How to request features

Sometimes, what starts out as a bug report turns into a feature request, when someone realises that MAAS is not broken, just designed differently than you expected. At other times, there are capabilities you’d like to see that simply haven’t been added to MAAS yet – or that we wouldn’t have considered. In either case, a feature request is the right answer.

If you’re pretty sure what you want to see, you can skip on to discourse and open a new Features post.

If you’ve got the idea, but you aren’t sure how to frame it, the rest of this article will help.

First, some reassurance

We do deliver the most-requested features when we can. In our last feature poll, the feature that got the most votes – enlisting deployed machines – was actually delivered as part of MAAS version 3.1. This doesn’t mean we’ll build every requested feature, or that we’ll get to them as quickly as you might need them. The point is that we listen and try to respond, so it’s worth your time to let us know what you need.

What will help us

That said, there are some key points of information that will help us bring you the features you’re requesting. Remember that any feature we deliver has to be part of our roadmap. The roadmap combines ideas from our own experience, company priorities for MAAS, paying customer needs, known issues, obvious things that need doing, and your feature requests. Capabilties that make it to the top of that roadmap have some common characteristics:

  • They solve a specific problem that’s experienced by more than two or three users.
  • They are based on clearly-stated needs that are easy for us to understand and relate to real user stories and use cases.
  • Better yet, they are accompanied by detailed user stories and use cases (anonymized, of course).
  • They are also well-explained, in that we can understand how you think MAAS should operate and what it should do differently than what’s in the current codebase. It’s one thing to tell us you need MAAS to solve a problem; it’s a different matter entirely for us to understand how you need it to solve that problem.
  • They are accompanied by contact information, even if it’s indirect or semi-anonymous, so that we can get back to you with questions.

The better the case, the better the chances we’ll consider picking up the feature in a future release. As stated above, there are no guarantees, but we do listen and consider well-spoken arguments.

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