Released versions of Puppet can include experimental features to be considered for adoption but are not yet ready for production. These features need to be tested in the field before they can be considered safe, and therefore are turned off by default.
Experimental features can have a solid design but with an unknown performance and resource usage. Sometimes even the design is tentative, and because of this, we need feedback from users. By shipping these features early in disabled form, we want it to be easier for testing and giving feedback.
Risks and support
Puppet employees and community members will do their best to help you in informal channels like IRC, and the puppet-users and puppet-dev mailing lists, but we make no promises about experimental functionality.
Enabling experimental features might degrade the performance of your Puppet infrastructure, interfere with the normal operation of your managed nodes, introduce unexpected security risks, or have other undesired effects.
This is especially relevant to Puppet Enterprise customers. If Puppet support is assisting you with a problem, we might ask you to disable any experimental features.
Changes to experimental features
Experimental features are exempt from semantic versioning, which means that they can change at any time, and are not limited to major or minor release boundaries.
These changes might include adding or removing functionality, changing the names of settings and other affordances, and more.
Documentation of experimental features
The Puppet documentation contains pages for currently available experimental features. These pages are focused on enabling a feature and running through the interesting parts of its functionality; they might lag slightly behind the feature as implemented.
When a feature has experienced major changes across minor versions, we will note the differences at the top of that feature page.
Each feature page will attempt to give some context about the status of that feature and its prospects for official release.
Giving feedback on experimental features
To help us keep improving Puppet, tell us more about your experience.
The best places to talk about experimental features are the puppet-users and puppet-dev mailing lists. This tells us what’s working and what isn’t, while also helping others learn from your experience. For more information about the Puppet mailing lists, see the community guidelines for mailing lists.
For more immediate conversations, you can use the #puppet and #puppet-dev channels on irc.freenode.net. For more information about these channels, see the community guidelines for IRC.