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When I first saw Docker I saw something with all the characteristics of a developer fad, namely that it was a magic new thing that in reality was nothing but a barely-novel rearrangement of old things but promised to make a lot of very old very hard problems go away.

Even worse, it was a fad that adds a whole lot of complexity to the system. Anything that adds complexity always gets a jaded glance from me. Unless there's a very clear and good reason for it, increasing complexity is typically a sign that something is wrong. (I use this rule in my own code and designs too... if I'm building a tower of Babel then I'm not seeing something or making a mistake.)

"Let's take preconfigured Linux system images and treat them like giant statically linked binaries."

Don't get me wrong-- it is a somewhat interesting hack and does have some utility. (and it IS a hack) But the problems it solves are in fact a lot harder than they seem and stem from fundamental 30+ year old issues in OS design and the Unix way of doing things. Our OSes date from the days when a "box" was a very long lived stationary thing that was provisioned and maintained manually, and they're full of things that today are bad design decisions because of this... like sprawling filesystems full of mutable data with no clear mutable/immutable division.

But the hype on this thing was just insane. I've never quite seen anything like it except maybe Java in the 1990s and that had more substance (a popular Smalltalk-ish language). For a long time I've joked that devops conference conversation was sounding like:

"Docker docker Docker docker docker docker Docker docker docker?"

"Docker docker docker."

"Docker, docker?"

"Docker docker docker Docker docker."

"Ahh, Docker."

Luckily it seems to be dying down and a lot of people are realizing it's not a silver bullet. This will probably inoculate a generation of devs and admins against over-hyped fads, but never fear... a new generation of devs and admins are coming in now and are eager to rewrite everything again since this time they'll be able to make a few trivial rearrangements of things that are already there and this time they'll get it right.




Java is the most 'popular' language in the world in 2016 (TIOBE), so maybe the hype was well placed.




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