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Chocolatey For Business / Chocolatey Professional Coming May 2

This is a very exciting time for Chocolatey! Over the past 5 years, there have been some amazing points in Chocolatey’s history. Now we are less than 10 days from another historical moment for Chocolatey – when licensed editions become available for purchase! This is the moment when we are able to offer features that enable businesses to better manage software through Chocolatey and offer non-free features to our community! This also marks when the community (and organizations) take the next step to ensure the longevity of Chocolatey for the next 10-20 years. I started this process with a dream and a Kickstarter and now it’s finally coming to fruition!

Features

Here is a list of the licensed features that will be coming in May. I really think you are going to like what we’ve been cooking up:

  • Malware protection / Virus scanning – Automatic protection from software flagged by multiple virus scanners – Read more…
  • No more 404s – Alternate permanent download location for Professional customers. Read more…
  • Integration with existing Antivirus – Great for businesses that don’t want to reach out to VirusTotal.
  • (Business Only) Create packages from software files/installers – Do you keep all the applications you install for your business internally somewhere? Chocolatey can automatically create packages for all the software your organization uses in under 5 minutes! – Shown as a preview in a March webinar (fast forward to 36:45)
  • Install Directory Switch – You no longer need to worry about the underlying directives to send to native installers to install software into special locations. You can simply pass one directory switch to Chocolatey and it will handle this for you.
  • Support and prioritization of bugs and features for customers.

Sold! But How Do I Buy?

While we are still getting the front end systems setup and ensuring all of the backend systems are in place and working properly, we are limiting availability to the first 500 professional licenses and 20 businesses (Note: we do not expect any issues with our payment processor). Because we are limiting availability, you must register for the Go Live Event at https://chocolatey.eventbrite.com if you are interested.

It bears repeating, the links for purchase will only be sent to folks who have registered for the event, so secure your spot now!

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Chocolatey Has a New Logo!!!

A designer started a conversation with us in December 2014 and we’ve recently come to a decision point on Chocolatey – a new logo (and soon a new website)! A special thanks goes out to Julian Krispel-Samsel!

new_icon

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Bash on Windows–What it Means for Chocolatey

Microsoft announced the most amazing thing at //build/ yesterday, Bash on Windows 10. Not some sort of VM or container, but running native ELF binaries on Windows under an Ubuntu subsystem. Let me say that again slowly. Windows running native Linux binaries. Not recompiled. Go read http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.html, I’ll wait. :)

Linux geeks can think of it sort of the inverse of “wine” — Ubuntu binaries running natively in Windows.  Microsoft calls it their “Windows Subsystem for Linux” –Dustin Kirkland

In case you missed the announcement, head to https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2016/KEY01 and fast forward to 48:15.

Almost immediately folks started asking what this means for Chocolatey. It’s a great question. Here’s the low down. This is fantastic for Chocolatey! You now have a fantastic way to get Unix apps and utilities with dpkg/apt in addition to great Windows apps and software with choco. More developers are going to be using the terminal to do things. It means more users of both apt and choco. More productivity for Windows users and developers. Think about that for a second. On no other platform will you have this ability. It’s an exciting time to be in Windows!

What you can expect to see is more collaboration between choco and apt if they can communicate. Just like you can work with choco install -–source windowsfeatures (back in the latest 0.9.10 betas!), expect to see choco install rsync -–source apt. https://github.com/chocolatey/choco/issues/678

Coming up soon you are going to see what’s coming in the next version of Chocolatey and why it is going to amaze you as another big leap in package management for Windows!

Here’s a preview with PowerShell tab completion and updating path (environment variables) without needing to restart PowerShell (https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wiki/chocolatey/choco/images/gifs/choco_install.gif if the image doesn’t show):

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Celebrating 5 Years With Chocolatey!

Chocolatey turned 5 years old recently! I committed the first lines of Chocolatey code on March 22, 2011. At that time I never imagined that Chocolatey would grow into a flourishing community and a tool that is widely used by individuals and organizations to help automate the wild world of Windows software. It’s come a long way since I first showed off early versions of Chocolatey to some friends for feedback. Over the last 2 years things have really taken off!

