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Software Development

This Week in Programming: Do We Need Another Foundation?

Mar 15th, 2019 12:00pm by
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Another week, another foundation, amirite?

Already this week, we’ve heard news that Linux Foundation had merged the Node.js Foundation and JS Foundation into the OpenJS Foundation, with the intention of helping “eliminate operational redundancies between the two organizations, streamline the experience for companies that provide essential financial support through membership, and coordinate efforts within the JavaScript community and with affiliated standards bodies,” according to a statement.

Then there was the news of the newly formed Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), which launches as a “vendor-neutral home” to the Jenkins, Jenkins X, Spinnaker, and Tekton projects, with 22 founding members, including Autodesk, CapitalOne, CloudBees, GitLab, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Red Hat, among others. In our interview with Chris Aniszczyk, Linux Foundation vice president of developer relations, he half-jokingly referred to the organization as a “foundation-as-a-service” and some out there couldn’t agree more with the assessment, questioning if the CDF were really necessary or if the foundation should refrain from creating yet another foundation.

One such question regarding the newly formed foundation comes from an original member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) technical committee, Alexis Richardson, who is also the CEO of Weaveworks.

Richardson argues that the division will force new projects to decide between the CNCF and the CDF, which he says is “bad for the community, bad for end users, and bad for projects.” In further tweets, Richardson argues that “who ‘holds the code’ is a lot less important than having a clear marketing and adoption message for companies,” predicting that “we shall now see the same OCI vs CNCF confusion but 10x worse.”

Meanwhile, others see the CDF in quite the opposite light, with the distinction being clear — not all continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD) projects, though intended to be so in an ideal world, are necessarily “cloud native” and therefore do not belong in the CNCF. In fact, they see the CNCF as nearly synonymous with Kubernetes and obviously excluding of projects like Jenkins, which includes users along all points of the legacy on-prem to cloud native spectrum.

In its coverage of the newly formed foundation, The Register similarly finds the distinction clear and evident enough, writing that “Just like what the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) does for containers, microservices and orchestration, CDF is all about continuous delivery in the open-source world,” and that “the goal behind the foundation, much like its sibling the CNCF, is to keep things aligned and ensure the projects play well together in the CI/CD world.”

While the OpenJS foundation was created to eliminate redundancy, the argument, it seems, is that the Continuous Delivery Foundation was created for clarity where it was previously lacking, and to offer distinction where needed. As The New Stack analyst Lawrence Hecht tweeted, the user base of Jenkins alone could necessitate the foundation’s creation.

What do you think — is the creation of the CDF simply another splintering that will later need to be reconsolidated or is it a necessary division? Are there other subdivisions of the CNCF you see as necessary in the near future, or should the CNCF remain as the overall governing body of any and all cloud native projects?

While you’re busy thinking that over (or not) here’s some of the latest in Google developer news (with much more to follow):

This Week in Programming

  • Android Q Beta for the Devs: Google has announced the release of Android Q Beta and beyond the new features for the users, there are several things to pay attention to as developers. ProgrammableWeb offers a summary of the news for developers, writing that “Google jammed the OS upgrade with a batch of new APIs for developers to put to work,” which include “new and revised connectivity APIs for WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular connections” among others. Also included in the beta, Google has announced new audio and video codecs, a native MIDI API, the Neural Networks API 1.2, several new improvements to the ART runtime, and a continuance of their “long-term effort begun in Android P to move apps toward only using public APIs.” SDTimes also summarizes the release, writing that it “continues to focus on security and privacy by including work from Google Play Protect and runtime permissions as well as new privacy and security features, new APIs, camera capabilities, faster app startup, and enhancements for innovations like foldable phones.” There’s really way too much for us to fully dig into here, but those three posts should get you started, as well as Google’s site detailing the new features and APIs and the Android Q Beta developer site. Oh, and while we have your attention, dear Android developer, don’t forget that Google is holding its Mobile Developer Day at GDC 2019 on Monday, March 18 and that there’s a livestream available. And lest we forget, since Google+ is shutting down soon, it would appear that the official Android Beta community has moved on over to Reddit.

  • Google’s “Season of Docs”: One more bit of news on the Google front before we move on, the company has an interesting blog post introducing its Season of Docs, which is a new program that “brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation.” Citing the Open Source Survey, they write that there’s a high value for good documentation, yet a lack thereof, and hence this latest project. Applications for Season of Docs will be accepted April 2-23 from open source organizations, and then from April 30 to June 28, technical writers will choose the project they’d like to work on and submit their proposals to Season of Docs, which then runs after a period of getting to know one another and culminates on December 10 with Google publishing a list of successfully completed projects. A full timeline and FAQ are available at the Season of Docs website.

  • Calling All iOS Developers: Just a quick note to all you iOS developers out there — as if you weren’t already aware — but Apple has opened up registration for WWDC19, which closes on Wednesday, March 20, at 5 p.m. PDT. Apple’s yearly Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) runs June 3-7 this year in San Jose and applications are also being accepted for WWDC19 scholarships, which must be submitted by Sunday, March 24, at 5 p.m. PDT.
  • ML.NET 0.11 Adds TensorFlow Text Input: Microsoft has released ML.NET 0.11, it’s open-source and cross-platform machine learning framework for .NET developers, with a focus on “the overall stability of the framework, continuing to refine the API, fix bugs, reduce the public API surface, and improve documentation and samples.” In addition, this latest released has added support for text input, so TensorFlow models can now be used for text analysis, such as sentiment analysis — check out an example in this code.
  • Visual Studio Code in the Cloud: Infoworld relates to us that Microsoft’s popular open source code editor, Visual Studio Code, has been put in the cloud by online IDE provider Coder. “A new open source tool lets developers run Microsoft’s open source Visual Studio Code editor on a remote server and access it through a browser,” they write. “Using Coder’s Code-Server tool, available from GitHub, developers can code on a Chromebook, tablet, or PC and have a synchronized environment with Visual Studio Code. The tool also lets developers take advantage of CPU-bursting cloud instances for heavy tests and compilations.” Currently, Code-Server supports Linux and MacOS with Windows on the way.

CloudBees, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and the Linux Foundation are sponsors of The New Stack.

Feature image by Hebi B. from Pixabay.

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