[CentOS-devel] CentOS Interoperability SIG

Wed Jan 29 05:56:13 UTC 2014
Clint Savage <herlo1 at gmail.com>

I appreciate the feedback here. I'm going to go ahead and respond inline as
I can.

On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM, Jim Perrin <jperrin at centos.org> wrote:

> On 01/28/2014 03:46 PM, Clint Savage wrote:
> > One of the major values of the EL rebuild ecosystem is the ability to
> > interoperate, or the ability to fork from the upstream. This provides
> > purpose in many ways, choice being the most heralded. Since the CentOS
> > community has teamed up with Red Hat to allow for Special Interest Groups
> > to join them, it seems that there might be a bit less of an ecosystem
> > available. The goal of the Interoperability SIG is to ensure that the
> > ability to fork and rebuild still exist.
> I consider one of the goals of the new arrangement to be creating more
> community, or ecosystem. However the way we've structured things so far
> will (hopefully) homogenize things a bit. I personally consider it a bit
> of a systemic failure that users have to hunt through any number of 3rd
> party repos to accomplish what they're after, often getting themselves
> into trouble in the process.

I wholeheartedly concur with the idea of what CentOS is trying to do here.
Making things easy for people to accomplish their goals is also a bold one.
One which CentOS and Red Hat are attempting. I truly hope they succeed. I'm
a huge fan of the Fedora community that Red Hat contributes to in a much
similar way. I think CentOS will be a great middle ground to help bring
communities together. It should evolve into something amazing.

However, homogenizing things is a great idea, until it isn't. One of the
common threads we hear in the Fedora community is that it's really run by
Red Hat and nobody else gets a say. Many people, including myself, worry
about CentOS being perceived this way as well. We just want to ensure that
perception doesn't have any merit. If we provide a way to validate things
are not just being run by RH, it could foster some goodwill everywhere.

> > Our communities already exist outside of the CentOS community purview.
> They
> > are currently the GoOSe Project[1] and the Ascendos Project[2]. This
> shared
> > community will serve as a "reference implementation", yet will still be
> > operated and marketed as a product and community separate from CentOS.
> > Consider it something of CentOS "embassy" of sorts.
> It's been a stated goal from the beginning of the discussion (on both
> sides) that we have no 'collateral damage' to other groups who don't
> want to participate. For other builders, the only thing that should
> really change would be the location of the source they get.

Agreed. Though we don't know how that 'source' is going to look quite yet.
I hope that srpms continue to live somewhere.

> > It would seem that this SIG could be construed as contrary to the goals
> of
> > the CentOS project. However, we believe there is value added to the
> CentOS
> > project. We are interested in improving the CentOS community in at least
> a
> > few ways.
> I don't see this as contrary, I see it as independent verification that
> we're living up to our stated objectives. It does however bring up a
> minor point of concern. For GoOSe, I only see a release for 6.0 on the
> download page, and no download option for Ascendos. I'd like some
> assurance that if your project steps up as a 'validation entity' that it
> won't falter. If we do this and it lags or dies off, that may reflect
> poorly on us (the project). It might be construed as either failing to
> live up to our goals, or intentionally killing it.

Yes, we did stagnate some on both ends. A hope was that some folks might
join us to help. It is certainly possible for us to catch up on builds and
such. Or we may just jump in validating EL7 and move back to 6.x as time

> > * Providing feedback and collaboration on common issues. Including, but
> not
> > limited to, reporting bugs, providing patches, discussing packaging
> > techniques, rebuilding variants, QA, ISO building, etc.
> Within the CentOS context or GoOSe? How are you proposing that we
> orchestrate the collaboration between the two?

That is a very good question. I think both groups would benefit. Initially,
the plan is to file bugs on the CentOS side and track them within our
community. However, i can see a possibility of some sort of middle ground
where feedback comes in mailing lists, bugs, documentation and more.

> > * Collaboration on documentation of the rebuild process, rebranding of
> > documentation, providing new documentation, etc.
Same two questions.

We're planning on working on processes for rebranding and documenting the
rebuild process. I see both of those things benefiting CentOS while the
projects might be created elsewhere.

> > * 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.

Very true, I don't want to be pushing rocks uphill forever either. :)  I
think the value here is that a scrubbing service could be written. I kind
of think of this like translation is currently done in some circles. You
have some software go through each SRPM and see if it finds anything
questionable and then have a human validate whether it is indeed needing
some love. The process for this is not clear at this time, but I can see
some options.

> > * 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.
> Because what you're proposing would live outside the structure and exist
> as an outside entity, does it make sense to be a SIG, or simply to have
> an understanding between groups?
I personally think it does fit as a SIG better than anywhere else at the
moment, but it doesn't look like a SIG that has been outlined[1]. I do
feel, however, it fits better in the lower end of that page where it is
related to CentOS, provides control and feedback, all software created
would be FOSS licensed, encourage the direction of the CentOS dev teams. In
my mind, those are the goals we had and wanted to help there. We're not a
variant, at least not in the same way the Cloud SIG would be.

I hope this helps to continue this discussion. Whether we end up becoming a
CentOS SIG or not, we look forward to working with the CentOS teams.



1 - http://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup


> Jim Perrin
> The CentOS Project | http://www.centos.org
> twitter: @BitIntegrity | GPG Key: FA09AD77
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