Software teams for decades have hoped to build platforms in which they can construct software like Legos. Block upon block, infrastructure piece upon infrastructure piece, it is said, the future will enable us to piece together programs from smaller primitives and link them together as easily as clicking blocks into place.
This, of course, is easier said than done. Or rather, it was, until today. DockerCraft is a Minecraft mod that enables administrators to handle and deploy their servers inside Minecraft.
This may sound completely ridiculous, but the implementation is actually quite slick. While standing in a grassy field, admins can spawn servers, which take the shape of small huts with signs containing their names. Inside the hut is a big switch that turns the server on.
First, you should know this is not standard Minecraft. It’s actually based on Cuberite.org, a custom Minecraft-compatible game server. Cuberite has a plug-in system, and thus a Lua plug-in handles the incoming information transmitted through the Docker API.
DockerCraft is a product of Docker itself. It also uses a daemon written in Go to handle the incoming Docker API calls. Some Docker commands are even supported via the Minecraft chat window, allowing admins to do more than simply stand up or bring down servers.
The thing about this that really struck me was the fact that this is the first time I have seen a 3D space in which one can navigate through stacks of servers. A while ago, someone built a version of Doom that allowed you to kill processes on your PC, but this is the first instance I can recall of an online 3D space being built for server administration.
Why is that interesting? Because it allows for all of the cyber-thriller 1990s movies, like “Hackers” and “The Lawnmower Man” to finally come true. We can now fly down rows of servers and destroy them with the flick of a pickaxe. Now, how long before creepers and skeletons are hacking our Gibsons?