[CentOS-devel] https://blog.centos.org/2020/12/future-is-centos-stream/

Trevor Hemsley

trevor.hemsley at ntlworld.com
Sat Dec 12 02:14:41 UTC 2020

On 12/12/2020 01:01, John R. Dennison wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 04:50:06PM -0800, Akemi Yagi wrote:
>> If you quit those roles, that would be a HUGE loss for the CentOS Project.
> Seconded.  I mentioned this to Trevor privately earlier but I will say
> it here.  I would absolutely _hate_ to see Trevor walk away from the
> project.  That being said, I would respect his decision to do so; people
> need to do what is right for them.  This week has caused many to
> reevaluate their roles and how they spend their time; Trevor is not
> alone here.

Let's not turn this into a thread to inflate my head size please ;-)

Besides, I haven't gone just yet.

Currently I can see no reason why I should continue to donate my time to 
a project that patently obviously doesn't give a shit about its 
consumers or its contributors. There are several members of the project 
who I know disagree with the actions taken this week and I commend them. 
If I had an @redhat.com email address and were in their position I would 
probably be polishing my CV around about now.

I've used RHEL and CentOS for about the last 15 years and I will be 
re-evaluating the future use of both. I am most definitely not going to 
be telling my boss that we should spend 4 times our annual hardware 
budget on RHEL license fees.

Dear Red Hat Management,

the time to make this sort of annoucement was in 2019 when you were busy 
sitting on the fence about whether or not to announce CentOS Linux 8 at 
all. I'm fairly sure that at least some of those responsible for this 
decision read my email to Red Hat about that back then and I gather that 
that email may have had some small impact on the decisions that were 
made back then. However, if you were going to kill it then *that* was 
the time to do it or at least that was the time to be honest about your 
intentions for it. Not hiding behind "well we never put an EOL date out 
for it". Since when has Red Hat _ever_ done that for CentOS before?

Now, you've not only let down a lot of people by withdrawing support for 
CentOS, which would have been bad but understandable, you've also 
allowed EOL expectations to remain and you released a product in 2019 
that everyone assumed was set to remain until 2029. You didn't disabuse 
anyone of the expectation that it would remain for 10 years. You 
*deliberately* kept quiet about it. That was stupid. Possibly even 
borderline dishonest. Certainly disingenuous. So now you have a very 
large number of systems out there which a lot people have put a lot of 
effort into installing with CentOS Linux 8 that either need to be 
reinstalled with something else or people need to get used to them being 
broken on a regular basis. I am very sure that that will not have made 
you popular.

The honest thing to have said back then would have been "We are 
announcing that there will be no CentOS Linux 8 but support for CentOS 6 
and 7 will continue until their expected EOL dates. We are grateful to 
all those who have contributed to the project over the years (but we 
have found it impacts our bottom line too much to continue with our 
sponsorship). Here, have this perpetual beta instead.". There would have 
been a lot of disappointment and probably some anger but now you've 
magnified both of those and added "betrayal" into the mix. Well done!

Oh yes, I am sure that you will tell me all about your QA and CI and 
whatever to uncover bugs before things are released but realistically 
I'm sure that there are numbers of people who delay updating even to a 
new RHEL point release for fear of the "what have they broken this time" 
lottery. And that's on a RHEL point release which undergoes months of 
beta before it comes out. Are you telling me that the same amount of 
effort will be put into every Stream update that is put into a RHEL 
point release? I don't think so. Stream is going to break. It's going to 
break quite often. It's a snapshot of a development project, breakage is 
in its job description and you're using us to test it. It's not a CentOS 
Linux substitute.

There's also the issue of the KABI problem which basically kills off the 
ELRepo project who have done such a sterling job for years to support 
hardware that Red Hat don't want to bother with. That's the bit that 
kills off my ability to use Stream. I run multiple physical machines 
using DRBD to make up HA pairs and I can only do that thanks to the 
stable KABI that Stream does not have. I'd be better off running Fedora. 
For a business!


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