What’s New With Kernl – March 2018

Welcome to March everyone! Lots of great stuff happened with Kernl this month, so lets get into it.

Features

  • New Marketing Site – The new marketing website for Kernl launched! For most of Kernl’s life the marketing page has been a single landing page optimized for only plugin and theme updates. Since inception Kernl has grown to include a lot more than just updates and the new marketing site reflects that.
  • PHP Version and Install Language Analytics – Kernl Analytics can now track what PHP version your customers have installed as well as the written language of the site. Knowing this information can help you make smart data-driven decisions about internationalization and which programming language features you can target.
  • Plugin & Theme Dashboard Views – Previously when you went to the “versions” page in Kernl you were greeted with just a list of versions for the plugin/theme. Now you can easily see downloads stats, licenses, versions, and Git deployments in one easy screen.
  • Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates – Kernl switched over to using Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.

Bugs Fixes & Other

  • The /latest-version endpoint now includes the version id.
  • Build emails were not displaying the correct repository. This has been resolved.
  • Digital Ocean has been doing scheduled hard reboots of servers to handle Meltdown/Spectre issues. We’ve had to carefully manage this process but it looks like we made it through mostly unscathed.
  • There is now a simple proof-of-concept realtime channel on the marketing home page that updates the download count. Eventually we hope to use realtime with feature flags and any other number of things.

What’s New With Kernl – January 2018

Welcome to 2018! 2017 was a great year for Kernl and we’re excited to start 2018 out with some new features that you’ll find useful.

Coming Soon – Kernl Analytics!

An often requested feature for Kernl is some basic analytics around who’s using your product, what WordPress version they’re using, and the domains where it’s installed. It’s not quite ready yet, but we’ve already got some interesting data from January 2, 2018 to share while we finish up. When completed, you’ll have access to this data and more for all of your plugins and themes.

  • Requests processed – 1.58 million
  • Unique domains – 120,000
  • Top 5 WordPress versions:
    • 4.9.1 – 55,367
    • 4.8.4 – 27,151
    • 4.7.8 – 14,523
    • 4.6.9 – 4,748
    • 4.5.12 – 3,207

But enough with the analytics! Let’s talk about what’s new RIGHT NOW for Kernl.

Features & Bug Fixes

  • PDF Invoices – Have you ever wanted to download a copy of your Kernl invoice? You’re now able to do this for all of your recent invoices.
  • Feature Flag bug fixes – It somehow slipped past us that our feature flag API endpoints weren’t respecting account limits (max number of products or flags for your plan). This is fixed now and some useful warning dialogs were put in place for when you hit your max.
  • Blog – Last month we finally got a blog in place. This month we added Google Analytics to it, worked on SEO, picked a better theme, and wrote a few blog posts.
  • Expired Session Redirect Loop – There was a bug in the frontend Angular application that allowed a infinite redirect loop to happen. This has been resolved.
  • General Work on Kernl Analytics

That’s it for this month! Enjoy the new year!

What’s New With Kernl – November 2016

It’s been a long time since the last Kernl update blog, so lets get right into it.

Big Features

  • GitLab CI Support – You can now build your plugins and themes automatically on Kernl using GitLab.com!  We’ve had support for GitHub and BitBucket for a long time, and finally figured out a good way to make things work for GitLab.  See the documentation on how to get started.
  • Slack Build Integration – If you are a slack user, you can now tell Kernl where to publish build status messages.
  • Replay Last Webhook – Sometimes when you’re running a CI service with Kernl it would be useful to re-try that last push that Kernl received.  You can now do that on the “Continuous Integration” page.

Minor Features

  • Repository Caching – We now do some minor caching of your git repositories on the Kernl front end.  The first load will still reach out to the different git providers, but subsequent loads during your sessions will read an in-memory cache instead.
  • Better Webhook Log Links – Instead of displaying a UUID, the webhook build log now displays the name of the plugin or theme.

Other

  • Miscellaneous Upgrades – Underlying OS packages and Node.js packages were upgraded.
  • Payment Bug Fixes – There were a few minor bugs that kept showing up if someone’s credit card expired.  This fix hopefully allows for a more self-service approach.
  • Minor copy changes – A few changes were made to the wording on the Kernl landing page.

What’s next?

  • It’s been a few months since Ubuntu 16.04 LTS came out, so I’ll be spending significant amounts of time upgrading our infrastructure to the latest LTS version.
  • If our load balancer goes down right now, everything goes under.  A floating IP address between two load balancers will solve that issue and provide high(er) availability.
  • Better insights into purchase code usage and activity.