The number of downloads has really increased year over year!

Chocolatey usage by downloads over the years 2013-2015
Note: While not a completely accurate representation of usage and popularity, the number of downloads gives a pretty good context. Going up by 7 million in 2014 and then by almost 30 million downloads in one year really shows a trend!

Note: The Chocolatey package has about 1,000 downloads per hour. I shut off the statistics for the install script back in October 2015 due to the extreme load on the site, so the number of Chocolatey package downloads is missing some of the statistics.

History

Let’s take a little stroll through some of the interesting parts of Chocolatey’s history. The history of Chocolatey really starts when I joined the Nubular (Nu) team in summer 2010.

This doesn’t represent everything that has happened. I tried to list out and attribute everything I could find and remember. There have been so many amazing package maintainers over the years, there are too many of you to possibly list. You know who you are. You have made the community what it is today and have been instrumental in shaping enhancements in Chocolatey.

Looking to the Future

The community has been amazing in helping Chocolatey grow and showing that there is a need that it fills. Package maintainers have put in countless and sometimes thankless hours to ensure community growth and consumers have really found the framework useful! Thank you so much! The next version of Chocolatey is coming and it is going to be amazing. Here’s to the next 5 years, may we change the world of Windows forever!

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Chocolatey Community Feed Update!

Average approval time for moderated packages is currently under 10 hours!

In my last post, I talked about things we were implementing or getting ready to implement to really help out with the process of moderation.  Those things are:

  • The validator – checks the quality of the package
  • The verifier – tests the package install/uninstall and provides logs
  • The cleaner – provides reminders and closes packages under review when they have gone stale.

The Cleanup Service

We’ve created a cleanup service, known as the cleaner that went into production recently.

  • It looks for packages under review that have gone stale – defined as 20 or more days since last review and no progress
  • Sends a notice/reminder that the package is waiting for the maintainer to fix something and that if another 15 days goes by with no progress, the package will automatically be rejected.
  • 15 days later if no progress is made, it automatically rejects packages with a nice message about how to pick things back up later when the maintainer is ready.

Current Backlog

We’ve found that with all of this automation in place, the moderation backlog was quickly reduced and will continue to be manageable.

A visual comparison:

12/18/2015 - 1630 packages ready for a moderator

December 18, 2015 – 1630 packages ready

 

01/01/2016 - 7 packages ready for a moderator

January 16, 2016 – 7 packages ready

Note the improvements all around! The most important numbers to key in on are the first 3, they represent a waiting for reviewer to do something status. With the validator and verifier in place, moderation is much faster and more accurate, and the validator has increased package quality all around with its review!

The waiting for maintainer (927 in the picture above) represents the bulk of the total number of packages under moderation currently. These are packages that require an action on the part of the maintainer to actively move the package to approved. This is also where the clean up service comes in.

The cleaner sent 800+ reminders two days ago. If there is no response by early February on those packages, the waiting for maintainer status will drop significantly as those packages will automatically be rejected. Some of those packages have been waiting for maintainer action for over a year and are likely abandoned. If you are a maintainer and you have not been getting emails from the site, you should log in now and make sure your email address is receiving emails and that the messages are not going to your spam folder. A rejected package version is reversible, the moderators can put it back to submitted at any time when a maintainer is ready to work on moving the package towards approval again.

Statistics

This is where it really starts to get exciting.

Some statistics:

  • Around 30 minutes after a package is submitted the validator runs.
  • Within 1-2 hours the verifier has finished testing the package and posts results.
  • Typical human review wait time after a package is deemed good is less than a day now.

We’re starting to build statistics on average time to approval for packages that go through moderation that will be visible on the site.  Running some statistics by hand, we’ve approved 236 packages that have been created since January 1st, the average final good package (meaning that it was the last time someone submitted fixes to the package) to approval time has been 15 hours. There are some packages that drove that up due to fixing some things in our verifier and rerunning the tests. If I change to only looking at packages since those fixes have went in on the 10th, that is 104 packages with an average approval within 7 hours!

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