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What's in store for 2023

· 6 min read
Miles Johnson
Founder, developer

Happy new year! Let's start 2023 by reflecting on last year and diving into our tentative year long roadmap.

Year 2022 in review

The original concept and first commit of moon (codenamed monolith) landed October 23rd, 2021. Eight months later, we launched an alpha of moon to the public on May 19th, 2022. Since then, we've landed 21 amazing releases based on feedback from the community and our long-term vision, with some such features as:

  • Linux musl, macOS silicon, and ARM support
  • Full Node.js/JavaScript ecosystem support
  • End-to-end caching and hashing of build artifacts
  • Streamlined configuration
  • Improved developer experience
  • Massive performance improvements
  • Automatic cache cleaning
  • Code generation / scaffolding
  • Dockerfile integration
  • Remote caching
  • New langauage agnostic toolchain
  • Onboarding of 5 new languages: Rust, Go, PHP, Python, Ruby
  • Rewritten project and dependency graphs
  • Project-level toolchain overrides
  • Project specific caching
  • VSCode extension
  • 2 GitHub actions
  • ...and so much more!

We're very proud with the quality and amount of features we've released in a 7 month timeframe. On top of this, our GitHub stars have steadily passed the 1k mark, npm downloads are 500 a week and growing, and our Twitter isn't doing too bad. This is only the start, and we're not planning to go anywhere!

Path to an official v1 release

A common question we receive is "When is v1 going to be released?", as some consumers are weary of using a "beta" tool. We definitely understand, and as such, have posted a high-level overview of what we're hoping to land before we tag an official v1 release. It basically boils down to landing breaking changes (mainly around configuration) before v1, so that we avoid bumping to a v2 or v3 unnecessarily. We also want to land our toolchain changes and remote caching improvements before then.

Our current timeframe is by end of Q1, if not, early Q2.

Launching moonbase

We haven't mentioned this name publicly yet, but now seems like the perfect time! For the past 6 months we've been working a new web application and service called moonbase, which pairs nicely with moon, as it provides additional functionality that can only be achieved by persisting information across runs.

To start, this service provides remote caching, which we're already using in production. At this point in time, objects are stored in our moonrepo S3 buckets, but one of our major goals is to support storing objects in your private buckets, supporting additional cloud providers like Google Cloud and Azure, and in the long-term, a self-hosted / on-premises solution.

But that's not all! moonbase will integrate deeply with continuous integration pipelines to generate insights, capture metrics, and provide near real-time dashboards. Our goal is to provide a holistic overview of your entire repository.

moonbase with publicly available remote caching is slated for end of Q1. CI integration is tentatively slated for Q2. We have even more features that we'll reveal in the future, so stay tuned!

Launching proto

Another tool we haven't mentioned yet is proto (name still in flux). proto is a standardized version manager for programming languages and dependency managers. We've basically extracted our toolchain into a standalone library, as it's super beneficial for projects and developers not using moon. It provides all the functionality you'd expect from a version manager:

  • Downloading and installing specific versions
  • Automatic version detection
  • Updating PATH with the applicable version
  • Generating shims
  • Pinning shell, local, and global versions

So how's this different from existing version managers like nvm or volta? To start, it's written in Rust so it's fast and doesn't suffer from being Bash only. Because of this, it's also multi-platform and will work on Windows. But the biggest different is that proto is language agnostic and will support multiple languages. To start, it supports Node.js and Deno, but will be expanded to support our other toolchain languages like Bun, PHP, Ruby, and Python. Another cool feature is that it also manages versions of dependency managers like npm, yarn, and pnpm!

We're planning to launch proto at the start of Q2.

Expanding language support

Our initial goal for moon was to provide a first-class build system for the frontend ecosystem that focused heavily on automation and the developer experience. We believe we've accomplished this goal, but of course, nothing is ever actually complete, and so JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js support will continually be improved.

However, that's not the entirety of the frontend ecosystem, as Deno and Bun have been gaining traction this past year, and of course, moon will support both of them as first-class platforms by end of year.

Futhermore, we recently landed tier 1 support for 5 new languages: Rust, Ruby, PHP, Python, and Go. Our end of year goal for these languages is to provide full tier 2 support. Tier 3 support is still an unknown, as we need to investigate the best possible way to integrate these languages into the toolchain (this work is ongoing). We'll also add new languages based on demand.

With all that being said, this is our tenative timeline around language support (which may shift at any time):

  • Q1
    • Tier 1 support for Bun.
    • Tier 2 support for Deno.
  • Q2
    • Tier 2 support for Bun, PHP.
    • Tier 3 support for Deno.
  • Q3
    • Tier 2 support for Ruby, Python.
    • Tier 3 support for Bun.
  • Q4
    • Tier 2 support for Rust, Go.

Supporting release workflows

moon currently excels at organizing projects, running tasks, and building artifacts, but it has no support for release workflows. This is everything from capturing changes, bumping versions, generating changelogs, and publishing to upstream registries. If you use Lerna or changesets, you should be very familiar with this workflow.

Since moon supports monorepos and has in-depth knowledge of the project graph, we can support release workflows with ease. Our goal is to support this workflow (for all languages) from start to finish by end of year, ideally much sooner than that!

More repository management tooling

The other aspect of moon is that it's a repository management tool as well as a build system. We want to embrace this even further by providing explicit functionality or automation when applicable. Some examples of this are in-repository secrets management, git hooks management, code ownership and quality tooling, code review helpers, repository/configuration linting, a moon DSL, and much much more.