[CentOS] I'm looking forward to the future of CentOS Stream

Sun Dec 13 18:52:29 UTC 2020
Phelps, Matthew <mphelps at cfa.harvard.edu>

On Sat, Dec 12, 2020 at 11:48 PM Gordon Messmer <gordon.messmer at gmail.com>

> On 12/11/20 9:56 AM, Ljubomir Ljubojevic wrote:
> > And I will repeat that millions of CentOS users found free clone of RHEL
> > trustworthy enough to use it for production, even without "official
> > endorsement".
> Exactly.  That's why it's so weird that those people, today, think that
> CentOS Stream won't be usable, based on their interpretation of the
> official statements from Red Hat.  Red Hat's statements weren't taken
> into consideration before, but now they're a sign of doom?
> > If they ... even allowed ANYONE ELSE that was not employed by Red Hat in
> > 2014 to even come close to learning the secrets of rebuild, no backlash
> > would have happened
> I'm going to stop you there, because the CentOS maintainers kept that
> process out of public visibility long before Red Hat was ever involved.
> If you think users should know more about the process, then you are
> pointing fingers at the *wrong* people.
> I don't want this to become a flame war.  So rather than pointing
> fingers, let's focus on the fact that CentOS Stream promises to be
> developed in the open, resolving the problem that you're describing.
> Red Hat is fixing the thing you're complaining about.
> Red Hat is giving us the thing that has been requested more often, by
> more people, than any other change in CentOS, and the result is that the
> press is full of stories about users being angry, because five people on
> the mailing lists sent a lot of messages.  (About half of the traffic in
> the threads on centos and centos-devel comes from five people, and
> various people replying to them.)
As one of those "five people" I assure you, this is not just a few angry
voices. If you, or anyone at Red Hat believe this is the case, you are very
sadly mistaken.

Here is the problem: When IBM took over Red Hat, and hence CentOS, these
words were posted on the CentOS Blog:

"What does this mean for Red Hat’s contributions to the CentOS project?

In short, nothing.

Red Hat always has and will continue to be a champion for open source and
projects like CentOS. IBM is committed to Red Hat’s independence and role
in open source software communities so that we can continue this work
without interruption or changes.

Our mission, governance, and objectives remain the same. We will continue
to execute the existing project roadmap."

This was *last year*. (CF
https://blog.centos.org/2019/07/ibm-red-hat-and-centos/) Note the last
sentence. The roadmap then had CentOS 8 supported through May 2029.

The simple fact is Red Hat reneged on a promise that hordes of us believed
and made a lot of plans on. It is now going to be very expensive, and
stress inducing to have to completely rethink everything we have done, and
are doing.

You damn right we are angry.

And there's *a lot* more than five of us.

> > But no, as soon as Oracle started rebuilding RHEL source code Red Hat
> > first made things difficult for everyone to create kernels (source code
> > was not srpms anymore but tar?)
> You're misinformed.  Kernels are still built from SRPM, but the archive
> used is no longer an upstream release with a series of patches.
> The reason for the change is not insidious.  It's unfortunate that the
> pristine source + patches can't be maintained, I agree, but speaking as
> a developer: maintaining hundreds of patches that touch intersecting
> files and rebasing them all when earlier patches are updated is an
> incredibly difficult and time consuming task.  And, if I remember
> correctly, applying all of those patches took almost as long as building
> the kernel.  If it takes that long to just prepare the source code,
> that's a major hit to productivity when a developer needs to work on the
> code or build the SRPM to validate changes.
> And, ultimately, there's very little value in shipping those patches
> when the vast majority of them are already in the current version of the
> upstream kernel, and they're merely backported to the older release that
> Red Hat supports.  It's an entirely different story when distributions
> are shipping patches that they don't push upstream, but that's not
> generally what you see with the kernel package.
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*Matt Phelps*

*Information Technology Specialist, Systems Administrator*

(Computation Facility, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory)

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

60 Garden Street | MS 39 | Cambridge, MA 02138
email: mphelps at cfa.harvard.edu

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