[CentOS] The delays on CentOS 5.6 are causing EPEL incompatibilities

Lamar Owen lowen at pari.edu
Sat Mar 26 17:44:33 UTC 2011

On Friday, March 25, 2011 09:55:34 pm Nico Kadel-Garcia wrote:
> I'm speaking up for our CentOS repackagers here. That kind of
> bootstrapping takes cycles and practice, and double checking. In
> theory, they could. Our CentOS rebuilders have exposed a few
> dependencies for which the SRPM's are not published (and which our
> favorite upstream vendor is fixing them, but they *don't have to!!!*.
> That's not part of a GPL license, it's just good free software
> practice.)

Let me speak up for our CentOS devs too, as the upstream doesn't have to bootstrap in this way.  Their bootstrap dates from Mother's Day.

Fedora likewise; they have a previous version, and rolling binaries that are pretty well depsolved already.  The rebuilders are the ones who have it more difficult, as they have to reproduce a build sequence from a known snapshot point (the last public beta).

And the *distribution* as a whole is not covered by the license you might think it is.

Les, the upstream source RPMs aren't even the "source source" for the upstream build; SRPMS are just a by product of the build of the binaries from source in an SCM (managed by Red Hat's koji), and in theory, given the same identical environment that built the upstream binaries they will re-build to the same binary.  The environment is the hard thing to replicate, since it is a moving target, and each build changes it slightly.  It's questionable if upstream could exactly replicate it from their own source RPM's without significant effort (that is, outside of koji).

To their credit they fix those sort of bugs in due time, but as mentioned they are not bound by any license to do so, since the binary build environment isn't part of the 'source code.'  

Karanbir and Johnny have both posted at length about this issue; Russ as well.

What's interesting is the length of time it's taking SL as well to get 4.9 and 5.6 out in GA, as well as CentOS with a GA for 5.6 and 6.0.  It seems to be pretty soon due, at least 5.6.

As it stands, SL has a GA 6.0, and CentOS has a GA 4.9.  I like many others am waiting for that middle piece, a GA 5.6.  But I'd rather have it correctly done than quickly done if I have to choose.

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