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How we brought the latest version of Python to App Engine and Cloud Functions

Monday, August 13, 2018

At Cloud Next 2018, we added Python 3.7 support to Cloud Functions and now we’ve announced Python 3.7 support for the App Engine standard environment. These new runtimes allow you to write Python functions and apps using the latest version of Python and the rich ecosystem of packages available on Python Packaging Index (PyPI).

This new runtime marks a significant update to App Engine and was enabled by new open source software that we recently released: gVisor and FTL.

Python, straight from the source

Running Python 3.7 on App Engine and Cloud Functions required us to fundamentally rethink our infrastructure. Traditionally, meeting Google Cloud’s security requirements meant that we had to run a modified version of the Python interpreter. However, using a modified interpreter constrained some language features and only allowed us to support a limited set of whitelisted Python libraries.

Thanks to gVisor, a container sandbox that provides improved security and process isolation, we can now run the unmodified Python 3.7.0 interpreter. We’ve done extensive testing to make sure Python 3.7 is compatible with gVisor. As part of our compatibility testing, we run Python’s full suite of language tests, and tests for Python packages that are popular on PyPI. We’re committed to ensuring that everything you’ve come to know and love about Python is supported on our platform.

Seamless deployments

Most importantly, this change in our infrastructure makes it easier to take advantage of Python’s vast ecosystem. As a developer, you just add project dependencies to a requirements.txt file and deploy.

During deployment, FTL, a tool for building containers, fetches dependencies listed in your requirements.txt file and installs them alongside your app or function. FTL also includes a short-lived dependency cache, which speeds up repeated deployments if no changes are detected in your requirements.txt file. This is particularly useful if you find just need to re-deploy because you found a typo.

Keeping up with the Pythonistas

In making these changes, we also decided to expand the list of system packages that are included with each runtime’s Ubuntu 18.04 distribution. We think that will make life just a little bit easier for developers working with the latest release of Python.

Looking forward, we’re excited about how these changes will allow us to keep up with the Python community’s progress as they release new versions and libraries. Please let us know what you think and if you run into any challenges.

You can learn more about how to get started with it on App Engine and Cloud Functions in our documentation. We can’t wait to see what you build with Python 3.7.

By Stewart Reichling, Product Manager

OpenMetrics project accepted into CNCF Sandbox

Friday, August 10, 2018

For the past several months, engineers from Google Cloud, Prometheus, and other vendors have been aligning on OpenMetrics, a specification for metrics exposition. Today, the project was formally announced and accepted into the CNCF Sandbox, and we’re currently working on ways to support OpenMetrics in OpenCensus, a set of uniform tracing and stats libraries that work with multiple vendors’ services. This multi-vendor approach works to put architectural choices in the hands of developers.
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OpenMetrics stems from the stats formats used inside of Prometheus and Google’s Monarch time-series infrastructure, which underpins both Stackdriver and internal monitoring applications. As such, it is designed to be immediately familiar to developers and capable of operating at extreme scale. With additional contributions and review from AppOptics, Cortex, Datadog, InfluxData, Sysdig, and Uber, OpenMetrics has begun the cross-industry collaboration necessary to drive adoption of a new specification.

OpenCensus provides automatic instrumentation, APIs, and exporters for stats and distributed traces across C++, Java, Go, Node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, and .Net. Each OpenCensus library allows developers to automatically capture distributed traces and key RPC-related statistics from their applications, add custom data, and export telemetry to their back-end of choice. Google has been a key collaborator in defining the OpenMetrics specification, and we’re now focusing on how to best implement this inside of OpenCensus.

“Google has a history of innovation in the metric monitoring space, from its early success with Borgmon, which has been continued in Monarch and Stackdriver. OpenMetrics embodies our understanding of what users need for simple, reliable and scalable monitoring, and shows our commitment to offering standards-based solutions,” said Sumeer Bhola, Lead Engineer on Monarch and Stackdriver at Google.

For more information about OpenMetrics, please visit openmetrics.io. For more information about OpenCensus and how you can quickly enable trace and metrics collection from your application, please visit opencensus.io.

By Morgan McLean, Product Manager for OpenCensus and Stackdriver APM

Introducing the new lead for Android Open Source Project

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This week began with the announcement of Android 9 Pie and, as usual, the subsequent upstreaming of code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). But the release of Android 9 isn’t the only important Android news!

Tucked away in the announcement to the Android Building mailing list was this note:

“I also wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as the new Tech Lead / Manager for AOSP. My name is Jeff Bailey, and I’ve been involved in the Open Source community for more than two decades. Since I joined the Android team a few months ago, I’ve been learning how we do things and getting an understanding of how we could work better with the community. I’d love to hear from you: @JeffBaileyAOSP on Twitter or jeffbailey+aosp@google.com. Be well!”

As Jeff notes in his introduction, he has a history in free and open source software (FOSS). He’s been an avid user, contributor, and maintainer since before the Open Source Definition was inked!

Jeff co-founded Savannah, where GNU software is developed and distributed, spent 15 years working on Debian, and has been an Ubuntu core developer. Further, he spent some time on the Google Open Source team and was involved in open sourcing Android back in 2008.

Open source projects, even those which originate inside of companies, are powered by the community of users and contributors that surround them. And those communities thrive when they have stewards who are steeped in the traditions of free and open source software. We’re excited for AOSP as Jeff takes the reins. He brings both technical and cultural skills to the table, and he’s been involved with the project since the beginning!

Suffice it to say, AOSP is in good hands. We welcome Jeff to his new role and, as he said in his introduction, he’d love to hear from the community: you can reach Jeff on Twitter and via email.

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source
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