[CentOS] How can a company help, officially?

Tue Apr 12 22:40:01 UTC 2011
R P Herrold <herrold at owlriver.com>

On Tue, 12 Apr 2011, Dag Wieers wrote:

> I also don't see what the size of my (past) contributions to CentOS has to
> do with this whole discussion. I would much rather discuss why the QA
> process needs to be closed, why you think opening up the process will not
> help fix issues faster (while obviously that's the whole point of Open
> Source) and what the analysis is of the CentOS 5.6 release taking 3 months
> to complete.

CentOS at its core is NOT a development project; it is a way 
to rebuild source content, and distribute trustable binary 
content in a fashion that replicates a third party's binary 
API, that is suitable for enterprise grade use.  It is a 
misnomer to call MOST of what is issued as binaries as 
'developed' -- rather they are simply BUILT.

There are exceptions -- early on, the addition and 
stabilization of yum and the mirror dispatch network WERE 
original development; solving 'self-hosting' where it was not 
a goal upstream IS development; the back building tools ARE 
developed; the ABI comparisons ARE new work rather than 
derivative works

> It's obvious that most of the people arguing in this thread would like
> more timely releases, especially because those releases take longer and
> longer.

These are conflicting goals -- faster, more like upstream, 
more side product coverage, status and progress bars to look 
at.  But at the end of the day, adding more cruft, bells and 
whistles, makes for more places for rot, more distraction to 
'fix' the widget that is not performing either as one intends 
or at all, and will net SLOW a release because the total 
quantum of work by trusted parties needs to be performed has 
grown if such are adopted

> At the moment four CentOS developers (Karanbir, Johnny, Tru and Russ) are
> arguing that more transparency in the build process and QA process is not
> going to help speed up the process and have clearly articulated that they
> do not plan to make the process more transparent, and that anyone willing
> to learn, what the project already knows, are going to have to start from
> scratch.

I scarcely think my outline earlier today, taken with all the 
content I've published over the years back to cAos days are 
'starting from scratch'  I've helped three or four folks 
privately with private rebuild efforts of the 6 sources since 
November.  There was a post earlier this afternoon to the 
effect that my encouragement on these lists helped another 
person 'become a builder'.  You overstate your case in seeking 
to tar me with your brush

So that it is clear, my objection to 'open QA' has ALWAYS been 
that careless users will treat QA interim content as 
production ready, and then seek support in general channels 
to repair what they improvidently broke.  CentOS does not need 
reputational damage of that sort.  Ever.

CentOS ships production ready enterprise binaries, to the 
extent of its capabilities, and has down a darn fine job over 
the with the existing system.  There is no compelling reason 
to tamper with a system that works that I have seen so far.

If a person 'NEEDS' binaries faster, they need someone to 
provide SLA's to them.  That usually implies contracts and an 
exchange of value for the SLA promise.  Contracts are not 
within the scope of CentOS -- why would the project compete 
with the upstream?  CentOS can not be that entity

I mentioned some months ago that I provide for my clients 
private updates (not CentOS content) and provoked wails and 
gnashing of teeth from some one of the Forum 'crew'; it seems 
I have instructed and motivated 'Cal Webster' to do the same. 
Johnny made it clear he could be hired for such in the last 
couple weeks without such outrage being expressed; you, Dag, 
have run consulting services, and your sig line seems it 
advertise it every time I see you post.  Don't you consider 
that repetition to be in poor taste here?

> After Johnny and Tru's disappointing messages, I twittered yesterday
> as my hope for a true CentOS community is fading. I rather spend my
> energy on something that is truly Open Source, transparent and honest.

Explain away your twitter remark if you will, but it left a 
bad taste with me in light of your posts here the last few 
days, and your ongoing 'attitude'

> I guess that's what Johnny has been saying all along. There is no wish to
> change how the project is taking care of things.

Seems to me that KB's solicitation of testing cases, and the 
vast silence in reply makes it clear that the 'community' of 
centos is largely a community of takers and talkers, rather 
than 'do-ers'.  That's okay, but please don't pretend it is 
some caged animal, eager to break free into creative 
expression that the CentOS bug tracker, wiki, or closely 
allied Fedora does not already provide an outlet for

-- Russ herrold