[CentOS-devel] A Big Idea for a New Decade [was: Minutes for CentOS Board of Directors 2019-12-18 Meeting]

Gordon Messmer

gordon.messmer at gmail.com
Wed Jan 8 22:25:08 UTC 2020

On 1/8/20 7:43 AM, Johnny Hughes wrote:
>> I don't think it's*entirely*  fair to say that the fixes offered weren't
>> relevant to CentOS, when no one outside the core maintainers had access
>> to the build process, where fixes relevant to CentOS could be offered.
> That is because CentOS Linux (other than Stream) is a rebuild of RHEL
> source code .. so, that is how things get into base CentOS Linux.

Yes, I know.

> We don't accept input that deviates base CentOS Linux from RHEL source code.

Of course not.  But that's not the point.  Neal pointed out that the 
process of debranding and rebuilding CentOS is not a community process, 
and that the user community takes and does not give back much.  That is 
true.  I agree with him.

I don't, however, know a good reason to believe that the community 
doesn't want to contribute, or isn't capable of contributing.  I have 
seen people offer to contribute numerous times, especially when new 
major or minor releases lag far behind upstream.  I tend to think those 
lags are evidence that the project does need more contributors, but I 
simply don't know any way for capable people to access the work queue 
and assist in getting it done.

When I look at https://wiki.centos.org/Contribute , I don't see any 
entry points for capable people to participate early in the process.  I 
see a note that testing packages are announced on the devel list, but 
that's pretty far along in the process.  It's hard to imagine that 
participating at that point will significantly improve the turnaround 
time for the process of rebuilding and publishing the system.

I could be wrong, since I see the situation from the perspective of the 
user community that I'm a part of, but my point is that Jim said "there 
wasn't really much of a way to give back that didn't make the project 
deviate from its core mission" and that is literally true.  I'm not 
arguing otherwise.  I just want to suggest that the fact that there 
wasn't a way to give back without deviating from the core mission is the 
result of decisions that the developers made to keep the process very 
closed and private, and we should acknowledge that when we're discussing 
community contributions.

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