The Death of Edge

Microsoft released Edge on July of 2015, dethroning IE’s decades long reign on error. Initially, Edge was going to support the legacy IE renderer, but this idea became the laughing stock of Redmond (or so I assume) and they abandoned it. Web developers the world over cheered, until they realized how much money that single app doled out.

I’ve never had the pleasure of making anything “Edge-compatible”, I haven’t heard much negativity so it comes as a tiny bit of surprise this engine is now getting dropped as well. Again, devs cheered (I literally heard this in the office), but the reality is the we are now left with three mainstream engines – Chromium, Webkit, and Gecko.

Quick economics on this:

  • fewer engines = less competition
  • less competition = winner takes most
  • winner takes most = less standardization
  • less standardization = winner takes all
  • winner takes all = we all lose

I certainly don’t think we want to live in a one-world engine. Before you cheer for Chromium, think about what the consequences could be… and give Safari or Firefox a chance. My primary browser right now is the Safari Technical Preview, I highly recommend it.

Changing All My Passwords

Safari now supports favicons in tabs so has become my new default browser (actually using the Safari Technology Preview) and it is much faster than anything else I’ve come across. Especially impressive is the credentials system.

I was surprised to learn I had a similar password on 50+ sites – GitHub went so far as to tell me my password had been compromised and is now in all the rainbow tables.

So I started changing my passwords and using the iCloud Keychain. I’m wondering what’s going to happen the next time my Nintendo Switch wants me to log in.

Facebook Using 2FA To Better Target Users

This is probably the last straw for me with Facebook. I’ve actively avoided the platform for probably the last year, only logging in to delete old posts.

If so many third-party apps did not rely on this criminal enterprise, as other’s have called it, I would ditch Facebook in a heartbeat.

Funny thing, I have a recruiter letter from them sitting in my inbox as I type this. Why would anyone want to be affiliated with such brazen greed, recklessness, disregard for user safety, non-existent morals, etc.?

I wouldn’t.

Trends of 2018

Distributed ledgers. We’ll eventually see a scalable , extensible, ledger that will allow people to own their own data. People will stop associating that ledger with p2p payment mechanisms and start seeing it for what it really is – an audit trail.

NEM/BTC/ETH is attempting to track every transaction in the entire history of the currency. This is a good POC but may be overkill. Immutable paper trails are good for many other things – attention, reputation, identity.

We need to augment existing internet protocols to free us from the giants and the information they alone hold about us. What if we held our own information and set permission on who/when/what sections could be accessed. The power belongs to the people, not the ubers, googles, or facebooks.

Trends of 2018

These are personal themes in my life so I’m not trying to predict the direction of mainstream tech – I am not a futurist. I’ll probably do a series of posts on 2018 trends that are meaningful to me. This first one is probably the most interesting:

Kubernetes, Helm Charts, and Open Service Broker

This is the next step in the microservices trend. All starting from a namespace concept in the Linux kernel which led to LXC/LXD which spawned simplifying technologies like Docker and rkt which finally led to standardization in OCI. Once we learned what images were, we needed a management tool to define and integrate (or orchestrate) them. Kubernetes blazed this path and Docker followed with Docker Compose. Though there are tools like kompose, Helm stepped in to fully integrate concepts of Compose into Kubernetes. A Chart is a diagram of your microservice network. This let’s you do all kinds of interesting things like test, harden, distribute your byzantine systems in a simple way.

We now have a single tool that lets developers do proper integration testing, SREs to stand up the same version as the developer to smoke test or happy path the system, and DevOps can just do a `helm upgrade x` to deploy. Helm charts are published to a repository (central or local) and can be combined to form a larger system. Many of the same hooks (and in most cases, more hooks) provided to Compose are also provided to Charts. Meaning I can specify in my requirements.yaml I want to use the rabbitMQ chart version 0.6.3. I set up a rabbitmq namespace and send environment variables down the hole to the required chart.

A lot of people thought I was mad to use Vagrant with Docker. Why not just use Compose and simplify everything. My argument was twofold – 1) I want a scripting language to make and run dynamic containers and 2) Compose will force me to use Docker for Mac, which is like staring at the eclipse. DfM sucks so bad I’ll write a whole separate post on it soon. Anyway, Helm Charts gives me Go so I can now make dynamic Kubernetes configurations.

What OSB brings to this is the potential fulfillment of the InterOp dream – plug in SSO with LDAP via that microservice, websockets with this microservice, recommendation engine with this other microservice. I can slap together a bunch of microservices and create a monolith in no time.

Not a surprise Microsoft is all-in on OSB, they would do anything to realize InterOp.