Docker announced that it is creating a new open source community to develop the Compose Specification and more flexibly support cloud-native platforms such as Kubernetes and Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) in addition to existing Compose platforms. 

The Compose Specification is a developer focused solution for defining cloud and platform agnostic container-baed apps.

“Opening the specification will allow innovation to flourish and deliver more choices to developers, accelerating how development teams build and ship applications,” Docker wrote in a blog post. “Open governance will benefit the wider community of new and existing users with transparency and the ability to have input into the future direction of the specification and Compose based tools.”

Previously Compose did not have a published specification, and was tied to the implementation, and to specifics of the platforms it shipped on. 

Now, Compose simplifies the code to cloud process and toolchain for developers by allowing them to define a complex stack in a single file and run it with a single command. This eliminates the need to build and start every container manually, the company explained. Docker intends to submit the specification to an open source foundation “to enhance the playing field and openness.”

The Compose specification now contains compose-go, the reference library for the parsing and loading of Compose files; the compose specification reference implementation; and the conformance test suite for the Compose specification.

The draft specification is available here