First up…. this has nothing to do with saving trees – at least of the botanical variety. This has everything to do with Docker in the enterprise!
So… I spun up some new Docker hosts the other day… and it wasn’t long before I needed my trusty old friend `docker images –tree`. Well what was my horror when I got bitch-slapped with this:
npoulton@ip-10-0-0-90:/home/ubuntu$ sudo docker images --tree flag provided but not defined: --tree See 'docker images --help'.
Basically the `–tree` flag’s been pulled from the code! And yes, I know it’s been throwing “Warning: ‘–tree’ is deprecated” warnings at me since forever. I just never thought they’d actually go through with it.
And you know what right… I know it’s just a piece of software we’re talking about here.. but I’m seriously mortified by this. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more poignant lesson that it’s the litle things that make a big difference. Such a tiny command, that was so insanely powerful for Docker image management.
Anyway…. what’s this all got to do with Docker in the enterprise?
Well…. I’ve spent enough time working big enterprises and financial services orgs that I know the odd ting about what gets signed off into production in these organizations and what doesn’t. So stick with me for a sec here…
Traditional enterprises – especially government, financial services etc – are as anal as the best of them when it comes to signing off code and services into production. Hell some of them still roll their own Linux kernels, not to mention still run stuff on AIX and pay through the teeth for EMC storage coz it makes them feel warm and fuzzy. Bottom line…. they soil their pants over every new thing they allow in to production.
So what I’m saying is….. if I was still at one of these types of orgs lobbying to get Docker signed off into production… I’d have taken the removal of `docker images –tree` as a steel-toe-capped kick in the old meat and two veg!
Why? Because now my ability to perform basic and vital image management tasks has become a whole lot harder. And the idea of running the folloing instead is just insane!
docker run --rm -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock nate/dockviz images -t
Now I’ve no personal issue with Nate Jones and his actually quite cool little image. But the thought that I might be able to run code like that – spin up a random container from some guy called Nate who I’ve never met – on production systems is just mind blowing!
I’m sure doing this kind of stuff is done all the time in cool hipster companies and the likes – and I’m totally cool with that. But it’s absolutely not done in rusty old enterprises with the kind of big fat wallets that I’m sure Docker would love to help thin out.
So what I’m saying to Docker is….. and I say this with the deepest respect to those involved with the Docker project (props to you all for the genuinely awesome work you do)…. but please add the `–tree` option back. And keep good image and container management capabilities within the trusted core Docker codebase. The code that folks like me are no doubt trying to champion into production environments all over the world!