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dag, axel some from from centos, let's please meet on LinuxTag



On Sat, 26 May 2007, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:

will leave EPEL if we don't get them. I'd even go a step further and say now that I'll leave EPEL if we don't find a peaceful way of co-existence with Dag and Axel and CentOS. Maybe we can even get back to the drawing boards and find a way to cooperate.

Please don't threaten so, and please don't leave. -- As I see it, you have finally stopped fighting with Dag and Axel, and are more clearly thinking about the real world support implications of some so-called 'political' infighting within EPEL and Fedora. I appreciate your work.

There is lots of history and and plenty of choices in all of our pasts -- some packagers have chosen to assent to the RHEL License, others have not or cannot; some have chosen to consent to the Fedora CLA, others have not, or cannot. Some have availablity, and spare time to 'pounce on email' to conduct 'conversations' in near real time, others do not. Some use IRC, some do not.

I suspect that an amicable 'federation' is about all that one can achieve; in light of the Epoch wars, the repotags battles, and the EPEL tone to date, things are not promising, and at the end of the day, in FOSS, one can choose to fork. Not all differences among branches of a fork can be merged.

My antecedents are readily knowable: I have been an independent packager since before there was a fedora.us; I co-founded cAos, and when the CentOS sub-project needed to seperate to address a certain trade mark threat and so forth, I was there. I publish GPLd code, and when GPL v 3 issues, we (my coding partner and I) have already concluded we will re-license and advertise our support for it at once.

Spot and I have been in the versioning wars a long time; I strongly disagree with his current conclusions on repotags; some strongly disagreed with Red Hat on gcc-2.96 - - I find this in my archive from spot dated 06 Feb 2003; I heartily agreed with RH then, and in his build in Aurora and sparc space.

Because it isn't Perl 5.6.1sparc, its Perl 5.6.1. You're opening a big old can of worms when you start modifing someone else's release number (*cough*2.96RH*cough*).

I _think_ he meant Version as there was no intervening dash. The fight moves from Version to Release, for repotag to live at at the RHS of, (some time ago I discussed the matter in private IRC directly with him, and we simply disagree) and as a matter to appear in the 'as built' external binary RPM name, or even in a NEVR to disambiguate, I _like_ repotags. But I cannot sign the CLA, and so cannot vote on the matter. Yes, I know, and concur that rpm -qi can do so, and so can signing keys (congratualtions, Panu on your new position) and more -- but in doing real world support, NEVR is about all one gets, as I see and do it.

From the May 23 IRC transcript meeting -- I have done minor
snips from the IRC log, trying to get a thread which fairly presents what I see in reading the transcript which crossed this list. I _like_ spot [he has a standing dinner invitation whenever he is in my city], and I am a Red Hat shareholder, and I strongly respect the FSF Four Freedoms. These three cannot be reconciled to profit AND freedom maximize -- I live with the ambiguity.

00:34 <         f13> | I'm just failing to see the value in "working
with" a set of repos that we can't mention, we can't guide users to, we
can't preconfigure user's systems for, we can't expect users to
magically discover that there is another repo they have to manually add
to get access to potentially useful software, that we could just put in
repos that we _can_ guide users to.
00:35 <         f13> | unless "working with" involves helping htem get
all software that _can_ be published through EPEL into EPEL.

later

00:50 <         f13> | as that would essentially be giving away RHEL
binaries for free and silly RHEL management doens't like that idea one bit.
00:51              * | mmcgrath notes we should have just used the
centos binaries...
00:51 < f13> | nor do they like the alternative of using CentOS binaries.

later

00:51 <    mmcgrath> | f13: Do 'they' like epel at all?
00:51 <    mmcgrath> | :)
00:51 <         f13> | mmcgrath: oh sure!  they LOVE epel....
00:52 <     mbonnet> | mmcgrath: "They" are all for EPEL
00:52 <         f13> | (it gives them a place to say "no, we don't want
to accept this new package in RHEL, go play in EPEL"

later

00:53 <      smooge> | well your build options look to be : RHEL but
locked down and hidden, CentOS but not admitting it, or SciLinux but not
admitting it
00:54 <     stahnma> | OH, there's unbreakable linux too

I think the main problem which EPEL has not faced, is that RHEL management (and control decisions in Fedora with the demise of the independent Fedora Community Foundation commitment ["one cannot serve two masters"]) are reportable to Red Hat management ("RHT"), and at the end of the day, I expect (wearing my shareholder's hat) RHT (its stock ticker symbol) to properly manage its assets, its brands, and its property to maximize shareholder value. The success in recruiting legions of Fedora folk says they are doing well; that I personally choose not to accept the License offered does not diminish my respect for their management of RHEL and Fedora.

EPEL is another (non-Fedora) part of RHT's 'One Ring to Rule Them All', to my way of thinking -- A buildsystem building with restricted availability binaries, and a CLA are not for me, but may be for others. Until its buildsystem can be reconstructed using binaries from freely rebuildable sources, and until some FUD ceases, EPEL is not for me.

I veered away (forked, if one prefers) a long time ago, to the initial fedora.us, then cAos, and am perfectly happy with it and CentOS. I still file bugs on the Red Hat Bugzilla as no CLA applies. I filed one earlier today, pro Freedom.

Get over it, and move on. Diversity in packaging and buildsystems implementations may save us rather than cripple us.

So, as I said, I'm quite unhappy with the current EPEL state -- just as Dag, Axel and some others are.

I choose not to be unhappy as I consider it a fool's errand to seek some 'Grand Unification', and do not make myself unhappy wishing for things which cannot occur.

For me, CentOS and my SRPM archive (for missing elements which customers have been provided) yields access to stability consistent with my views on the Four Freedoms -- I do not see that adding a EPEL binary archive can ever reduce risk in a production environment at my clients; cAos adds the latest and greatest for me if I wish to walk on the wild side -- Fedora has a CLA entry barrier.

I'd really like to find a way out of this mess.

I wish you luck, but ...

afaics to a big part evolved because mail communication sucks.

No -- email as practiced without proper trimming, and with snap responses without thought, rather than considered comment and responses sucks.

IRC is even trickier, and I still get it wrong from time to time in #centos on freenode and the adjunct channels through the day. Come lurk for a week, and get the flavor of the participants.

When Max showed up one day in #centos, I recognized him, and took him off for a nice pre-FOSDEM IRC meeting with the important CentOS developers who happened to be around [we are still waiting for some replies on matters discussed]; This is nothing new as I know most of the players from years in RPM, F, and RHEL space and can 'greet them' at the door. dgilmore was at ClueCon at my invitation last year as I presented on CentOS, CACert and telephony matters. Earlier in the year, I sought out and spoke with warren at SCALE. In between, I met up with seth in real life at OLS. One can only do so many conventions. ;)

CentOS folks are not hard to find. Others from @redhat, and in Fedoraspace lurk there as well, and I suspect it is because of the S/N quality of the channel. CentOS folk are not hard to find, but is likely that out of courtesy to others there, discussions may move to a side channel.

A real life meeting maybe could get this mess solved. I'd actually would like to have someone around that could speak for CentOS, too.

I believe Lance has stated his intention to be at the event, and Lance is thoughtful in expression, knows the issues, and listens well, and will no doubt discuss what he hears back to the other core CentOS developers; I trust Dag and Axel's instincts as well, and imagine they will discuss what they heard being said. I too 'listen', to this list, to IRC, to promises made and actions taken.

One parting thing to consider -- I think of what are referred to as 'third-party' packagers and archives, as instead 'Independent' packagers and archives

-- Russ Herrold
	herrold centos org
	herrold owlriver com


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