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

Wed Dec 16 01:28:18 UTC 2020
Neal Gompa <ngompa13 at gmail.com>

On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 6:30 PM Jason Brooks <jbrooks at redhat.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 1:03 PM Jim Jagielski <jim at jimjag.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Dec 15, 2020, at 3:50 PM, Mike McGrath <mmcgrath at redhat.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > 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
> >
> > Whose fault is that? And, to be honest, I never recall such an expectation ever being vocalized during my tenure @ RedHat (FTR: I was one of the people inside OSAS who drove the CentOS "acquisition" along w/ Carl Trieloff)
> >
> > The whole intent back then was "as long as there is going to be this huge community of 'free-loading' users out there, they might as well be under the RHEL/Fedora umbrella, rather than Canonical or elsewhere." I guess somewhere along the line that changed. The issue isn't that the situation changed but rather that up until very recently, promises were still being made and then RedHat backed out of those promises.
> >
> No. I was on that team too, and growing CentOS beyond just consumption
> and into contribution was something we emphasized throughout. Our
> primary intent, the reason the whole thing got started, was that we
> needed to provide our layered projects with a slow-moving community
> distro to layer atop. That's why we put so much effort into the SIGs,
> and into opening up the build processes and tools. Even with that work
> done, until we opened up RHEL development itself, contributions to the
> core of CentOS were basically blocked. Now, in addition to the layered
> project need, which hasn't gone away, we need a distro to open up RHEL
> development, and CentOS Stream is that distro.
> I know that "same package set that RH ships to customers" has been an
> effective shorthand for "good enough for me," and that our assurances
> of trusting the automated ci and the power of community collaboration
> may be inspiring less trust right now, but I am confident that CentOS
> Stream will be a good, stable distro for current users. My team that
> hosts infra for various open source projects has already begun
> converting some of our production services from CentOS 8 to CentOS
> Stream.

Honestly, I think CentOS Stream will be amazing. There's a lot of
amazing potential here, and the opportunity to influence RHEL/CentOS
itself through CentOS Stream is something that shouldn't be
underestimated. From my perspective, CentOS Stream is a more exciting
platform because it's making CentOS itself into more of a true
community project.

However, the real kick in the teeth was the lifespan being cut in half
with CentOS Stream 8. That is where I feel most of the trust was
damaged, because it violated the community contract that has been
established as a norm for the past decade and a half. From my
perspective as a contributing distribution engineer working in CentOS,
that change is disruptive on a level in which it's hard to recover
from. Strictly speaking, from a promotionary point of view for using
and relying on it, this is a downgrade. And I *want* to be able to
promote this as the truly *community* enterprise Linux platform where
the *community* can work in partnership with Red Hat to develop the
greatest enterprise Linux platform to build anything and everything.

I think most folks know by now that I'm not talking out of my rear
when I say that I'm willing to put work in to help with this, and I
have even already contributed to CentOS Stream because I think it's
awesome. But the lifespan of CentOS Stream 8 not matching Red Hat
Enterprise Linux 8 makes CentOS *itself* lose one of the
differentiators that made it attractive over openSUSE Leap and Ubuntu
LTS. CentOS Stream with the 10 year lifespan is an absolute no-brainer
compared to openSUSE Leap or Ubuntu LTS that would enhance the goal of
making Red Hat platforms the default Linux platform everywhere (dev,
CI, and production).

I'm also willing to help with developing strategies for supporting
on-ramps from CentOS Stream to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I have been
testing convert2rhel, given feedback in code reviews for the tool, and
so on.

I want to make the story better between CentOS and RHEL. I want to
help Red Hat make RHEL more appealing to more audiences. There is a
lot of value that you get with a subscription for Red Hat Enterprise
Linux that you can't get with CentOS (such as certifications and
assurances related to that, Red Hat Insights, kernel live patching,
engineering support and product assistance, etc.), and highlighting
those things and reinforcing the value of those things to the
community at large would probably help with driving growth here.

I strongly believe a combination of an excellent platform and a good
story for upgrading to supported tiers would make the ecosystem more
attractive for all. Because to me, the trade for open source software
is that you give either your time+effort or money. If you can't give
time+effort, then paying money to someone who will is a fair trade.
Making that easy and obvious would help things considerably, in my

真実はいつも一つ!/ Always, there's only one truth!