A lot changed between the time I initially wrote this for ContainerJournal and when it actually went live on the site. The split between Docker and CoreOS has been mended and everyone is now playing nicely together in the Open Container Project. It’s still an interesting look at the evolution of Docker and how it seemed to outgrow it’s original vision:
Docker went quickly from obscurity to ubiquity. A couple years ago the company didn’t exist and now it’s established as the de facto standard for container technologies—integrated in almost every platform and supported by most major vendors. Somewhere in that meteoric rise, though, it seems like Docker veered off its original course.
When it began Docker also created the Standard Container Manifesto:
Docker: a self-sufficient runtime for linux containers
Docker is a runtime for Standard Containers. More specifically, it is a daemon which automates the creation of and deployment of linux Standard Containers (SCs) via a remote API.
Standard Containers are a fundamental unit of software delivery, in much the same way that shipping containers (http://bricks.argz.com/ins/7823-1/12) are a fundamental unit of physical delivery.
1. STANDARD OPERATIONS
Just like shipping containers, Standard Containers define a set of STANDARD OPERATIONS. Shipping containers can be lifted, stacked, locked, loaded, unloaded and labelled. Similarly, standard containers can be started, stopped, copied, snapshotted, downloaded, uploaded and tagged.
Just like shipping containers, Standard Containers are CONTENT-AGNOSTIC: all standard operations have the same effect regardless of the contents. A shipping container will be stacked in exactly the same way whether it contains Vietnamese powder coffe or spare Maserati parts. Similarly, Standard Containers are started or uploaded in the same way whether they contain a postgres database, a php application with its dependencies and application server, or Java build artifacts.
You can see the full post on ContainerJournal: Did Docker grow so big it forgot its original vision?