back to article Wait – we can explain, says Moby, er, Docker amid rebrand meltdown

Docker seemingly became Moby this week, a rebranding exercise that sparked more confusion than clarity among those following container software. Docker (the company) decided to differentiate Docker (the commercial software products Docker CE and Docker EE) from Docker (the open source project). So at DockerCon in Austin, …

  1. Korev Silver badge


    I'm not sure about the name Moby, why does my heart feel so bad?

    1. MrT

      Re: Moby

      I'm not worried at all, one of these mornings if the rebrand all goes wrong they will look back in and say "At least we tried..."

    2. m0rt

      Re: Moby

      "I'm not sure about the name Moby, why does my heart feel so bad?"

      Honey, it may not be The Perfect Life, but at I am Feeling so Real about it.

    3. Mephistro

      Re: Moby

      These guys like to go extreme ways!

    4. ColonelNZ

      Re: Moby

      To be honest, I would wait in line for this

  2. Uberseehandel

    Moby Dick

    The title says it all - will future releases be in Ahab prior to beta? Will there be a Pequod? Is one of the developers called Ishmael?

    So Docker becomes Dicker.

    What a bunch of Dock-heads.

  3. stephanh

    so in fact Moby is...

    So if I understand correctly, the relation between Moby and Docker is similar to Chromium vs Chrome. Moby/Chromium is the open source "white-label" variant, and Docker/Chrome is the Officially Supported and Branded (TM)(R) version.

    Somewhat confusing since the command you actually run to manage your containers in Moby is (still) called "docker".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so in fact Moby is...

      Except in this case, imagine that "Chrome" were an open source project for 4 years. At the end of year 4, google decides "Chrome" is a really valuable marketing name, and so changes the open source version to a completely different name, and "Chrome" is now a closed source project.

      Then act all confused when *everyone* is confused about the name change. And spout such nonsense as:

      "Anytime you make major enhancements in the open source world, sometimes there's confusion"

      Yes, everyone is "confused" when Redhat makes enhancements to linux. It's *REALLY* confusing when people "enhance" open source projects.

  4. Hans 1

    Name Change, what for?

    It would be greatly appreciated, if the marketing types that wet their pants at the idea of renaming a product or feature in the IT sector would simply leave the IT sector, now.

    Name changes only ever attract stupid customers, when they have an effect at all, and confuse your loyal customer base. You do not want STUPID customers, because they become SUPPORT PAIN IN THE BACKSIDES, you want technically savvy customers who know what they are doing, have prod, test, and and dev environments ... those you can milk freely, they hardly ever call support (are thus CHEAPER) and represent far bigger deals, in general, because they tend to use your product to the full extent!


    1. stephanh

      Re: Name Change, what for?

      While I agree in general, in this specific case (open source project vs commercial derived version), it makes a lot of sense to give it different names.

      This all goes back to the original conflict between Mozilla and Debian about inclusion of Firefox in Debian. Mozilla basically said: fine, we trust you Debian people to distribute a Firefox executable, but we don't want anybody building a (possibly malware-infested) custom version of Firefox and slapping our Firefox brand on it. Debian said: but allowing our users to make any bl**dy change they like and redistribute the result is the whole point of Debian.

      In the end, the conflict was resolved by re-naming the Debian version of Firefox as "Iceweasel" and removing any reference to "Firefox". Confusing? Yes, but given the nature of branding and open source the only possible solution.

      Since then, people have wizened up and starting to give their open source projects names different from the commercially-supported version to begin with. Consider Chrome/Chromium, but also PhoneGap/Cordova. So this move fits into an established pattern.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Name Change, what for?

        "Since then, people have wizened up"

        Yes, we're all getting older. Maybe a few are even getting wiser. ☺

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Name Change, what for?

      A cynical person might suggest that this is in fact the effect they *want* this name change to have: they want the name 'Docker' to be associated with the for-profit products they sell, not the open source project. So they renamed the open source project to something else...

    3. Javapapa

      DRe: Name Change, what for?

      Future System, System H, System/380, (no scratch that, too incompatible with the 370), System/38, AS/400, iSeries, IBM i for business...

      If the marketing idiots who killed a great IT brand ever bought Coca Cola, they would have renamed it iPop.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Making important decisions in private is like spraying contributor repellant on your project"

    This is what happens when projects are only pseudo-open. Published source, closed process.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cleaning the drapes

    "Brand studies last for months, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and generally have less impact on business than cleaning the drapes." -- Bob Hoffman (The Ad Contrarian)

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Moby Dock?

    Sounds like they are chasing the white whale of tech industry leadership.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "using Git terminology"

    The term upstreaming pre-dates Git somewhat - bloody kids.

    1. AdamWill


      Not to mention that git was designed to be distributed, not really for an 'upstream / downstream' model. The standard git term for a repository somewhere else is a 'remote', an intentionally more generic term.

      'upstream' has slipped into git docs here and there over time, I note, but 'remote' is definitely the original term.

  9. Blake St. Claire

    Nice try

    Moby (Dick) the whale, was a sperm whale.

    If I'm not mistaken, the whale in your picture is a baleen whale.

  10. TK

    Well that was disappointing

    This was about neither pants or dodgy electronic music.

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