As a follow up to my journal entry last week I took a look through my old notes on building a personal knowledge base. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been at this now for over two years now. I still think there is value in the building a PKB, but I really need to stop worrying about finding the perfect tool and building the perfect system and start using notes to further my other projects.
Last week Docker announced that they would be freezing users of the Docker Hub “Free Team” plan and deleting their hosted container images. Many open source projects have relied on that plan to publicly host their images, and Docker only gave people 30 days notice to either pay up or move their images to another registry. Predictably, there was a huge backlash and Docker was forced to walk at least part of their plan back. They are still going to freeze those accounts, but they have promised not to delete anything. The end result is nothing should break, but it’s important to keep in mind that these frozen images will no longer receive updates. They will be frozen in time and any security issues they may have will never be patched.
Between this and the Docker Desktop rug pull last year, I don’t feel like Docker is a vendor that can be trusted. I’ve gone ahead and deleted all of my personal container images from Docker Hub, and I’ll be looking at alternative registries. I hope all open source projects using Docker Hub today move to an alternative registry and delete their old images from these frozen accounts.
Hilariously, there is an article on InfoWorld saying that we shouldn’t be focusing on how badly Docker fumbled the bag with their messaging around sunsetting free teams, but we should focus on its overall record. The part that I find funny is the articles author, Matt Asay, has done stints at companies like SugarCRM and MongoDB. Companies that used open source to build up a critical mass, and then promptly pulled out the rug from under its users and switched to proprietary licensing in the name of profit. Docker is on a similar trajectory of accepting VC money and making small changes that I believe will end with them becoming a fully proprietary software vendor. It started with Docker Desktop, it’s continuing now with Docker Hub, and in my opinion it’s only a matter of time before everything becomes proprietary.
Going forward, I think I will be actively avoiding “open source” companies that are deeply funded by VCs and other outside investors. Thankfully there are other options for running containers out there now. I’ve been using Rancher Desktop successfully now for the better part of a year now. Plus, RedHat has Podman Desktop. Both are good alternatives to Docker, and they have the extra advantage of not running as root.
Update: Docker has dropped their plan to sunset the Free Teams plans after a massive backlash from their customers and community. I still don’t trust them, and will continue looking for an alternate registry.