Week 20, 2018 - Microsoft Build 2018; Google I/O 2018

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With two major conferences in a single week, Microsoft’s Build and Google IO, there were a lot of announcements so I had to limit myself in what I’ll discuss.

Both Google and Microsoft had a big emphasis on ML. Many of the consumer facing demos had an element of that, wether it was the automated barber appointment with Google Duplex or the automated people recognition/transcription/note taking meeting room that Microsoft envisions. For once I’m not going to discuss these things though. While these high end demos were fun to watch, they’re not going to be in actual or widespread use for a long time and might look very different when they do.

Microsoft Build 2018

One highlight from Build was the introduction of ACR Build, which is an automated Docker image builder similar to Google’s offering for that. This is generally a useful solution and with two of the the major cloud providers offering it I hope that AWS will soon follow1.

The most interesting new feature however, announced together with the upcoming general availability of AKS, is Azure Dev Spaces. At the last Kubernetes meetup2 I saw this in practice, and I’m happy to see it officially announced. At this stage it’s in some ways similar to the new automated tools such as Skaffold or Jenkins X, but faster, better integrated into your IDE3, but also still tired to Azure.

Most interesting perhaps is the difference of how it pushes updates. Where the other solutions will build new images and push these as a deployment, environments will instead upload your changes directly and make those changes on the fly4. Which can speed things up considerably. I highly recommend checking this out of you want a smooth way for you or your team to do development on an AKS cluster.

An overview of other Azure announcements can be found on this overview page.

Google I/O 2018

For a complete overview of everything announced at I/O, I’ll refer you to Google’s usual 100 things announced blog post. In the meantime I’ll focus on a couple of items I thought were particularly interesting.

First, the upcoming version of Android has an increased focus on usability. Part of this is the usual improvements due to better machine learning5, but to me the attempt to decrease distraction from notifications is more important. This includes better do not disturb features, such as not getting notifications while you’re watching a video6 as well as more controls over your notifications in general.

Next to that was the announcement for Google’s other OS. Chromebooks will finally get the ability to run regular Linux applications. This will work by using a custom Linux VM running on top of Chrome OS. This VM then transparently allows you to run your Linux code, including things like Docker. In many ways this makes Chromebooks a far more interesting solution to developers, similar to how WSL did that for Windows hardware.

  1. Yes, technically you can set this up with CodeBuild but that’s more work than it needs to be. ↩︎

  2. Slides and video are available on the meetup’s blog. Please note that the name of Dev Spaces changed before the announcement, so the presentation calls it connected development environments. ↩︎

  3. As long as that IDE contains the words Visual Studio. ↩︎

  4. Compiling etc. as needed. ↩︎

  5. I told you it came up a lot. ↩︎

  6. Something that always annoys me when I’m watching a movie on my iPad. It seems there is always something interrupting the climactic scenes. ↩︎

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