Red Monk MonkiGras 2017: what is software packaging?

“Do you know Gartner? Well, yeah, we’re not like them.” This is the opening line oft used by James Governor in his capacity as co-founder and analyst at tech-focused analyst house Red Monk.

Using the above intro as a some form of validation for his firm’s ground-level developer-centric approach to platform, language and code related IT market analysis, Red Monk’s annual MonkiGras event is held this week in London.

The theme this year…? Well, it’s software packaging.

What is software packaging?

Essentially, we might define the ‘packaging’ of software as follows:

This is the process of intelligently and logically componetising and containerising related and co-related software functions, tools or even complete platform elements into defined packages that can be consumed and used and implemented and deployed by developers in what may be completely new compute environments or just in fact completely new use cases for greater control, power and functionality.

That’s not a formal definition, that’s just a take on where we are going with the use of this term in 2017. TechTarget’s What Is definition resembles this new (perhaps wider) notion in some ways, but we are looking to extend our understanding of packaging now it appears.

According to Red Monk, great packaging is the basis for all effective product and community management today. Whether in open source, cloud, consumer or business to business services, the companies that are really successful it are masters at packaging.

Package examples

Governor points us to examples saying that this notion includes, “Packages managers for the Ruby language, Rubygems, Node.js framework (NPM and Yarn). Many of the concepts widely used in package management today were pioneered by Ian Murdoch, of Debian fame, who sadly passed away last year.”

As another clear example of software packaging, Red Monk says that we should remember that Docker took LXC, an arcane Linux technology designed to work as an operating-system-level virtualisation method for running multiple isolated Linux systems (containers) on a control host using a single Linux kernel…. and, then, through intelligent packaging, made it consumable for millions of developers as the newly reborn (and, crucially) repackaged Docker.

Official promo notes for this event say that MonkiGras will different notions of packaging -– bringing together designers, developers and architects.

Some of the talks will be technical, but also expect histories of packaging and a HOW TO guide to creating illustrations for software.