Labs and Tool Labs being renamed
TL;DR: Tool Labs -> Toolforge, Labs -> Cloud VPS

(reposted with minor edits from https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/labs-l/2017-July/005036.html)

TL;DR

  • Tool Labs is being renamed to Toolforge
  • The name for our OpenStack cluster is changing from Labs to Cloud VPS
  • The prefered term for projects such as Toolforge and Beta-Cluster-Infrastructure running on Cloud-VPS is VPS projects
  • Data Services is a new collective name for the databases, dumps, and other curated data sets managed by the cloud-services-team
  • Wiki replicas is the new name for the private-information-redacted copies of Wikimedia's production wiki databases
  • No domain name changes are scheduled at this time, but we control wikimediacloud.org, wmcloud.org, and toolforge.org
  • The Cloud Services logo will still be the unicorn rampant on a green field surrounded by the red & blue bars of the Wikimedia Community logo
  • Toolforge and Cloud VPS will have distinct images to represent them on wikitech and in other web contexts

In February when the formation of the Cloud Services team was announced there was a foreshadowing of more branding changes to come:

This new team will soon begin working on rebranding efforts intended to reduce confusion about the products they maintain. This refocus and re-branding will take time to execute, but the team is looking forward to the challenge.

In May we announced a consultation period on a straw dog proposal for the rebranding efforts. Discussion that followed both on and off wiki was used to refine the initial proposal. During the hackathon in Vienna the team started to make changes on Wikitech reflecting both the new naming and the new way that we are trying to think about the large suite of services that are offered. Starting this month, the changes that are planned (T168480) are becoming more visible in Phabricator and other locations.

It may come as a surprise to many of you on this list, but many people, even very active movement participants, do not know what Labs and Tool Labs are and how they work. The fact that the Wikimedia Foundation and volunteers collaborate to offer a public cloud computing service that is available for use by anyone who can show a reasonable benefit to the movement is a surprise to many. When we made the internal pitch at the Foundation to form the Cloud Services team, the core of our arguments were the "Labs labs labs" problem and this larger lack of awareness for our Labs OpenStack cluster and the Tool Labs shared hosting/platform as a service product.

The use of the term 'labs' in regards to multiple related-but-distinct products, and the natural tendency to shorten often used names, leads to ambiguity and confusion. Additionally the term 'labs' itself commonly refers to 'experimental projects' when applied to software; the OpenStack cloud and the tools hosting environments maintained by WMCS have been viable customer facing projects for a long time. Both environments host projects with varying levels of maturity, but the collective group of projects should not be considered experimental or inconsequential.

Written by bd808 on Jul 12 2017, 10:59 PM.
Engineering Manager, Wikimedia Cloud Services
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