What is Mage-OS and why you should be aware of it?

I’m going to walk through the concept of Mage-OS extensively, covering everything that is up there as of today (Feb 5/22).

My goal is for you to get a complete grasp of this concept once you read this post, even if at this moment you have no idea what it is.

This post will consist of the information extracted from the three official posts from the Mage-OS community, namely being:

But it won’t be that long.

I’ll use a problem-solving process to describe what was already concluded. Everything will be coherent and substantive. I will let myself skip all of the populist statements as it would make everything here unnecessarily long.

The problem-solving process consists of 5 steps:
(1) Defining the problem
(2) Analyzing the problem
(3) Identifying and evaluating possible solutions
(4) Selecting and justifying the optimal solutions
(5) Implementation and review

Mage-OS folks defined the problem through a public letter that was published in September 2021. Everyone interested could publicly sign it, and it ended with 1640 people signing it up. The original link is here.

(1) Defining the problem

Magento community is feeling abandoned and ignored by Adobe, worrying about the future of the Magento Open Source.

There are a few reasons why:

(2) Analyzing the problem

  1. Adobe Commerce is moving towards composable microservices that are cloud-hosted, and suitable only for the largest merchants. This topic was briefly covered by Igor Miniailo and Nishant Kapoor in Extending Magento Commerce with Adobe I/O talk. This basically means the decomposition of the PHP Monolith.
  2. Community who believe the monolith is a valid approach feels uneasy about the future of Magento
  3. No clear direction on the Open Source product compared to the amount of communication and marketing around Adobe Commerce
  4. A growing disconnect between Adobe and the Community as a result of dissatisfaction around the Open Source contribution model, lack of communication, and lack of a clear roadmap
  5. Leadership at Adobe changed and core members with strategic positions left. There was no replacement for these figures and a lack of business case for further investment into Open Source

And it looks like Mage-OS wants to solve those issues by:

(3) Identifying and evaluating possible solutions

  1. community-driven fork that will be upstream-compatible with Magento Open Source to secure long term viability for all the businesses depending on it
  2. creating a movement through open letter to the Magento Community, so it brings Adobe’s decision makers to the table

No other possible solutions were mentioned. The are multiple reasons why Mage-OS is thinking those two are a good idea:

(4) Selecting and justifying the optimal solutions

  1. when the monolith is ultimately deprecated, all companies who want to remain on the monolith platform will be able to do so
  2. its going to be a collaborative effort, ideally together with the Magento Association, and (through them) with Adobe
  3. keep Magento alive, and give it a bright future by putting the focus on merchants, both big and small
  4. compatible with all existing Magento 2 extensions and integrations
  5. more accessible to developers
  6. composed of a default lightweight package selection
  7. faster integration of PRs
  8. simple migration to Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce

Benefits for Merchants

  1. simpler and more accessible to a majority of developers
  2. a growth path from the small beginning up to Adobe Commerce and Experience Manager
  3. reduced hosting costs due to simpler environmental requirements
  4. access to the big pool of Integrations and extensions for Magento and Adobe Commerce

Benefits for Agencies

  1. reduced build time and less complexity to optimize your project costs
  2. easier to onboard new talent thanks to a more accessible codebase
  3. ability to target the lower SMB market with attractive margins thanks to lower project cost
  4. developers happiness: less frustration, more wins to motivate your teams and boost your talent retention

Benefits for Technology Partners

  1. business growth as the Magento market share increases
  2. access to the lower end SMB market section of merchants and agencies
  3. bigger ROI for existing products due to a longer Magento lifespan

Benefits for Developers

  1. improved sense of ownership
  2. faster moving distribution
  3. easier to contribute
  4. simpler to set up a development environment
  5. good entry point for a developer career in the Magento / Adobe Commerce ecosystem
  6. Bigger ROI for acquired Magento development knowledge due to a longer Magento lifespan

Benefits for Adobe

  1. reduced pressure on the Magento Open Source GitHub PR/Issue list
  2. create a protective buffer between community contributions and Adobe Commerce to safeguard stability
  3. community contributions can be evaluated in production environments without the risk of introducing instability to Magento Open Source or, by extension, Adobe Commerce
  4. funnel for merchants exhibiting the biggest growth from Mage-OS into Adobe Commerce and Adobe Experience Manager
  5. protect and grow the lower-end Magento SMB market market share
  6. competitive advantage vs other eCommerce platforms due to a vibrant and active community

This was all in September 2021. Fast-forward February 2022, and I can safely confirm this effort was not in vain and resulted in:

(5) Implementation and review

Adobe noticing the community:

  • still cared
  • had a real need for an open strategy around open source and a commitment to the long-term support of Magento Open Source

Result: the Open Source Task Force was created by the Magento Association.

