“Docker 1.12 is probably the most important release since 1.0”
Discussions about a possible Docker fork have taken the industry by storm. We have the group which supports Docker 1.12 and points out its strengths and the group which claims that what the world needs right now is “boring core infrastructure.” We asked Viktor Farcic, Senior Consultant at CloudBees, to tell us what he thinks about Docker 1.12 and to weigh in on this Docker fork discussion.
The discussions about a possible Docker fork are gaining momentum. People are stating their views on this issue via Twitter, Medium, personal blogs,forums and more and pro- and anti-Docker fork groups are being formed.
We invited Viktor Farcic, Senior Consultant at CloudBees, to weigh in on the rumors and share his experience with Docker 1.12.
JAXenter: Have you tried Docker 1.12? What was your first impression of it?
Viktor Farcic: Yes I have and I think it is a huge step forward. It is probably the most important release since 1.0.
JAXenter: This version features built-in orchestration. Has this made things easier for you or are there other features that you consider to be more interesting?
Viktor Farcic: Built-in orchestration is the main star of 1.12. I think it put Swarm back on the right track and showed that it is a worthy contender for the orchestration supremacy.
JAXenter: There is a Hacker News thread about Docker 1.12’s flaws. Have you noticed any flaws?
Viktor Farcic: Version 1.12 had quite a few problems. However, since I started using 1.12.1, I did not experience any issues. There are flaws, of course, and one should expect that. After all, Swarm Mode is a completely new product and there is nothing abnormal about the fact that it has glitches. However, starting with 1.12.1, none of them are, in my opinion, a deal-breaker. My recommendation is to adopt the new Swarm (the one bundled in Docker Engine).
I don’t think there is a serious attempt to fork Docker.
JAXenter: The main criticism is the integration of Docker Swarm in the core. Andrew Guenther from AWS wrote: „Speaking of 1.12, my heart sank when I saw the announcement. Native swarm adds a huge level of complexity to an already unstable piece of software.“ Do you share his opinion?
Viktor Farcic: While I do agree that there is a certain logic behind the criticism, I do not agree with such a high level of pessimism. The people from Docker had the courage to do something new and they did it. The simplicity (from user’s perspective) behind their work is astonishing. For a while, they made Docker Engine so easy to use that the adoption skyrocketed. Now, with the new orchestration, they are doing it again. They made it in a way that everyone can easily jump aboard.
JAXenter: There is a relatively large discussion going on about a possible Docker fork. What’s your take on that? Do we need boring code infrastructure or should Docker continue to innovate and grow?
Viktor Farcic: I don’t think there is a serious attempt to fork Docker. It is easy to speak about it but there is no critical mass that would stand behind a possible fork. All of the contributors I know are very happy and do not have plans to work on any fork. Without a serious investment in both time and knowledge, I don’t see how a fork would be successful.
Years have passed since the last truly innovative improvement in the Java world. I don’t want that to happen to Docker.
The problem, in my opinion, lies elsewhere. Many companies want a piece of the cake. Docker (as well as the ecosystem around it) is too big of a hype to ignore. However, most people cannot keep pace so they start complaining. It’s common that after success comes criticism. I tend to ignore it as long as it is mostly based on discussions and not on actual contributions that can help improve the project.
I would encourage others to fork the code and truly make it better, not to complain that, as I read between the lines, Docker is moving too fast. I want a fast-paced industry. The last thing I’d choose is for Docker to transform itself into a project that is mostly concerned with maintaining backwards compatibility.
Take a look at the other extreme. Java is mostly concerned with backwards compatibility and stability. While there is value in such a direction, years have passed since the last truly innovative improvement in the Java world. I don’t want that to happen to Docker.
JAXenter: In your opinion, what is missing in Docker 1.12 that should be part of Docker 1.13?
Viktor Farcic: 1.13 should focus on the stability of the existing features. After that (release 1.14), I think we should have a better solution for distributed storage.
Thank you very much!
Read our coverage of the Docker fork debate