Docker open sources Compose Spec, aims for added Kubernetes flavour

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Docker has handed its Compose Spec to the open source world and is looking for maintainers for the project to help it expand its Kubernetes footprint.

As the project’s GitHub page puts it, “The Compose specification establishes a standard for the definition of multi-container platform-agnostic applications.”

In a blog post this week, Docker senior product manager Ben De St Paer-Gotch said, “This new community will be run with open governance with input from all interested parties allowing us together to create a new standard for defining multi-container apps that can be run from the desktop to the cloud.”

So far, the “community” listed on the spec’s website consists of Docker and Microsoft, but De St Paer-Gotch wrote that Docker was working with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft “and others in the open source community” to extend the Compose Specification to “more flexibly support cloud-native platforms like Kubernetes and Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) in addition to the existing Compose platforms.” 

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As for the why of all this, he said, “Compose dramatically simplifies the code to cloud process and toolchain for developers by allowing them to define a complex stack in a single file and run it with a single command. This eliminates the need to build and start every container manually, saving development teams valuable time.”

Docker intends to submit the spec “to an open source foundation to further enhance the level playing field and openness,” he added. The vendor recently handed its CNAB to OCI technology over to the CNAB project.

Docker launched its Compose tool  “for defining and running multi-container Docker applications” back in 2013, and the Compose Spec lists it as an “implementation”.

Over on GitHub, De St Paer-Gotch added that it was looking for maintainers for the newly open project.

“We request developers who use and love Compose today, who have experience building developer tooling and prefer those who have previous experience working on Open Source Specifications previously. Experience working with Compose outside of local development is also preferred with users of Compose on K8s, Kompose or services like ECS a plus.”

Last month the company outlined its post split strategy, with the vendor’s vp products, Justin Graham, saying it aimed “to help developers in that middle section between SCM and in runtime, which we call code to cloud”. At the time he placed Compose within its open source efforts, along with Notary and Engine.

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