Alternatives, comparisons, and forks – Amateur tech diviner – Issue #4

As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about market trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. In the spirit of open source, here are the 5 articles my audience found the most interesting last week (as measured by clicks) and why I think that’s so.

Docker has raised $92 million in new funding

“The new funding is a signal that while Docker may have lost its race with Google’s Kubernetes over whose toolkit would be the most widely adopted, the San Francisco-based company has become the champion for businesses that want to move to the modern hybrid application development and information technology operations model of programming.”

Why I suspect this played: Docker just keeps raising money and extending its runway further and further. They seem to be trying to replicate my own companies business model in many ways and we are curious whether it can be done a second time.

Fedora/RISC-V now mirrored as a Fedora “alternative” architecture

“RISC-V intends to be a general purpose architecture replacing everything from embedded systems up to the largest supercomputers. However that is different from what RISC-V hardware is available today, and what SiFive (an independent company but a member of the RISC-V Foundation) are shipping, which is mostly equivalent to something like an RPi 3, perhaps a little bit more powerful than that..”

Why I suspect this played: The addition of a new architecture to the upstream version of our flagship product is an exciting experiment; this is how we find out whether or not something could work as product (currently the flagship is supported on 4 architectures).

​Redis Labs and Common Clause attacked where it hurts: With open-source code

“After Redis Labs added a new license clause, Commons Clause, on top of popular open-source, in-memory data structure store Redis, open-source developers were mad as hell. Now, instead of just ranting about it, some have counterattacked by starting a project, GoodFORM, to fork the code in question.”

Why I suspect this played:A fork is always the last resort if something seems to be going wrong in open source: the nuclear option. Code doesn’t write or host itself and momentum is VERY hard to build. Can the new project get anywhere? Is it a scream into the void? Only time will tell.

Base Images

“What did I end up comparing? There aren’t actually that many options. I compared variations of Redhat, Debian and Ubuntu against our incumbent but soon to be displaced Alpine image.”

Why I suspect this played: We wanted to know how our offering stacks up against competitive offerings. Spoiler, it was a mixed bag and most of the strikes against ours could be boiled down to “it costs money”.

“Is it literal, as in “born in the cloud?” Does cloud-native application development mean you’re using a certain set of tools or methodologies or running those apps only in certain environments? And while we’re at, how do you explain this stuff to everyone else in plain terms that they can understand?”

Why I suspect this played: The premise was intriguing; does it succeed in addressing the conceit? I am not confident that I could use this article to explain cloud-native to my mother, but then I’m not sure she’d care and to the author’s credit, that is where the article winds up. Cloud-native is a pretty niche term that not everyone needs to understand.

Those stories got the most attention last week; subscribe to find out what we read this week (along with the other stuff I publish).

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