[CentOS-devel] progress?

Sun Feb 20 18:06:11 UTC 2011
Dag Wieers <dag at wieers.com>

On Sun, 20 Feb 2011, Fabian Arrotin wrote:

> On 02/20/2011 06:13 PM, Dag Wieers wrote:
>> So it's absolutely normal a CentOS 5.6 release is 10 weeks late and
>> there's no intent to speed up the process to lower the time to do future
>> releases ?
>> If that is the case, we might want to make that more clear on the wiki,
>> eg. in my CentOS introduction presentation from 2008 we still mention that
>> releases are (up to) 4 weeks behind RHEL.
>> I don't think most of the users ever expected to be without security
>> updates for 10 weeks or more when choosing CentOS, and that is an
>> important characteristic.
> Right, but as you said so in your multiple CentOS presentations, there
> are no warranty nor SLA on a delivery time : IIRC you explained that
> very clearly in the Pros/Cons slides between RHEL and CentOS ;-)


I did say that was a con for CentOS, but we did mention that security 
updates may be delayed for 48 hours and releases may be delayed up to 4 
weeks. Both are no longer the case. We have had security updates delayed 
for 3 months (!) and a whole release delayed for 3 months since I wrote 
that presentation.

I haven't done any CentOS presentation since I left the team, but it is 
undeniable that despite any automation work since then releases only take 

> Working a little bit behind the scene and knowing the CentOS developers,
> i'm quite astonished that all the people complaining about the 'delay'
> always think about technical issues that CentOS developers have to deal
> with and not with their personal problems they have to deal with ...

True, but there are ways to overcome those problems if, and only if, we 
consider this important. Up to now this was _never_ considered important. 
Remember: "we release it when it is ready".

That is not what users like to hear in this context, because it basically 
means there is no way to speed it up. There's not even a plan to look 
exactly what is the bottleneck and where can we improve it.

I remember one CentOS 5 release was delayed for one additional month 
because a single developer was getting married. We all sympathized, and 
something like this can (should!) happen ;-) But shouldn't the project 
foresee and/or protect the process from such occasions ?

In 2007 CentOS had a lower limit of about 5 million installations, that 
might be a lower limit of 10 million today. Maybe even a multitude ?

> And on each release it's the same thread coming. It seems to me like a
> 'chicken and eggs' problem : what has to be solved first ? people
> wanting a faster distro release or documenting it first ? Don't
> misunderstand me : i really would like to see the whole process
> documented and i think that some other members agree on that fact. (It
> seems SL team documents more what they are doing for example). But here
> is now a simple fact : consider how much time Johnny took to answer all
> the same questions (and even answered multiple times with the same
> answer) and so the time he couldn't spend on the build process itself ...

That argument has been used in the past too to silence any critical voice. 
But as soon as the release is out, nothing seems to really happen despite 
any promises. And the delay is becoming longer. We used to be able to 
release CentOS-5 release in one month, remember ?

There's no reason that CentOS 5.6 is any more difficult than CentOS 5.0, 
while CentOS 5.0 (a major release !) only took 1 month to produce. Sure 
CentOS 6.0 is a lot bigger, but CentOS 5.6 is not, and CentOS 4.8 
certainly was not.

-- dag wieers, dag at wieers.com, http://dag.wieers.com/
-- dagit linux solutions, info at dagit.net, http://dagit.net/

[Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]