[CentOS-devel] Before You Get Mad About The CentOS Stream Change, Think About…

Tue Dec 15 23:02:20 UTC 2020
aleksander.baranowski <aleksander.baranowski at yahoo.pl>

Dear Mike,

You are right and at the very same time insanely wrong:

CentOS Linux made sense in 2014, it doesn't make sense in 2020.

The whole discussion, podcasts, articles and how popular CentOS still
prove otherwise.

You may not like it, but the CentOS community didn't evolve in any way
with the industry. When I think about the talent on this list, and in
IRC, I can't help but wonder what went wrong. For whatever reason,
CentOS never grew beyond a community of users.

**CentOS had one job - provide a stable platform based on RHEL
sources.** CentOS do not have to evolve. This does not make any sense...
(That why I said that you are insanely wrong). You might ask why CentOS
didn't start "next revolutionary" OS like CoreOS (that I personally
really liked) - because there was no need.

" When I think about the talent on this list, and in IRC, I can't help
but wonder what went wrong."

CentOS is/was used in the biggest clusters around the world. This
clusters made calculations that made a breakthrough in fields of physic,
medicine, computer science and much much more. CentOS is/was in any
serious industry like health care, finances or less demanding but still
quite crucial for our lives like media, marketing, or social media and
much more. I believe that there was no better place to put your talent.

When you are using a system like CentOS, your stack is likely evolving -
but on the very stable platform. Your company could change database
version a few times on **one** CentOS version. Your company can run the
hottest application backend on CentOS. Did you know that PostgreSQL 12
was released for EL (Enterprise Linux) version 6? One system that could
be used for like 8 (you can check number) major releases of the
database. And it doesn't really matter if you are using a public cloud,
private cloud, containers workloads. There is always OS. So for admins
"evolutions" in many cases is same s*** different day.

I'm also deeply sorry that admins/devops/adminops/whateverops are not
evolving as fast as javascript frameworks. A lot of people like it this
way. They won't support solutions that are unstable - because in case of
a f***up, they are the one to take a hit.

When a company that I work for decided to use Scientific Linux (v6 and
v7) as a base instead of CentOS many people were sceptical. When I
decided that we won't make version 8 based on CentOS I already knew that
CentOS soul was sold:

- CentOS blocked koji (x86_64, I'm really grateful that arm koji was
[maybe still is] open)
- CentOS never wrote how to do modules and how it's done. It's always
like "there is repo and we are using koji".
- CentOS removed the most of *-devel packages because RHEL removed them.
It doesn't make any sense. It brought multiple times on epel-devel
mailing list. CentOS was never supported, so why remove unsupported
packages instead of moving them to "all" or "whatever" repo?
- The packages that are required to build a base system are not present
in both CentOS and RHEL -> it means that you cannot rebuild the system

To sum this up - CentOS was great part of our stack. The part that was
solid and now it's gone. I didn't have to evolve, we don't need fancier
screwdriver just the one that works.


PS. I'm just sorry for RH. It used to great company. I'm sorry that the
next quarter revenue is more important than clients, users, community,
market adaptation and keeping your promises.

