Summary of Cloud Native Buildpacks Summit

Matthew Gibson

Hello, mailing list readers!  

My name is Matt Gibson and I work as a PM on the Cloud Native Buildpacks project. Hopefully by this point you’ve visited, reviewed some of our documentation, and started to play around with the ‘pack’ CLI.  As always, we’re happy to answer questions, resolve issues, and listen to suggestions for how to improve @

While we're still excited about the beta release mentioned above, we also wanted to share an update about the CNB summit last month. On 3/20, core project contributors and platform stakeholders potentially seeking to integrate with CNBs gathered in Pivotal’s New York office to discuss future areas of focus for the project.  Others invited were maintainers of existing buildpack or buildpack-like integrations. During the meetings, the core project contributors solicited and prioritized feedback related to contributing to and using CNBs, the feasibility of various platform integrations, and to set up a more robust governance framework to better accommodate a growing community. We will review each of these areas in more detail below.  

Attendee List:

Scott Andrews (Project Riff)

**Emily Casey (Cloud Native Buildpacks)

Jacques Chester (formerly Cloud Native Buildpacks)

Daniella Corricelli (Cloud Foundry Windows)

Matt Gibson (Cloud Native Buildpacks)

*Joe Kutner (Cloud Native Buildpacks + Heroku)

Jose Gonzalez (Herokuish/Dokku)

*Ben Hale (Cloud Native Buildpacks + Cloud Foundry)

Daniel Joyce (Cloud Native Buildpacks)

Guillermo Kardolus (Cloud Foundry)

*Terence Lee (Cloud Native Buildpacks + Heroku)

*Stephen Levine (Cloud Native Buildpacks + Cloud Foundry)

Matt McNew (Cloud Native Buildpacks)

Andrew Meyer (Cloud Native Buildpacks)

Michelle Noorali (Draft + CNAB)

Joao Pereira (Cloud Native Buildpacks)

Ashwin Venkatesh (Cloud Native Buildpacks)

Micha Young (Cloud Foundry Windows)

* Project Owner

** Core Maintainer

Community Feedback

Collecting feedback from the community using and contributing to CNBs was a primary goal for the summit.  At various points, all attendees silently generated feedback on sticky notes, these notes were then affinity mapped based on the topic, and voted on by the group in an effort to prioritize the project’s focus.  UX, buildpack groups, and onboarding were the clear winners. To dig a little bit deeper on each of these categories, see below for some examples of the feedback we collected.


  • “When I get an error, it’s really difficult to know why”

  • “All the different metadata can be hard to keep track of”

  • “Unclear who is the primary user of pack CLI”

Buildpack Groups:

  • “Difficult to distribute buildpack groups”

  • “Buildpack groups can be complicated”

  • “Sharing groups is not well defined”


  • “How do I know which commands are meant for which persona?”

  • “Getting started documentation could be better”

  • “New to docker, the struggle is real”

We found this feedback extremely helpful, action items arising from this exercise have already influenced the work we’ve prioritized.  

  • Andrew Meyer (Pivotal) updated the read me in the CNB repo and created a new tutorial based around using CNBs to create an image from a simple Java app and running it on a cloud platform

  • We recently added a UX designer to the team who will focus on improving the pack CLI.  Additionally, the CNB team pulled more stories around improving the UX into the Beta release including - limiting the amount of generated image shas, making `pack inspect builder` more helpful, and more gracefully handling exiting a command when an image is pulling.

  • Incoming PR that modifies the specification to improve the buildpack groups experience

Platform Integrations

In addition to collecting feedback, we wanted to take the opportunity presented by gathering in person to work through potential platform integrations.  Representatives from Draft, Dokku, and the Cloud Foundry Windows .NET experience team paired with at least one core CNB project contributor to work through a technical implementation for each platform.  Here’s a snapshot of some of the things we learned:

  • Fewer barriers than anticipated to integrate CNBs with the Draft platform

  • Pack as a library would probably help platforms come up with integration strategies more easily

  • Mixins would be a huge help for Dokku and we should probably prioritize them following release of the CNB Beta


In 2019 we aim to grow the community by pursuing new platform integrations and adding more contributors and maintainers from a more diverse range of companies.  As we seek to add new voices, it is important to establish a more robust and well documented governance framework. Michelle Noorali of the Microsoft Draft team provided a lot of helpful feedback and shared insight into how more mature CNCF projects structure their governance.  Terence Lee captured the updates to our governance in a write-up, feel free to check it out and leave feedback!  

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for further updates.


The Cloud Native Buildpacks Team

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