[CentOS-devel] Confusing package versioning

Fri May 6 21:58:36 UTC 2011
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

On 05/06/2011 03:43 PM, Charlie Brady wrote:
> On Fri, 6 May 2011, Johnny Hughes wrote:
>> Millions of users have built scripts that depend on certain rules, like
>> our use of dist tags, to remain constant.
> Millions? Really? And you made promises that your use of dist tags would 
> remain constant?

We explained how we do dist tags, yes.  We said .el<X>.centos would be
used for packages that are modified.

CentOS has millions of users, yes.  The current estimate is somewhere
around 4 million.

CentOS is installed on more Web servers that Fedora and Red Hat
Enterprise Linux combined:

Centos:  29.2% (Linux), 9.3% (Entire Web)
RHEL:    14.5% (Linux), 4.6% (Entire Web)
Fedora:  6.5% (Linux), 2.1% (Entire Web)

So yes, Charlie, there are millions of machines that use CentOS.

At least 8 of the top 500  super computers in world run CentOS.

Almost everyone one of them has some kind of script written for it.  Do
all of them care about dist tag.  Of course not.

However, if we make a major change (like changing our dist tag), we have
no idea how it will impact people.  What kind of puppet deploy rules out
there might have .el5.centos in their rules?  How about cobbler?  What
about people's kickstarts?  How about the guys that use spacewalk.  What
about the major corporation that pulls out all the .centos files and
replaces those with their own, etc.

I know how it will impact me personally ... it will require several
python, bash and perl scripts to be rewritten in the system that we use
to build, mirror, and distribute CentOS.  It will impact everything from
the scripts that we use to pull down files from upstream and where they
get put to how we check files against each other, to how we send e-mails
to the announce list, etc., etc.

Who knows the impact on the Example ISP who is host 50,000 CentOS
servers using CPanel or the Example2 ISP that does all their machines on
xen VMs ahd deploys with cobbler.  What about the OSes that use CentOS
as a basis for them (ClearOS, Rocks Clusters, etc.).

The point is, we can't just change things mid stream because we have no
idea what scripts and software from which users might do something with
dist tag.

I can tell you that when Red Hat changed the way they did dist tag, it
had a major impact on the CentOS Project.  We changing our dist tag
could have the same kind of impact on others.  9.3% of the world's
Internet runs on CentOS.  9.3% ... quite a lot.

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