[CentOS] Centos versions in the future?

Fri Apr 30 19:02:32 UTC 2021
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On 4/30/21 12:53 PM, Gordon Messmer wrote:
> On 4/30/21 6:19 AM, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>> Why do, you, people use “creative editing”? Cite the whole piece I 
>> said, and place your question there, don’t tear single phrase out of 
>> context.
> It's not "creative editing", it's quote trimming in a forum which 
> provides threaded discussions.  It's the recommended etiquette for this 
> forum, and has been for decades.  Context can be readily provided from 
> the parent message which is available to everyone who received my 
> reply.  But if it makes you happy, I'll expand the quote and ask the 
> question again:
> On 4/29/21 8:51 AM, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>> A. "I am going to install CentOS which is binary replica of RedHat 
>> Enterprise", so whatever works on RedHat Enterprise will work on 
>> CentOS [implying my reputation behind merely an ability to install 
>> binary packages and common sense of what binary files are there on 
>> both systems in questions]
>> B. There is CentOS which is promised (I am borrowing your phrasing 
>> here) "WILL BE extreamly similar to RHEL + a couple months"
>> but in the second  case I can not put my reputation at stake and 
>> finish my phrase with "whatever works on RedHat Enterprise will work 
>> on CentOS". 
> Why do you think that?  Are RHEL (and CentOS) point releases backward 
> compatible or not?  If you trust point releases to work, why would you 
> hesitate to trust a distribution that resembles an upcoming point release?

As you can see in all what I said above, I'm "selling" to my user one or 
another distribution. Meaning I offer them particular distribution, and 
tell them what to expect. With old CentOS, i.e. in case A, "binary 
replica" tells even non-technical users, all will work as on famous 
expensive product, including stability...

Now case B, namely "stream" incarnation of CentOS, I can not promise the 
same simply put expectation in my user's minds.

Do I trust that I will be able to install all they need in Stream? - 

Can I promise all will work during [even shorter] life cycle of stream 
without "glitches"? - With all honesty, no. And I will not jeopardize my 
reputation in front of my users by not mentioning "expect glitches". 
Pardon my non-technical language which I prefer to use with my users.

As others said, this architecture of this new "stream" composition, - 
let me say theoretically as I don't want to go into details of how 
extremely well you do your technical part, which I am in no position to 
question - theoretically one can imagine problems happen time to time 
which one will not encounter using "binary replica" of RedHat Enterprise.

In other words, when talking to me, please, consider me a layman, who 
can understand simple logic, and rely on reputation earned by 
distribution during it long existence. So for me in my layman suite:

1. RedHat, including Enterprise: yes, by all means

2. "binary replica of RedHat Enterprise" CentOS which existed for over a 
couple of decades as such, - yes by all means

3. other binary replicas I didn't observe carefully long enough, so can 
not offer any judgement. Except for Scientific Linux which by several 
reasons I turned down as something one can built future based on, and it 
didn't last long, so I thanked myself for staying away from it...

4. CentOS "stream", sorry this modus operandi does not exists long 
enough to earn "long standing brilliant reputation" of [and put here 
what you faithfully are saying about Stream] - not in my book though, 
and not that I with all faith in it can say to anyone whom I will be 
installing system on their machine.

Which all leaves me with option:

5. I know this [Debian, FreeBSD, or place there whichever distribution 
_you_ know long history of] system is a "rolling release", so what is 
installed may change version (and some software internals!) time to time 
during the life of the system, and things may break occasionally because 
of that. But this distro exists since forever and I can promise I will 
be there to see things are fixed when necessary. And this way of 
maintaining things exists for long time, and many people live with its 
negative sides, so we will be in a big good company of others like us.

I probably can faithfully say the same as 5 about CentOS Stream, though 
I should strike "long existence" thus you [addressing my user here] will 
not see statistics over past life. But then, I have less to offer as 
expectation compared to other alternative systems.

And as someone mentioned at the beginning of this whole thing that shook 
our - CentOS users' worls -: the reputation lies on long positive 
performance. And changing suddenly something just negates all past great 
reputation. Even worse: now people [take that as all crowd of layman 
ones] know something can be changed on whim, and it will take a decade 
to regain the reputation.

This skews grossly out of subject, and I am reluctant to move up my 
writing and find the place where to put my "rant begins" tag, so I'll 
just continue as is. If the reputation that "this existed since forever" 
and it will not change (not on my watch as some will say) mattered for 
decision makers, then things could be done differently:

the "precursor" distribution of RedHat E... is necessary; Well, let's 
set up new project that is being such. Its operational principles are 
different from those of CentOS (as in "binary replica..."), so the name 
should be absolutely different, no hint about "CentOS".

CentOS (as on "binary replica..."), either stays alive, or dies 
depending of variety of factors.

And having all done this way would prevent anyone from having even a 
shadow of suspicion that new project (which CentOS Stream is) is 
attempting to take advantage by using ling lasting reputation of old 
project (CentOS as on "binary replica...").

And this exactly is a psychology new CentOS team sees from many directions.

My apologies for expressing humble view that may not chime with feelings 
of people, especially hard working CentOS team.


> (And if you don't trust point releases, why would you use the OS at all?)
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247