The Future of Sympl

So, now that Sympl x.0 has been released for Stretch (9.0) and Buster (10.0), it’s time to start working on x.1.

The big goal for x.1 is to add support for and integrate OctoDNS, and replace the old automatic DNS generation with something more modern and able to take user changes.

Whilst that is in progress, the Sympl parser will be expanded to support more functionality, with mailbox creation, FTP configuration and so on, and these changes will be pushed to the x.0 versions along with any bugfixes.

Beyond that, the automatic SSL generation will be updated to use the new Let’s Encrypt API, and add support for wildcard certificates.

If you have questions about the future of Sympl, just post here!

So, it’s simple enough to add records in separate files. There’s no way to remove a record without also stopping Sympl from managing the main dns file. I suppose an interim fix would be to just do less by default. For example, don’t assume I want various subdomains (ftp, mail) unless I’m actually trying to use those facilities. So, if I don’t have a mailbox, then don’t publish the “mail” subdomains. Could also separate out into different files for different services types, maybe.

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Got to be said, the biggest annoyance of Symbiosis was it’s reliance on the Bytemark upstream DNS; it was supposed to work outside of BM, but I never got it working.

Certainly, I never did :wink:

I’ve been champing at the bit to get this going to make managing my (utterly, utterly terrible) web estate at work so anything I can do to chip in, let me know.

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Welcome @Ian_Eiloart and @Steven_Raith!

So, yea, I’ll break it out into a separate topic, but the plan with the sympl-dns for x.1 is to rebuild it from the ground up, and only publish records that either it is providing services for, or that have already been set up. I’d like to know what features would be useful though, so I can start scoping things.

OctoDNS looks like you give it a file, and it’ll make whatever it on the DNS server match the content of the file (fixing broken/invalid things along the way, allowing you to upload to multiple providers), so the ability to create records and manage them in Sympl will be key, and things like SRV records will be good to have for client auto-configuration.

In the meantime I’m not looking to make any changes to the DNS side of things in Sympl x.0 (those will be coming in x.1), so while it’ll still call the old BytemarkDNS scripts, there’s just a blank exit 0 file there by default to prevent errors popping up if the file doesn’t exist.

@Steven_Raith (and everyone else!): If you want to help there’s plenty of documentation needed on the wiki, and if you spin up a VM running Sympl you should be able to check the old Symbiosis documentation is accurate and write something more up to date - don’t copy it over wholesale as I want to avoid having to re-do it due to licencing headaches. :slight_smile:

I did spot the existing Symbiosis notes in the filesystem, although it’s been bloody years since I was at BM so I’ve entirely lost the thread with it from an admin perspective!

I’ll be dipping in and out of Sympl at work and at home, so I’ll contribute where I can, when I’m not kicking my own archaic platform. Why is this form taking 7 mins to complete on PHP7 when it was fine on PHP5, etc…

Yes, its still quite strongly descended from Symbiosis, although with some updates and polish which had been unfortunately lacking.