On 12/15/20 9:50 PM, Mike McGrath wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 1:41 PM Trevor Hemsley
> <trevor.hemsley at ntlworld.com <mailto:trevor.hemsley at ntlworld.com>> wrote:
>     On 15/12/2020 17:59, Mike McGrath wrote:
>>     I'd also just add that while I find Johnny's characterization of
>>     what happened accurate, Ljubomir took a couple of leaps that I
>>     don't think existed.  Red Hat decided not to continue paying
>>     actual money for what was actively harming us and no longer
>>     providing the value that it once did.  No one, not even the board,
>>     could force Red Hat to continue paying for this project which was
>>     just not working for us.  I'm not going to say that the
>>     announcement was the board's idea or even that they were happy
>>     about it.  I think the previous course and speed of CentOS was
>>     well understood.  But that no longer worked for Red Hat who is
>>     paying for people, servers, swag, etc.  The list goes on.
>     Thank you for this clarification although it was fairly apparent to
>     everyone what the driver was behind this change.
>     I'd like to thank Red Hat for supporting the CentOS Project from
>     2014 to 2020. You did a good thing by stepping in to save the
>     project from disintegration back in 2014. Thanks for that, CentOS
>     would probably have survived without you but you did the right thing
>     and stepped up when you were needed.
>     However...
>     While Red Hat may *legally* own the CentOS Project, I do not believe
>     you are *morally* entitled to do what you have done. CentOS is not
>     just about the project and the contributors to it. It's more than
>     that. It has millions of users, so many that no-one really knows how
>     many there are. Lots of those users may be large corporations
>     "freeloading" as Red Hat probably see it but others, those are small
>     users running single machines or just a few. Those users are *your*
>     future.
>     You (Red Hat) made a  lot of promises both in 2014 and as late as
>     last year when Chris Wright said something along the lines of
>     classic CentOS Linux is not going anywhere. It's all very well to
>     say that things change, well of course they do, but when they do,
>     you have an obligation to live up to your promises and the recent
>     actions were in no way doing that.
>     I believe the correct action for Red Hat to have taken would have
>     been to say "we have decided that we no longer wish to fund the
>     CentOS Project as it no longer aligns with our business purposes.
>     So, in order not to let down the millions of users of CentOS Linux,
>     we have decided to set up a foundation and donate the trade marks
>     and domain names (that we acquired for almost nothing)".
>     With a decent legal founding, you could have made it takeover proof
>     so that none of your competitors could acquire it. You could have
>     done this and asked a number of the larger companies that have
>     CentOS as part of their portfolio to sponsor the foundation - the
>     Googles/AWS/OVH/cpanel's of this world could easily have stepped up
>     and funded a FTE or 2 by donating to the foundation and you could
>     have transferred some or all of the existing people who work on
>     CentOS to that foundation and let *them* run it. Those hosting
>     companies spin up new CentOS instances all the time and a cent or
>     two donation on each instance would most likely fund most of what's
>     required. And the people who are now scrambling around attempting to
>     set up new hardware and build environments, they could be supporting
>     the CentOS Linux Foundation instead.
>     The fact that you decided to take CentOS Linux out the back and
>     shoot it in the head is a betrayal of your company's promises over
>     the last 6 or 7 years. It's exactly what everyone was afraid of when
>     Red Hat took over CentOS in 2014 and despite numerous questions, you
>     all said "no no, it's safe with us". Some of us remember those days
>     and arguing with people about whether it was a good thing or not and
>     a lot of us said "Trust Red Hat, see what they do, look at their
>     actions not their words". Well we did.
>     You should rename CentOS Stream to Red Hat Stream Linux (RHSL) and
>     remove CentOS from the Red Hat family altogether. Donate the trade
>     marks and logos and domain names and the tooling needed to produce
>     CentOS Linux. Set up a foundation. Get the big players who offer
>     CentOS to users to help fund the foundation. Ask the employees who
>     work on CentOS on a daily basis if they'd like to stay with Red Hat
>     or transfer to the new foundation. Find some way in which users can
>     contribute to the foundation and ensure its future.
>     It's not too late to do the right thing. Red Hat can still back off
>     this betrayal of the community that use CentOS Linux and set CentOS
>     Linux free.
>     You can say that you think people are coming round to this. I do not
>     agree. I have read all of the feedback on IRC, all of the feedback
>     on the CentOS forums, all the feedback on the mailing lists. This is
>     *not* a popular change. It's tarnishing and poisoning Red Hat's
>     reputation and until it's addressed it will continue to do so. You
>     can help to fix this before Red Hat becomes tarred with the same
>     brush as that other big company with the big red logo and the not so
>     great reputation. This is NOT just a $$$ decision, it has other
>     ramifications and right now, Red Hat are the bad guys and will
>     remain so until this is addressed.
>     You can hope it'll go away but it won't. Red Hat will always be the
>     company that broke its promises and killed CentOS Linux.
> I'm in this weird position where I'm regularly hearing from people that
> thought that Red Hat made some sort of "We'll never change and CentOS
> Linux will be around forever" announcement.  I'd suggest everyone go
> back and re-read the original press release (I was not involved with the
> original agreement)
> <https://www.redhat.com/en/about/press-releases/red-hat-and-centos-join-forces>
> You can nitpick at words, or take a quote out of context.  But don't be
> naive and pretend we had some grand plan for all of this from the
> beginning.  Just like anyone, Red Hat changes and makes decisions based
> on the best information we have at the time.  CentOS Linux made sense in
> 2014, it doesn't make sense in 2020.
> You may not like it, but the CentOS community didn't evolve in any way
> with the industry.  When I think about the talent on this list, and in
> IRC, I can't help but wonder what went wrong.  For whatever reason,
> CentOS never grew beyond a community of users.  And I know there are
> community members out there who are actively contributing time on QE as
> you did Trevor.  You are a very small minority on this project and I
> hope we can win you over in CentOS Stream.  As for the rest of you,
> where were you?
> And sure, we could have turned CentOS back over to some non-Red Hat
> foundation.  But the fact is contrary to popular belief, we actually
> like the engineers that work on CentOS, we like many of the users who
> have cultivated relationships with Red Hat over the years.  We intend on
> going forward with a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship there. 
> If that's not you, and you're ready to leave - I think that's
> unfortunate but I understand.
>              -Mike
>     Trevor Hemsley
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