Containers / Development

This Week in Programming: The Docker Dogpile Continues

11 Sep 2021 6:00am, by

Here we are, a week later, and it would seem that Docker Desktop is still very much on everyone’s mind. After Docker decided that it might attempt to actually make money off of one of its most popular products by charging companies with more than 250 employees and annual revenue greater than $10M, much of the internet showed just how entitled it was with complaints of Docker’s so-called “bait and switch” among other complaints.

This week, the top posts over at Hacker News have nearly daily featured at least one link regarding alternatives to Docker Desktop, as had quickly appeared upon the arrival of last week’s news. For example, one blog post on migrating from Docker to Podman by DevOps engineer Marcus Noble seems to have struck a nerve, noting Podman’s “well-timed tweet” regarding support for non-Linux operating systems.

Meanwhile, it looks like the Podman team is taking this all into consideration, and discussing whether or not Podman should offer a Podman Desktop for Windows, Linux and Mac, writing that “several requests have been received via Twitter, IRC, email, and other sources, to provide a Podman Desktop application similar to the one that Docker provides.”

Beyond Noble’s blog post, other highlighted links included Podman’s recently added support for Apple’s M1 machines and even a months-old post from Red Hat on how to replace Docker with Podman on a Mac.

Now, as if all of this weren’t enough, Infoworld also published a long and worthwhile piece this week examining how Docker broke in half, featuring interviews with Docker creator Solomon Hykes, former CEO Ben Golub, early employees, and more. The piece catalogues the company’s many missteps along the way — not the least of which being its general lack of focus and inability to work well with the Kubernetes team — that have brought the company to where it is today: still struggling to be profitable despite its popularity.

Docker, meanwhile, put out a blog post this week explaining the magic behind the scenes of Docker Desktop and an attempt to show that Docker Desktop is more than simply a graphical user interface (GUI) for containers. “Docker Desktop is designed to let you build, share and run containers as easily on Mac and Windows as you do on Linux. Docker handles the tedious and complex setup so you can focus on writing code,” they write, before going into all the details on what Docker Desktop does.

The question remains, as it did last week, whether or not companies will be willing to pay for Docker Desktop or will make the leap to some alternative, whether Podman (as is in vogue this week) or any of the other alternatives. For some out there, at least, it isn’t even a choice…

This Week in Programming

  • Amazon Elasticsearch Becomes OpenSearch Service: While it’s just another name change from Amazon, the company’s move this week from Amazon Elasticsearch Service to Amazon OpenSearch Service might be seen as something more, given the service’s history. As we’ve thoroughly catalogued here on The New Stack, and as Amazon itself briefly details in the blog post about the name change, the history of Amazon OpenSearch Service is filled with a battle over the idea of open source. Long story short, Amazon eventually forked Elasticsearch after the original open source software became not so open in a move to prevent AWS from offering it as a service. Now, it seems that Amazon wants to move beyond that history completely, by getting rid of the name Elasticsearch. “Although the name has changed, we will continue to deliver the same experiences without any negative impact to ongoing operations, development methodology, or business use,” they write, noting that the service will offer a choice of open-source engines, including the currently available 19 versions of ALv2 Elasticsearch 7.10 and earlier, as well as OpenSearch 1.0, which they released in July. In addition, Amazon says that OpenSearch 1.0 offers “three new features that are not available in the existing Elasticsearch versions supported on Amazon OpenSearch Service: Transforms, Data Streams, and Notebooks in OpenSearch Dashboards.”
  • Amazon Takes EKS On-Prem with EKS Anywhere: While we’re talking about Amazon and Amazon Web Services, the company made another move of note this week, by announcing Amazon EKS Anywhere. Based on its managed Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), EKS Anywhere allows users to create and operate Kubernetes clusters in their own data center, using VMware vSphere, while also enjoying the automation tooling for cluster lifecycle support. EKS Anywhere is open source and fits in alongside your other EKS clusters and tooling. To that end, AWS also released the public preview of the EKS Connector, which allows users to connect any Kubernetes clusters to the EKS console.

  • JetBrains Offers Dedicated Data Science IDE: JetBrains, the company behind the popular IntelliJ IDEA and the Kotlin Java alternative, released a new integrated development environment (IDE) this week, as detailed by VentureBeat. The newly-available IDE, DataSpell, is specifically for data scientists who use Python code to create AI models and “promises an enhanced experience compared to the traditional Jupyter notebooks most data scientists rely on to write and manage code,” writes VentureBeat. The new IDE is not meant to replace Jupyter Notebooks, but rather to complement them, providing features such as “intelligent coding assistance for Python, an out-of-the-box table of contents, folding tracebacks, and interactive tables.” DataSpell not only supports Python, but also provides basic support for the R programming language, which is also popular with data scientists, and support for Julia is forthcoming. If you’re confused about whether or not you should be using DataSpell or JetBrains’ other offering, PyCharm, head on down to the FAQ at the bottom of the DataSpell page for more insight.
  •  GitHub Enterprise Server Adds Dark Mode (And More): GitHub has offered the release candidate for GitHub Enterprise Server 3.2 and we might as well just cut to the chase — it has dark mode. Sure, it has other features too — like videos for pull requests and issues, controls for compliance teams, and several security features in beta — but come on now… dark mode. As far as those security features, GitHub is adding the ability to support custom patterns in screen scanning, a beta for dependency reviews, and a security overview feature that gives an “organization-level view of the application security risks detected by code scanning, Dependabot, and secret scanning.”

The New Stack is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insight Partners. TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in the following companies: MADE, Docker.

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