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Thoughts on why Now 2.0 is kinda disappointing

November 11, 2018 at 9:14pm
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Thoughts on why Now 2.0 is kinda disappointing

November 11, 2018 at 9:14pm
Hi, everyone!
First of all, I’m not hating on anything or anyone. Now 2.0 is an incredible product, but I have some thoughts I think many people will agree with
I’ve been a Now user for over a year. I came across it as a “Realtime Node.js deployments” platform, and I absolutely loved it when I first tried it
Then when the Docker support came and I couldn’t be more excited
The thing that attracted me about Now was the ability to quickly throw together a simple Express app or whatnot, type `now` and have it live in a few seconds. That simplicity is what got me (and I think many others) to fall in love with Now.
Then a few months ago comes the Serverless Docker beta announcement labeled “Cloud v2” with tons of awesome features. And then few months later Now 2.0 releases and it’s Lambdas.
I love the idea of serverless and lambdas, don’t get me wrong. But this model loses everything that made Now great in the first place. I can no longer just throw together a quick express app and deploy it, I need to re-think the way I build my entire application to fit serverless paradigm, while doing what I need in express would take me 2 minutes.
Which makes total sense as a “Global Serverless Platform”, but makes no sense as “Realtime Global Deployments” platform.
Essentially, Now 2.0 stops being a *deployment platform* and becomes an *application platform* along the likes of Firebase. Which is great, but not quite what we all signed up for
mentioned in another thread that apparently Zeit learned that serverless docker is bad during the beta, but there was nothing announced in that regard. There was no “beta summary” blog post, no thoughts on it vs. lambdas nothing at all.
All we got was “Hey, docker sucks, here’s the new thing”
Also I can’t help but feel that you guys rushed it out. Most of the examples don’t even work, there are errors all around, docs are unclear. It seems
majority of effort went into marketing pages…
Zeit people mentioned the tremendous scaling capabilities of lambdas and how it makes teams work better, all of which I understand, but I’m not a team, and I don’t build massive applications, so those benefits don’t really mean anything. I guess solo developers are not the target audience of Now 2.0
That said, I think as a serverless application platform I think Now 2.0 will be really great once all the kinks like cryptic errors and unclear docs are worked out.
But I (and I think a lot of Now users) don’t need an application platform. I need a deployment platform. I just want to deploy my docker 😔
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November 11, 2018 at 10:43pm
sorry, i meant does 'now deploy --stage dev' replace 'npm start', currently it doesnt, but is that the direction they are thinking. I am really curious to know what they have in mind for 'now dev'. local serverless development is definitly not a straightforward thing at the moment
Not having to rewrite your app to fit a vendor-specific implementation is a feature many people care about. Having a local development environment is a feature many people care about. It's important enough for me to go find other hosting if it's taken away. Maybe I'm in the minority.
Edited
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I was just thinking, and I mean this in the friendliest way, the "runs on multiple clouds" thing is a benefit for _them_, not _us_.
So if I understood your message right, I agree w you.
no vendor lock-in used to be one of their main selling points
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Ironic.
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They even had a section explaining why functions were a bad idea
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I'm going to address all the points here, since they're very valid and deserve full explanation and attention.
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This whole thread is really making me rethink whether I should go through with this. I could as well pay for another VPS ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Let's start with the main post by – there's a lot to process, but let me key in on this crucial paragraph:
I love the idea of serverless and lambdas, don’t get me wrong. But this model loses everything that made Now great in the first place. I can no longer just throw together a quick express app and deploy it,
This is 100% still the case. Here's an express app deployed to Now 2.0: https://express-app-iz2udbw9d.now.sh/
I made the deployment public, and here's the source: https://zeit.co/now-examples/express-app/iz2udbw9d/source
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Thanks to Now 2.0, it deploys faster, builds faster, boots up faster and is easier to combine with other apps or static websites inside the main repository.
What did we change? That the size limit is more strict so that you never have a slow cold boot up.
Edited
But I (and I think a lot of Now users) don’t need an application platform. I need a deployment platform. I just want to deploy my docker 😔
I don't rule out that docker might still be possible in the future as an implementation detail of builders, but it will certainly be more costly and slower. That's basically the reality of the technical tradeoffs involved.
To provide more context to that, here's the deployment I made above:
▲ express-app/ now --public --team now-examples
> Deploying ~/express-app under now-examples
> https://express-app-iz2udbw9d.now.sh [v2] [in clipboard] [962ms]
┌ index.js Ready [16s]
└── λ index.js (220.02KB) [sfo1]
> Success! Deployment ready [17s]
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The express app is 220.02KB.
What about using puppeteer in our apps?
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This is simply impossible to achieve unless we have a system that is aware of some "common runtimes". This is the "secret" behind the scalability, low cost and performance of Now 2.0.
This is why I don't write off docker in the future, but you will have to pay a cost. That cost could still not be in cold boot, if you pay a lot more money, but the cost has to be somewhere.
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