module rather than a module contributor. To make it easier for module consumers, we put popular modules right up front as well as a bit of what’s new with Puppet and links to resources like Puppet Development Kit (PDK).
We also know how important Supported, Approved and Partner Supported modules are to many of you. Now they too are given a more prominent placement on the homepage as well as explanations of what the module badges indicate.
Of course all the module contribution capabilities are still present and we’re thinking about how to improve that side of the Forge in the future.
Search and search results improvements
Knowing the importance of search on the Forge, we wanted to make it easier for you to find the right module. First, we expanded the area dedicated to the search UI across all pages and provided more filtering options up front before you click the Search button.
On the search results page, we consolidated redundant filter options, which created more space for the results themselves. This allowed for a more streamlined view of results, with relevant module information easier to find and compare across modules.
Overall, the changes to the search experience emphasize discoverability of high-quality modules that meet a user's specific needs. With a simplified interface leveraging only the most relevant filters, users can quickly and confidently choose a new module to work with.
Compatible with PDK badges
Back in August 2017, we launched the first version of Puppet Development Kit (PDK) and have been steadily adding capabilities since then. PDK makes it easier than ever to develop and test Puppet modules by providing a simple, unified interface to a set of helpful tools for anyone who writes or consumes Puppet code.
As of PDK version 1.3 you can both create new modules and adapt existing modules so that they can be validated and tested with PDK. Today we’re happy to announce that Forge modules that are compatible with PDK have a badge similar to the badge you see if a module contains Puppet Tasks.
If you are a Forge module author, we’d be thrilled if you adapted your modules to be compatible with PDK and uploaded the new version.
Nik Anderson is a software engineer at Puppet.