[CentOS] Changes at Red Hat confouding CentOS (was: What happened to 6.1)

Tue Nov 15 11:04:02 UTC 2011
Ljubomir Ljubojevic <office at plnet.rs>

Vreme: 11/15/2011 03:56 AM, Alan McKay piše:
>> Both CentOS and Scientific Linux *aim* at 100% binary compatibility
>> and they are both doing their best toward that goal. However, neither
>> is perfect.
> That's interesting.  So how is it they've managed to come out with 6.1
> (and so long ago at that)?

THe text bellow in only MY opinion, and I am not the member of the dev 
team, or have any official capacity except being one of the admins in 
the CentOS Facebook Group.

One of the reasons (as much as I understood) is that initially CentOS 
team was caught unprepared for the fact that CentOS 6 is not build-able 
from either CentOS 5 or RHEL 6, or even Fedora's, or even any 
combination of those distros.

In the past you could build CentOS 5 using CentOS/RHEL 5 Beta, something 
like that, I do not know exact details, but it was easy to build it.

1. When RHEL 6 Beta came out, devs were confronted with hostile building 
environment with missing versions of packages actually used (they had to 
file bugs against it and wait for Red Hat to release them while chasing 
around to possibly find those versions faster.

2. In the past there was not many people "training" to be on the devs 
team and existing members are volunteers so they have/had limited free 
time. It was 6-7 years after any mayor/complex building effort, so even 
active devs had no mayor problems in that period and they were kind of 
rusty (I hope devs will not take this against me, it is normal for 
skills lesser used to require brushing up, I know it on my own example).

3. Infrastructure (hardware) and build environment speed and 
optimization (in terms of software like mock/smock, binary comparison, 
etc.) was not up to the task at hand. Even disk space was a stretched to 
the limit to accommodate all versions, srpms, building environments, ...

4. Way of doing thing CentOS pre-6.x was proved to be inefficient and 
the gap from upstream releases started to prolong. That is when CentOS 
devs decided to change policy and do like SL team, and create CR repo so 
they can publish all completed packages as soon as they are available.

Scientific Linux has (at least) 2 paid developers and they started 
setting up (Koji) building environment (long?) before RHEL 6 Beta was 
released. That gave them starting advantage.

Further more, SL devs decided to push SL 6.0 before 5.7 and 4.9 point 
releases (contrary to CentOS devs) published in same time frame, so to 
many on this mailing list it looked like SL devs are overall much 
faster. Their 5.7 update was (I think) few months behind.

Currently, CentOS build system should be in much better shape and we 
will see how it will do for coming 6.2 point release (already in beta).

There is much more relevant info, but this should be the jest an I have 
work to do.


Ljubomir Ljubojevic
(Love is in the Air)
PL Computers
Serbia, Europe

Google is the Mother, Google is the Father, and traceroute is your
trusty Spiderman...
StarOS, Mikrotik and CentOS/RHEL/Linux consultant