[FoRK] Dunning-Kruger effect discriminatory environs

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Feb 27 21:41:19 PST 2014

On 2/27/14, 6:28 PM, Ken Meltsner wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 7:38 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> With things like Docker, there's no excuse for dealing with any nonsense
>> at all at the level of the operating system, database, or any standard
>> service.  Except for ignorance friction, the Windows ecosystem now has
>> negative value in most situations.
>> https://www.docker.io/
>>> Docker is an open-source project to easily create lightweight, portable,
>>> self-sufficient containers from any application. The same container that a
>>> developer builds and tests on a laptop can run at scale, in production, on
>>> VMs, bare metal, OpenStack clusters, public clouds and more. |docker run -i
>>> -t ubuntu /bin/bash|
>> Within a year or so, we'll have public recipes on Github and similar that
>> will allow us to instantiate a full system / site infrastructure in a
>> single command.  Anyone will be able to fork, improve, and checkin
>> improvements.  Replicate data, then simply invoke and reload to recover
>> from any failure.
>> Screwing around with endless installs, downloads, device drivers, updates,
>> GUI menus and checkboxes, license codes, etc. is going to be an exorbitant
>> indulgence, like buying a ridiculous mainframe to do payroll.  The bonus is
>> we'll really know which companies are run by people who can't evolve now
>> that VB has fully faded.  ;-)
> It's really hard to wean people off Windows.  I certainly agree that may
> well change the game since I've been coping with exactly the sort of
> problems described.  I'm a bit skeptical because I've seen reduced OS and
> other containers come and go before =-- is this Posix 2014?

Reduced OS?  Layered OS perhaps.  The containers isolate each app environment, network and all, but the whole OS is there.  The 
fundamental capability has been there for a while.  What's changed is the scripting and other glue that makes it concise, resilient, 
and very easy.  It is like the difference between Solaris (even now) and Windows install / maintenance experience compared to 
apt-get / yam / macports / brew.  The latter is so much better that it isn't even a contest.

Docker is OS/VM (optionally) and package auto-install layered on top of git.  System administration as source code in a source 
control system, with easy forking and everything.  Doing system admin without source control will become as rare as doing 
development with out source control.

> Also, it's hard to wean people off full-featured OS environments, and even
> harder to wean most corporate IT staff off of Windows.

Full featured?  Windows is not that at all from my point of view. Windows is an uneven mess of hacks with a kind of pretty facade, 
like an Olde West town.  A freshly installed Windows computer has little behind the facade and it's work to add much; especially 
true for development.

We're transitioning to more and more web interfaces, including webGL, etc.  We'll have apps that act like traditional web, desktop, 
mobile, and game apps, but they'll necessarily tend toward portable, client-based operating systems.  Windows and legacy Linux 
desktop app environments are going to be virtualized, like this:

We're about to have 1Gbit Internet connections, 1Gbit Wifi, and our mobile devices are surpassing typical home PC capabilities from 
a few years ago.  Phones now have 3GB RAM, 1080P resolution (4K second monitor is about to become standard), over 160+ gigaops/sec 
(multicore), USB3, and 802.11ac.  We need mobile devices, but most people don't need desktop computers beyond something like a 
Chromebook or cheap PC running a thin-client Linux.  For those who need more power, the OS is probably going to matter less, 
although that will drag on for a while out of momentum.

Just one or two paradigm hops will dissolve most of the distinctions we have now.

For instance, Android could easily be extended more or less directly to be a powerful desktop operating system.  The services 
ecosystem, zero-copy nature (ION buffers from driver to app to GPU / DSP / HW blocks to screen), dynamic display handling, 
crash-always with seamless restart make it highly competitive.  OS / app security is much better by default too.  You could easily 
use those features to move a running app from device to device, split handling between multiple devices simultaneously, etc.  At 
this point, that is all fairly straightforward.

Web apps are in about the same place now, especially with the native wrapped browser environments.

> Ken Meltsner


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