So I spent the last day giving Juju Lens a good run through with an actual use case. I was needing to add some features to a few Lucky Charms and decided to test drive the workflow. What I found was; the combination of Lucky Charms and Juju Lens provided an experience that was pleasant and rapid.
I don’t know about anybody else’s charming experience, but I didn’t even want to attempt it until Lucky came available. It is all shell based and surprisingly intuitive to work with. Getting up and running is quick and easy and there are no dependencies other than the Lucky binary itself. If you want to push your charms to the store, then you need charm-tools in addition to Lucky.
Now even though Lucky made charming bearable in my opinion, there were still a lot of challenges when debugging and troubleshooting issues with the charms. That’s where Juju Lens came to the rescue. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to “one-click” SSH into the machines without having to leave the GUI. And then being able to move the windows as well as configure the charms was priceless. One of the major challenges I’ve had in the past is first having to break out into a shell to get logged into the machine, and then tailing the logs to see what happens as I change configuration. While it was possible, it still seemed very klunky. However, with Juju Lens, I was able to easily troubleshoot a charm relation bug by shelling into both machines with two clicks, tail the logs; move the windows to the bottom left and bottom right; and then configure my main charm and watch the logs after saving the changes. All within the Juju Lens UI! With that I was able to diagnose that my main charm was not actually firing the relation hook on the related charm. I quickly knew where to look in the Lucky Charming framework, and resolved the issue quickly.
An amazing experience. I’m on Windows, and there are still some quirks with the UX that need to be worked out…like scrolling sometimes gets wonky, and I can’t copy/paste from the shell window. But the time I saved through these awesome set of tools was unprecedented so far in my charm development.