In one sense it hardly seems any time at all since Docker 1.0 was released in the summer of 2014, but in another sense it feels like a lifetime. In the 4–5 years that have ensued, the cloud native paradigm has exploded into a full-scale industry, with businesses large and small, betting their existence on the purported benefits that cloud native brings. The seed that bore this fruit was Docker’s popularization of the container abstraction, which gave developers a mechanism for defining their applications as self-sufficient, immutable packages — the container image. Yet, despite the furious pace of development in the cloud native technology landscape, the way that we define container images, and the way that we build them into usable artifacts, has changed surprisingly little since that summer of 2014. As container technology has evolved and matured, deficiencies and limitations in the process of container image building have slowly been exposed, which have led to some frustration in the cloud native community.
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