[users] [OT] Analogies to "governance, " not so much "manufacturer" -- WAS: EPEL

Dag Wieers dag at wieers.com
Mon Jun 27 14:27:35 CEST 2011

On Sun, 26 Jun 2011, Bryan J Smith wrote:

> From: Yury V. Zaytsev <yury at shurup.com>
>> This question is in a very same vein as asking why would we have 5 major
>> car platform manufacturers producing mutually incompatible products,
>> which results in the duplication of the engineering efforts instead of
>> having one worldwide meta-manufacturer, that would produce the most
>> advanced car platforms in a truly efficient way.
>> Do you have an answer for that already?
> So does one just accept the Fedora Guidelines, Maintainer and Project governance
> as "The" standard?  That would certainly solve the problem, correct?  How many
> here would agree to that?  ;)

Let me state again that when the Fedora project started off, RPMforge (or 
rather my repository) already existed. I was very interested to join the 
Fedora project on the premise that they would be doing RHEL packages as 
well. Matthias (also part of the RPMforge project) did join the Fedora 
project because he was mostly interested in Fedora packages anyway.

So there were a few problems that made us decide not to join the Fedora 
project at that time:

  - They were not interested in RHEL packages

  - They were not interested in using macros to simplify supporting
    multiple distributions

  - They were not interested in using the %dist macro

You can find the heated discussions in a Fedora archive somewhere. The 
reasoning was that they only had to provide packages for the latest Fedora 
and any backward-compatibility would be more easily handled by forking 
SPEC files.

While obviously we were looking at keeping packages updated for 3 to 4 
distributions (RHEL2, RHEL3, RHEL4 and RHEL5) over a 7 year time-span. So 
forking meant in the worst case making the same update to 4 SPEC files.

If you look at today:

  - Fedora is doing RHEL packages

  - Fedora is using macros to simplify maintaining packages

  - Fedora has started using %dist macro in an incompatible way, so we
    introduced the %dtag macro for our specific use-case

So I think it is a shame that the few voices from RPMforge got lost in the 
very heated discussions of the crowd and at a certain point I simply quit 
the list because you simply cannot argue a crowd that is unable to look at 
things from a different perspective.

Sadly, the above led to the differences and incompatibilities we have 
today. And I feel that there's nothing in my power that I could have done 
differently to avoid it. And I have been very angry when Fedora started 
doing EPEL and started introducing problems without tagging their packages 
so they were easily identifiable as being EPEL's.

That said, for a large part I agree with the Fedora packaging guidelines 
and Tom Callaway has been doing a great job at that. But the Fedora 
packaging guidelines are *not* the reason why there are incompatibilities.

-- dag wieers, dag at wieers.com, http://dag.wieers.com/
-- dagit linux solutions, info at dagit.net, http://dagit.net/

[Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]

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