[CentOS] CentOS Project Infrastructure

Johnny Hughes johnny at centos.org
Sun Aug 9 00:37:01 UTC 2009

William L. Maltby wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-08-07 at 19:31 -0400, Mike A. Harris wrote:
>> <snip>
>> Yep, I think it is because people often want to travel straight from A
>> to Z without having to go through B, C, D, etc.   Another subset of
>> people, "the talkers" want to dictate to the "doers" how things should
>> be done, often without wanting to (or perhaps without having the skills
>> to) actually do any solid contributions themselves.  They can safely
>> just be ignored.  ;o)
> I was with you up to that last line. In any organization, *sometimes*
> one of the most important skills (if it is lacking in other "community"
> members) is that of organizing and motivating and coordinating, ... All
> of this is just "talking" (well, planning, etc. - but the results of
> that is often only exhibited in "talking").
> And what is characterized as "whining" can be seen as folks who
> mistakenly believe their input, as a community member (if that's what
> the "core" folks choose them to be viewed as) is valued and are trying
> to contribute.
> I only have one question that I want to add to this gawd-awful thread
> now.
> Who is the project serving? The "core" themselves or a "community" of
> users as well? If that is effectively and accurately answered, then the
> dynamics of the relationship(s) between users of the project and the
> "core" can be more clearly stated and understood.

Well, then I think I can easily clear this up.  Our "Project" purpose
has been stated for 4 years, and it has not changed.


The CentOS team provides a product that people can choose to use or not
to use.  It is designed to be 100% binary compatible with the upstream

Here are our goals:



The CentOS Project will build, sign and provide the packages.

We will provide an infrastructure to distribute the packages.

We will provide an infrastructure where the Community can be involved
and help each other (via things like a Wiki, the Forums, the Mailing
Lists, the bugzilla and IRC).  These things are where we want community
participation.  We have even added Special Interest Groups where we
accept some code from the community for some things.  Each SIG has a
team member who is responsible to validate the code.

From time to time, we will PULL a community member INTO the Development
team.  We have done this on a number of occasions.  I'll give you a
brief history with example:

1.  CentOS 3.1 released as part of cAos foundation early 2004.
2.  I (Johnny Hughes) was added as a CentOS team member from the
Community in late 2004, as were Karanbir Singh and Tru Huynh.  Several
other people (Lance Davis, Donavan Nelson, Russ Herrold, John Newbigin)
were already team members.
3.  The CentOS Project forms and moves away from the cAos Foundation in
March of 2005.
4.  There have been other team members added from the Community since
then including Jim Perrin, Ralph Angenendt, and Tim Verhoeven.
5.  NedSlider and Akemi Yagi are added as Forum Moderators.  Akemi has
also been given the added responsibility to make the Plus kernel changes.

When we pull people in from the Community and give them increased
responsibility, we do so after many months of interaction.  Not everyone
has access to the "Signing Keys", Not everyone has access to make
changes to www.centos.org, Not everyone has access to submit packages to
the builder.  Not everyone is Forum Moderator.  Not everyone has Root
access to all CentOS infrastructure machines.

We have some other repositories (Extras, CentOSPlus, maybe in the future
contrib) HOWEVER, these are not trying to be 3rd party repos or build
the latest and greatest things.  They are designed to add ENTERPRISE
level software that we are going to maintain for the lifetime of the
project.  If we add something, then someone has given assurances that
they will take care of it for 7 years.

There are already plenty of 3rd party repos available including these:


We do not desire to REPLACE any of these repositories ... these are
INDEED part of the community as well.  If you have something to
contribute to a 3rd party repository, then contact them and ask how they
 would like your help.

When we add something to CentOS, then someone in the core team is going
to maintain it for 7 years.  Every package will be verified by a team
member and be the responsibility of a team member.  If that team member
leaves, someone else in the team will maintain that package. Therefore,
adding things to CentOS will not be something that is taken lightly ...
see 3rd party repos above.

> My observations in the past has indicated that this is not truly decided
> and inculcated in the project's "core" members.

It has been decided from the beginning and articulated many times.

> This one definition might have saved 90% of this thread.

How we manage the Project is not a community based, it was never
intended to be community based, and it never will be community based.

Hopefully this clears up any ambiguity.

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