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

Wed Dec 16 23:08:20 UTC 2020
Mike McGrath <mmcgrath at redhat.com>

On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 11:59 AM Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu> wrote:

> On 12/15/20 3:50 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:
> >
> >     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 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
> > <
> https://www.redhat.com/en/about/press-releases/red-hat-and-centos-join-forces
> >
> >
> First, Mike, thanks for taking the time to reply here; I for one greatly
> appreciate it.  I like Red Hat, and I like CentOS, and I count several
> current and former Red Hat employees as long-time close acquaintances,
> and even friends.  Finally got to meet Bill Nottingham a few weeks ago,
> but there are many from the 'old days' I've not yet had opportunity to
> meet in person.
> > 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.
> The quote that has me somewhat riled up is from
> https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/transforming-development-experience-within-centos
> : "CentOS Stream is parallel to existing CentOS builds; this means that
> nothing changes for current users of CentOS Linux and services, even
> those that begin to explore the newly-released CentOS 8. "Â  In the
> context of the posted statement, and being the first sentence under the
> heading of "What does this mean for CentOS," this is to me a clear
> statement that nothing changes with the then-current (2019) CentOS model
> especially for users of CentOS 8; had CentOS 8 not been so specifically
> called out I personally wouldn't feel quite so blindsided.  Yes,
> business happens; yes, real life happens; yes promises get broken.  But
> broken promises produce broken relationships and have consequences, such
> as broken trust.
That was accurate at the time of that writing as no decisions had been made.

> I started deployment into production based on that September 24, 2019
> statement, and the published 2029 EOL date; I specifically waited on
> CentOS 8's ecosystem to mature for upgrades from C6 rather than go ahead
> an upgrade to C7 based on this statement, delaying, in one instance, a
> workstation upgrade six months, with the user of that workstation
> complaining about the delay nearly daily, and my reply being "In order
> to get your new system to be stable until 2029 instead of 2024 I still
> think we should go with CentOS 8 for you;" if I had known then what I
> know now she would have gotten CentOS 7 and I would have had many less
> headaches for most of a year.
It makes a lot of sense that people would be upset about this.  We very
much should have set better expectations at the launch of CentOS 8 but at
that point no specific dates around CentOS8 had been decided other than to
release it.

> > 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.
> There are a number of things that could have been done early on to make
> things different, in my opinion.  And you're right: the CentOS community
> has seen very little change in many years.  Some call it stagnation;
> some call it stability.  Some might even call it denial.
> Using the Debian model from the get-go (unstable -> testing -> stable)
> instead of (Fedora+secretsauce -> RHEL x.0 beta) might have helped back
> then; that IS what CentOS Stream is doing, adding that 'testing'
> portion, although you guys at Red Hat might prefer to not call it that.Â
> The sequence becomes, if I'm thinking this through correctly,
> (Fedora+secretsauce -> RHEL x.0 Beta -> RHEL x.0 -> for $point in 1 2 3
> 4 5 6 do (CentOS x Stream -> RHEL x.${point}); done) or somesuch.
> But then there's the 'secretsauce' part of the issue.  RHEL development
> has been opaque since RHLEE 6.2E; RHL development was opaque prior to
> that, even.  I was on the Beta Team back in the day; I remember the city
> code names, the NDA, etc; I still have my executed copy of that NDA, for
> that matter, so there are certain cities I never speak of (:-) in case
> you missed the humor); still have some of the boxed sets from those
> days, too.  Lack of transparency is not a new issue.  CentOS Stream, in
> this regard, is a very refreshing development and will likely be a big
> win for transparency.  But will CentOS Stream eliminate the
> 'secretsauce' bridge currently existing between Fedora and RHEL?  (It
> may be covered in one of the numerous posts about it, so forgive me if I
> missed it).  Will CentOS 9 Stream begin with a Fedora snapshot? (How
> that develops may not be even known by you guys at Red Hat as far as I
> know).  If a transparent path from Fedora through the entire Full
> Support phase of RHEL can be developed in the form of CentOS Stream, I
> think that's a very good thing.  I wouldn't mind using that myself, as
> long as hardware drivers don't frequently break that I need to use.  And
> currently they break every stinking point release!!!
The RHEL9 bootstrap process has already started with Fedora ELN and I'm
expecting the CentOS Stream 9 code/builds to be showing up in the next few
months, sometime before May.  (note, the 5 year lifecycle of CentOS stream
doesn't actually starts then, we don't start the clock until RHEL9 ships so
these are all "pre-releases).

> > Â  As for the rest of you, where were you?
> The mailing list archives are full of messages over the years from users
> offering to help in various ways.  Me personally?  Well, my name and
> email were still in the changelog for PostgreSQL through the end of
> CentOS 4, at least; I did my contributions upstream when I was able to
> spend the time to do so.  Life happens; those contributions had to yield
> to RL issues.
> > 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.
> I seem to be one of the very few in my local area still advocating Red
> Hat-based systems.  Most of the Linux talent in my area is rabidly
> anti-Red Hat.  It got exponentially worse last week.  Several years
> back, I got to meet Michael Tiemann and Mark Webbink in Asheville;
> watched TruthHappens the first time; everything was so positive. Â
> Michael accepted my invitation to tour $dayjob, and he seemed to have a
> great time.  For a while the local LUGs were less anti-Red Hat.... How
> times have changed in the LUG-scape around here.
> If it could be done over?  The most detrimental statements made, in my
> opinion, were those statements that could be read to imply a commitment
> by Red Hat for CentOS 8 until 2029; this was after all the published
> roadmap by the CentOS Prject prior to December.  In the press release
> you linked to, there is a now-dead link to a FAQ page; thanks to the
> Wayback Machine, I can re-read this FAQ page (
> https://web.archive.org/web/20140906203025/http://community.redhat.com/centos-faq/
> ) and see that maybe it was wishful thinking the way I read the very
> positively-worded spin that FAQ put on virtually all questions.
People being upset about the CentOS Stream 8 dates makes a ton of sense to
me.  But people thinking that we'd be shipping CentOS Linux 1,500 in the
year 2984 doesn't.  Taking someone's words about our intentions at some
time or plans at some time, and then expanding them across an infinite
timeline is just not how anything works.

> And then there's the statement I quoted at the very beginning of this
> reply; there was wording that strongly implied a commitment that
> "nothing changes" specifically for CentOS 8.  The September 24, 2019
> statement, in my opinion, is what primarily set the stage for this
> backlash you see today.
Again, that was accurate at that time.  If I could go back in time not do a
CentOS Linux 8 release, I would have.  But it wasn't in the cards.


> Best regards.
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