Well yes you are right. There are a load of different things and understandings of containers. Personally, from quite an abstract level I tend to understand containers as a mere "structural interface" between operations and development that needs to be just as flexible as the environment itself is heterogenous. Back in Java EE days we used to have "all Java EE 1.6", devs were using a Glassfish application server locally and the same was running on the server. In such an environment, the Java EE application packages (such as .war or .ear files) do pretty well as containers. This doesn't work anymore, however, as soon as you got to deal with node.js or Python in your development and deployment tool chain. If you need this, your interface between development and operations needs to be capable of managing this. Recent container technologies seem pretty good at exactly that. ;)
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