[CentOS-devel] CentOS Interoperability SIG

Wed Jan 29 02:03:47 UTC 2014
Douglas McClendon <dmc.centos at filteredperception.org>

On 01/28/2014 05:44 PM, Jim Perrin wrote:
> On 01/28/2014 03:46 PM, Clint Savage wrote:

>> * Build or maintain tools to ease rebranding of upstream packages as to
>> ease adoption by companies who build upon and release software based on
>> CentOS.
> This would be useful, but could prove to be a Sisyphean task, given that
> new packages get added, packages get updated, etc.

To help others not do the legwork I did
(from en.wiktionary.org://sisyphean)

"Sisyphus was a Greek mythological figure who was doomed to endlessly 
roll a boulder up a hill in Hades."

lol :)

Note, while I worked as Ascendos lead developer for some time, I'm 
speaking now just as a random individual with a past, and possibly 
future interest in rebuilding EL from source on a standalone system. 
Ideally a single outtermost wrapper script command.  And ideally with a 
pair of arguments- a new distro name, and a new distro logo.  And then, 
the right Sisyphean task completed by the tireless computer system with 
sufficient automating instructions.

To that end, I'd like to say that I think the 'sisyphean' comment 
doesn't fit my picture of where things are.  My perception is that 
historically redhat has had a choice.  A choice of making the task of 
rebranding drastically more or less sisyphean.  While I haven't been 
paying that close attention the last couple years, the general feeling I 
get, is that they want to have a good reputation, and take the 
non-sisyphean track.  Note, there are 2 different levels of rebranding 
here.  One level, which I've been talking about, is complying with 
redhat on trademarks.  The next level is complying with every last 
trademark holder in the distro.  Dealing with this latter is/was perhaps 
my sisyphean task.  Because ultimately what I wish to empower, is any 
and every single 10 year old computer wiz, being able to trivially have 
in front of them- every line of source of a massive distro like EL, and 
be able to modify any line of that source in any way they want, and with 
a totally tractable trivial minimal effort (15 minutes of active 
participation tops) be able to kick off a rebuild of their own forked 
distro, that they have full rights to redistribute as freely as they 
please.  Getting there may be sisyphean, but I really think it is doable 
and worth doing.

But just dealing with the redhat/centos marks should be IMO a totally 
non-sisyphean a task.  Given my estimation of redhat's intent and past 
actions on this are accurate.  I.e, there is not so much effort with new 
and churning packages as I think you suggest.  I posit that most of the 
trouble was with historical packages before people had really spent much 
time thinking about it.  Am I wrong on that?  Has the amount of 
Redhat->CentOS mark scrubbing not gone down dramatically v4->5->6->7 ?? 
  Is it really a 'sisyphean task' to finally get it down to 0 with all 
marks-in-need-of-scrubbing only in a couple packages (redhat-logos, etc)?

>> * Providing tools to help monitor statuses of builds, repositories,
>> releases, etc. Whether they be part of the CentOS community or otherwise.
>> With these goals in mind, we'd like to formally request an Interoperability
>> Special Interest Group within the CentOS community. Please let us know how
>> to further proceed.
> I like the idea, and the fact that it provides independent validation,
> but I'm not sure this fits with the idea of a SIG. The reason I say this
> is because for code in the sig/variant model, it needs to live on
> git.centos.org so that it could be built/signed by the project,  which
> seems counter to the whole 3rd party validation this would provide.

I think there is a large area for build tools that are the 'blessed way' 
to build the source from scratch.  'blessed' by centos/redhat (are we 
allowed to utter that name more freely on the list these days?).  But 
validated by others easily able to fetch them, audit the code and 
configuration to their hearts desire, and rebuild with or without 
enhancements of their own.  Probably much of this already exists, I 
think the spirit of this topic is just committing to the whole of the 
picture.  Commitment could come in the form of an ongoing SIG, or policy 
statement promoting the creation of some toolset, ...


Douglas McClendon