The community and Adobe get together to:

  • voice these concerns
  • discuss the future of Magento
  • find common ground on important issues

It is all to fix the relationship between Adobe and the Community.

Mage-OS has a one-hour meeting once every second week. Results are mixed, and eight calls have taken place until now, joined by about 10 people.

Almost half are Adobe employees, and the rest consists of community members, including three Mage-OS members.

So far Mage-OS got an alignment on:

  • what the community needs from Adobe
  • what Adobe is willing to provide

And also commitment has been made by Adobe to:

  • keep investing into Magento Open Source
  • ensure us there is no plan for deprecation of the monolith

Important takeaways:

  1. Adobe has proposed a Community maintained “Short Term Support” (STS) version of Magento Open Source
  2. Awareness of the Community and the importance of Magento Open Source is growing inside Adobe
  3. Luma will be deprecated, but not on short term
  4. possibility of slimming down the core of the Magento Framework to allow multiple distributions in the future
  5. Adobe will not provide any marketing around Magento Open Source towards merchants from either magento.com or the adobe.com website
  6. magento.com domain now redirects to a landing page at adobe.com with resources around Magento
  7. Adobe will take care of the basic needs to be able to keep using Magento Open Source for the next couple of years
  8. full vendor support for critical bugs, stability upgrades and security support
  9. the power of the community and the backing of a large enterprise will enable innovation and growth of the Magento eco-system for many years into the future
  10. Adobe wants to build integrations for other Adobe products and microservices, rather than building new features using Magento (PHP) extensions
  11. to make platform and community flourish and grow, it will have to come from the community
  12. The fork was created, and its tracking changes on the official Magento repositories
  13. setup of the infrastructure and processes to make Mage-OS a sustainable long-term project
  14. fork is tracking changes on the official Magento repositories and automatically updates, then creates meta-packages from the repository and puts these into a distributed repository that can be used with Composer
  15. fork, build scripts, and all documentation will be published soon
  16. Mage-OS goal is full transparency
  17. processes will be up for discussion on Discord
  18. The Fork is a contingency fallback before large deprecations that might happen on the official Magento repository, or its entire removal
  19. through fork Mage-OS wants to have complete ownership over a copy of the product and have the knowledge to maintain such an infrastructure
  20. optional functionalities in core such as a choice between MySQL search or Elasticsearch, or removing MSI (Multi Stock Inventory) will be in fork by default
  21. implementation of bug fixes will be faster
  22. Implementation of performance improvements faster
  23. fork will Include new features, and repackage Luma into an LTS version, removing Luma from core by default
  24. Magento events needs to make a comeback, to educate and welcome newcomers, celebrate our victories and help each other out through sharing solutions to our common problems as we’ve done for over a decade
  25. Mage-OS will open up to the public using Discord.com as a communication platform, where we would like to welcome you and exchange ideas on how to start defining the future of Magento
  26. access information to this environment will be published on website and newsletter as soon as it’s made it available

It is clear that Adobe will not invest heavily in any innovation or feature development on Magento.

The Mage-OS initiative has been started by the following companies and individuals:

  • Willem Wigman, Hyvä Themes B.V.
  • Vinai Kopp, Hyvä Themes B.V.
  • Andreas von Studnitz, integer_net GmbH
  • Fabian Schmengler, integer_net GmbH
  • Ignacio Riesco, Interactiv4 S.L.
  • Óscar Recio, Interactiv4 S.L.
  • Peter Jaap Blaakmeer, elgentos
  • Wouter Steenmeijer, elgentos
  • Jeroen Boersma, elgentos
  • Kuba Zwolinski, snow.dog
  • Kamil Balwierz, snow.dog
  • Bartek Igielski, snow.dog
  • Simon Sprankel, CustomGento GmbH
  • Ryan Hoerr, ParadoxLabs, Inc
  • Thien-Lan Weber, OneStepCheckout
  • Alessandro Ronchi, Magento Community Maintainer
  • John Hughes, Fisheye Media Ltd.
  • Tomas Gerulaitis

Conclusion

I’d like to personally thank all of the initiators of this movement, as the stagnated Adobe’s outlook to Open Source led to way too many unnecessary frustrations. Once discord will become open I’ll gladly join in to help you.

Mage-OS is a movement that will probably blaze the trail of Magento’s future for the next couple of years.

PR