[CentOS] How can a company help, officially?

Tue Apr 12 23:13:15 UTC 2011
Dag Wieers <dag at wieers.com>

On Tue, 12 Apr 2011, R P Herrold wrote:

> 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.

Nowhere did I mention 'developed'. Why are you replying to something I 
DID NOT say ?

But to reply to something you DID say. Why would only development projects 
benefit from an Open Source attitude ? I don't understand why that makes 
any difference.

Groklaw is not a development project either, neither is Wikipedia, but 
they do benefit from an open and transparent process, and contributions 
from a community. Yes, even randomly drive-by (sic) contributions.

>> 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

You say that, but there's not been an analysis of what took 3 months.

To me it seems quite obvious that finding and fixing build problems, doing 
QA, looking for trademarks, are all tasks that can be distributed quite 
easily. If the process is open and transparent, and if clearly 
communicated and managed. I fully understand that this may not be what 
interests the current developers, but that shouldn't be an excuse for not 
doing what's best for the project and its users.

>> 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

How's helping people privately making a difference to more transparency 
with the CentOS build and QA process ? I sympathize with what you do in 
private, but I don't see how it helps with the case at hand.

> 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.

You didn't consider reputational damage when a release is 3 months, or 6 
months late ? There are technical solutions that would minimize the risk 
to careless users, while still allowing for an open QA.

So you basically confirm my statement above. Thanks for that.

> 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.

Despite lacking security updates for 3 months. Did you realize that if it 
takes 3 months to create a minor release, you are vulnerable 50% of the 
time ? RHEL 5.7 is likely scheduled for July.

> 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

There's a difference between 1 month and 3 months. But hey, you once again 
make my point that you don't see more timely releases as a priority.

That is perfectly fine. Let's make sure everyone understands that 3 months 
(or 6 months) are expected and normal for CentOS.

My personal believe is that if people knew that 3 years ago, CentOS would 
not have been as popular as it is now. But don't believe me, ask around.

> 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?

Are you saying there's a financial benefit to you and Johnny if CentOS 
releases are delayed ? Is that why it's important to the CentOS team to 
not share information and open up processes ?

>> 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'

Right, I have an attitude problem and CentOS has no issues :) Regardless, 
thanks to that tweet I received plenty of feedback of users/stakeholders 
that share my frustration. So maybe something materializes from that, who 
knows ?

If it leaves a bad taste with you, maybe that is actually good sign ?

>> 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'.

Well, KB's soliciation of testing cases is not how Open Source works. That 
you still use that as an excuse to NOT open up the process tells a lot
about the project's position.

Could you all please now leave me be ? I'd like to spend my time on 
something worthwhile :)

-- dag wieers, dag at wieers.com, http://dag.wieers.com/
-- dagit linux solutions, info at dagit.net, http://dagit.net/

[Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]