[CentOS-devel] Balancing the needs around the RHEL platform

Mon Dec 28 18:08:54 UTC 2020
Laurențiu Păncescu <lpancescu at centosproject.org>

On 12/28/20 3:30 PM, redbaronbrowser via CentOS-devel wrote:
> I understand the history of the of obfuscation.  But keep in mind that RHEL 6 goes back to 2010 long before CentOS joining Red Hat. We accepted some limitations of being a downstream clone.  That having CentOS completely separate from Red Hat is going to have specific realities that come with it.  One of those realities is the upstream sets the policy.  That the openness gap created by those upstream policies were out of scope for CentOS.

I only wanted to put things in context with regards to the kernel SRPM, 
that it's done most likely to hinder Oracle (not very successfully, and 
OEL also seems to provide significant original R&D from Oracle, they're 
doing more than a simple recompile of Red Hat sources like CentOS). This 
never was a problem for CentOS Linux, as their goal was to be a 1:1 
clone, "bug for bug and feature for feature", and I think it's not going 
to be a problem for the other clones, either. I remember articles from 
that time about Red Hat discussing this with the Free Software 
Foundation, who agreed it's the best way forward given Oracle's 
existential menace for Red Hat, probably the biggest contributor to the 
kernel back then.

I have no connection with Red Hat besides rare emails with people in the 
CentOS team, but I find this kind of discussion over specific members of 
the board bordering personal attack (over 900 mails, yet you are the 
only one focusing on that - this is my first and last answer to that). 
Red Hat acquired the CentOS brand and hired the CentOS core team. 
CentOS is their property, period.  They could have decided directly at 
management level what to do, nobody forced them to even create a 
governance board.  From Mike McGrath's description, it sounds they 
wanted to create community around CentOS similar to the one around 
Fedora, but things turned out different than expected and the 
association in people's minds, "CentOS is also from Red Hat", ended up 
cannibalizing their RHEL sales so they decided to put a stop to that. 
The Red Hat employees on the CentOS board didn't do what they wanted, 
but did what the company asked them to, I see no reason to focus on 
specific people.  But the EOL should have been announced before 8.0, so 
people don't waste time migrating from 6 to 8.

If they wanted to kill all clones, they could have stopped publishing 
the sources (they only have to provide them to their own customers, like 
they do for EUS updates, not to everybody on the Internet).  My 
impression is they want to kill just CentOS Linux, the only clone whose 
association with Red Hat seems to give it a legitimacy that other clones 
don't have.

I think the best way forward for everyone is to accept what happened and 
deal pragmatically with the consequences for their own organization.