Ever wondered what exactly is going on in those containers? OpenTelemetry edges toward GA, emits tracing specification release candidate

The OpenTelemetry community has taken another step toward General Availability with the first release candidate of the tracing specification.

It’s quite the milestone for the project, which modestly describes itself as the second most active (behind Kubernetes, natch) in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s (CNCF) stable.

The first beta appeared back in March, and the arrival of the Release Candidate (RC) means that those implementing the thing are now aiming at less of a moving target.

Google’s product manager Morgan McLean explained that: “No breaking tracing spec changes are allowed between now and the final GA specification,” although there may be the odd non-breaking change or two.

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McLean said: “API, SDK, and Collector release candidates that implement the tracing specification will appear within the next few weeks.”

OpenTelemetry first nosed its way into the daylight during KubeCon Europe in May 2019, and was the product of the coming together of two rather similar open source projects: Google’s OpenCensus and OpenTracing. Its goal is all about getting an insight into what is happening within the likes of today’s microservice and container-based apps (without pouring through gigabytes of log files stored in an exciting variety of locations and formats.)

An open set of APIs should make for consistency in instrumentation and dodge the dread vendor lock-in.

Back in 2019, McLean told The Register that just getting distributed tracing out would be a “huge win” for the newly formed project, and so here we are.

With the tracing specification now at Release Candidate level, attention can be turned to getting implementations of the other components (including the metrics section of the specification) up to RC quality.

Once the gang are satisfied with both metrics and tracing release candidates, the big red General Availability button can be pressed and logging can head towards beta.

As for OpenTelemetry’s predecessors, OpenCensus and OpenTracing, bridge APIs to OpenTelemetry’s SDKs are in progress, although not tied to the GA of the project. ®

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