Docker commits to open source, promises to put users into a ‘state of flow’

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Docker’s CTO said he wants the company’s customers to lose all track of time in a keynote that outlined how the firm plans to reach developers that are nowhere near being cloud native.

Kal De’s talk at Dockercon Europe also unpacked further details of the CNAB spec it launched with Microsoft yesterday, and the announcement that Docker has open-sourced its Docker Compose product for Kubernetes.

De emphasised the company’s open source roots, and said it would continue to leverage and contribute to open source, even as it continues to develop paid for, enterprise friendly products.

At the same time, he repeated CEO Steve Singh’s refrain about how the company aimed to bring containerization, cloud native and more to the vast majority of developers who have yet to use them.

So, on the former tack, the presentation included further details of CNABs, the Docker-Microsoft led spec to ease the management of distributed apps. Key to the spec are the bundle descriptor, which is a signed .json object that lists, amongst other things, the images and environments that define the app, and an invocation image that installs the app. The demo also highlighted Duffle, a command line tool for installing and managing CNABs.

The talks also featured the news that that Docker was open sourcing Docker Compose on Kubernetes. Compose is the firm’s tool for running multi-container applications. The code should be available later today.

But De also emphasised the fact that most developers, and more importantly the organisations that pay for them and their environments, are yet to experiment with containers, cloud native apps, and their assorted paraphenalia, never mind use them in production.

“Nobody needs convincing that there are benefits to microservices architectures,” he said.

But running containers, managing multiple environments and tool chains, using multiple clouds is just…really finicky. Even as companies have to be able to react faster to just about anything that could affect their business.

Or, as De put it, “how much more could you accomplish if your platform just worked.”

So De introduced the concept of “flow”, the idea that of being so engaged in your work – and so utterly productive – that you don’t even notice time passing.

The company would focus on bringing this philosophy to its product development, he said, so “when you are interacting with the Docker tool chain, you will experience a state of flow.”

There’s an argument that many developers already lose all track of time when working with containers, multi-cloud and all the rest. But we assume Docker means this is in a good way.