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Save the whale: Docker rightfully shuns standardisation

Matt Asay | Aug. 31, 2016
The Open Container Project wants to standardise Docker the old-fashioned way: by committee. The pushback from Docker delivers a compelling counterpoint.

Even successful open source projects like Linux largely display this tendency. Though Linux involves a large number of organisations, each pursuing its own self-interest, the reason Linux works comes down to a very opinionated Linus Torvalds. This isn't to deprecate the work of other committers and maintainers on the the various Linux projects/subprojects, but simply to insist that Linux isn't designed by committee any more than Docker is (or should be).

If anything, Docker, Inc. chose its wording poorly, as Hykes acknowledges, when it talked about standardisation for the Docker container format. Going forward, the company needs to keep doing what is best for the community, which ironically has nothing to do with "design by committee" industry standards and everything to do with advancing the state of the Docker container art such that real enterprises increasingly use Docker in real, mission-critical workloads. That hasbegun in earnest, but more is needed.

Docker's initial success, as with MongoDB and other de facto industry standards, has come through relentless efforts to make the technology simple for developers to adopt. Balancing this simplicity with the ability to tackle increasingly demanding workloads takes a village to put Docker through its paces in production, but requires a single mayor to establish and maintain order. That's Docker, Inc., and that's exactly the right kind of standard for Docker containers.

Source: InfoWorld


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