[CentOS-devel] progress?

Fri Feb 18 17:09:32 UTC 2011
Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu>

On Friday, February 18, 2011 11:36:18 am Steve Meyers wrote:
> On 2/18/11 9:32 AM, Ljubomir Ljubojevic wrote:
> > 1. Contribute your time and knowledge to that project.
> I get the impression that there are a lot of people that would like to 
> do so, but don't know how.  I think that's partly what Dag is 
> complaining about as well.

There is a tab on the centos wiki (wiki.centos.org) that says Contribute.  This links to http://wiki.centos.org/Contribute and describes the useful beginning contributions.

On the subject of useful contributions, I for one don't want some J Random Hacker building packages for direct distribution on CentOS.  There must be a vetting process.

The Fedora process works for Fedora; CentOS is a smaller project, and it seems to me that if you want the trust from the stewards of The Keys you have to earn it; no entitlements here (pun intended). Someone cannot earn that trust when that someone repeatedly insults or annoys the project leads; ain't gonna happen.

Red Hat certainly isn't going to allow a random person to create a direct package for RHEL.  From appearances, neither would Fermi for SL; they have Troy and Connie who do an outstanding job; but realize that it is really a part of their $dayjob to do that job, and also realize that their needs and goals are different.  And so their process is different.

Even when I was building RPMs for PostgreSQL, and Red Hat was using my work in Red Hat Linux, there was a Red Hat employee who checked and rebuilt the packages that went into Red Hat Linux (and later into Enterprise Linux).  That Red Hat employee and I got to know each other rather well.  So I'd release the packages I built via PostgreSQL.org, and Red Hat would release theirs, that their packager had vetted/built through their channels.  Red Hat is still shipping packages, for EL4 and 3, that I had a hand in getting off the ground, and unless they've trimmed the changelog you'll find me there.

How did I get started in that, and get to that point?  I jumped in with both feet and started building packages, initially distributed them through my own server, and gradually earned the trust both of the PostgreSQL project and then Red Hat.  There was no formal process, and there were no formalities.  I just dug in and did the work.  I am not going to say that everything was smooth sailing, because I was quite a bit more 'prickly' in personality eleven years ago.  But I hung in there, and didn't clash too badly with folk.  I applied SSology. (SS is short for a certain trademark of the company formerly known as the Children's Television Workshop).

I've seen repeated calls for specific help with the CentOS project lately, and that's more transparent than it has been, and I applaud that.  

But, on a more personal note, I do wish that Dag and the CentOS group hadn't had their falling out, as Dag's repository is the primary third-party repository for many CentOS users.  But, reasonable and talented folk can have unreasonable fallouts (the more highly talented, it seems, the more passionate the falling out), and as much as I respect Dag, and as much as I respect the members of the CentOS team, this falling out remains in my mind as one of the blackest of spots on CentOS.  The falling out has echoed on the CentOS lists in the last couple of days; guys, please get ahold of yourselves, and if you're kidding around please drop a smiley in to show that..... or at least take it private. Please, for the sake of the projects' reps?