Why doesn

In life and, as it turns out, in technology, you need friends, in the case of Docker, many open source friends.


Image: Docker

In case you missed VMworld this week, the clouderati tweeter @cloud_opinion has a good summary for you :

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Matt Asay

From Project Pacific to Tanzu, VMware is very clearly involved in Kubernetes, the favorite container orchestration industry and more. It is a great move by VMware, and ironic: VMware, which once rejected the container revolution, will now play an important role in carrying it forward. In fact, all the companies that initially ran out of Kubernetes (Red Hat, AWS, Pivotal, which is now part of VMware, etc.) are now fully on board. ( Disclosure: I am an AWS employee.)

SEE: VMworld 2019: VMware expands its Kubernetes, multi-cloud, security strategies (ZDNet)

Given This impressive adoption of containers (and associated technology), is even more ironic (and somewhat sad) than Docker, the company that did more than anyone to launch the container revolution, is a poor comparative when it comes to taking advantage of the containers . . No, I am not suggesting that Docker has financial difficulties, but that other providers seem to be doing much more.

Why? What does Docker have that makes so many people indifferent to the plight of the company?

Community design

There may be strong, technology-based reasons that Docker is doing well enough but does not earn billions. Murali Gandluru, for example, has highlighted the difficulty that Docker was always going to have in the container orchestration market against Kubernetes since Kubernetes "strengthened internally in Google and had the strongest muscle in Google."

Fair point, and probably true.

SEE: Docker containers are full of vulnerabilities: this is how the first 1,000 did (TechRepublic)

But this and other technological reasons are not the reasons people give for " don't cry for Docker. " Instead, if you ask ( as I did ), the answers focus on the alleged mismanagement of Docker from his open source community. Take, for example, the criticisms of Ben Kepes :

Docker was the victim of his own arrogance and arrogance. They thought they could create a walled garden from the back of an OSS project and did not see that there was no obvious way to increase their model revenue … Of all the open source initiatives in the last 10 years, none showed so much ignorance (or arrogance) of what makes a good community builder Docker.

The analyst Krish Subramanian agrees and notes that "Docker paid a price for blocking contributions and not having an open community." That lack of open community, continued was driven by calcified design decisions: "The problem with Docker was his strategy of" any orchestration but with our batteries attached. "That led to cracks in the community."

Make friends, influence people

Not everyone agrees. Phil Estes, for example, has suggested that Docker's main contributors "to this day … are incredibly frustrated by the implication that there were statements from above to" block contributions. "Http: // www. techrepublic.com/ " Continued :

The maintenance managers had strong opinions about the design and implementation of the client / demon, and sometimes they took too much time to come and go and, in the end, to reject certain [pull requests]. Swarm is another story, but the main engine was a very open project with many external maintainers. A very specific public relations campaign (and not the type of extraction request) was needed to promote the idea that Docker was closed as a project, and many engineers who are no longer in Docker have said until today that they would have rejected those GitHub [pull requests] regardless of their signer of paychecks.

To which Subramanian replied :

It may not [have been a] statement from above, but it was definitely a "my way or [the] highway" approach. [There] may have [been] some design considerations at stake. But it was not an open approach that could have kept the community behind them.

Or perhaps, as is often the case, Adam Jacob offers the most concise and precise summary:

outside: Docker made no friends at all in the industry. My experience was that they were convinced that they didn't need anyone, that they were better than everyone and that it was essentially destiny. It turns out that you need friends when the industry changes.

The business lesson? In Jacob's vision is simple: "[M] make friends, even with your enemies." Or the slightly longer version of open source lawyer Van Lindberg: "Open source is no match. Find a way to monetize that does not put you in opposition to your community, and people will love you. But if you need to diminish the community to succeed, people will treat it as if your product were exclusive. " Amen.

See also

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