On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 08:44:39AM -0400, Josh Boyer wrote:
Hello Fedora Community!
I am a long-time Fedora Community member, and may be familiar to many
through previous FESCo or devel list discussions and passionate
debates. However I write to you today with a different community hat
on, as a lead Architect for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The RHEL
organization has been following the modularity discussions within
Fedora, particularly around ELN, and often the question of what plans
we have for modularity in RHEL 9 has come up. Our Fedora Project Lead
and a number of FESCo members have reached out and asked if we can
provide some perspective here, and I am both happy and excited to have
As the Fedora Council has pointed out , we certainly acknowledge
there are improvements to be made and have a team already working on
them. They recently outlined their plans in conjunction with our
Product Management team in a Fedora Council call as well . We’re
continuing to invest time and effort in this packaging solution and
are confident that the team can deliver against their plan. It is
somewhat of a new experience for all of us when Red Hat is direct with
our product intentions, but we discussed the larger gaps we see with
usage in RHEL and are putting our efforts towards solving those gaps
with this plan.
Modularity is important to RHEL and those efforts are already
underway. We will be leveraging modularity in RHEL 9 where it most
makes sense. This is primarily centered around our Application
Streams concept, which has been well received by our customer base.
Providing a consistent but improved experience is the base
requirement, which allows us to have continuity from RHEL 8 to RHEL 9
and lowers the hurdle for our customers when upgrading from one major
version to another.
It is always good to push the boundaries and search for better ideas
and improvements, and that is part of what makes Fedora great. We are
doing this in the context of the RHEL 9 release as well, so our near
term timeline and requirements mean we are working on evolving
modularity, not a revolution or a replacement. We are excited by ELN,
as it presents a possible space to allow those that want to continue
to iterate on modules a place to do so without necessarily impacting
the broader Fedora distribution in its entirety. It is my personal
hope that we can use that opportunity to improve modules and
modularity in the open source, Fedora-first way we’d prefer. Our near
term effort to improve the existing modularity implementation ahead of
RHEL 9 needs to occur, and we’d like to do that work in Fedora, rather
than in closed product development. Longer term, we are open to
contributing to a better replacement that meets many of the same
goals. This is what makes our distribution ecosystem work well, and
not having that upstream lessens the value we all get from such
experimentation in the open.
Hopefully that provides some context and helps FESCo and the wider
community understand where Red Hat is headed with modularity on the
Around the idea and concept of modularity... what are the benefits to Fedora,
Fedora developers, and Fedora contributors? Through the various discussions
on modularity, nothing solid in this regard has been presented. If I am
Fedora contributor now, what can modularity do for me?
Most of the remainder of this thread talks about the problems with the
implementation as it exists today and problems with other known options.
Putting that aside for now, why should Fedora contributors care about
Put another way, what does the developer experience look like for modularity?
David Cantrell <dcantrell(a)redhat.com>
Red Hat, Inc. | Boston, MA | EST5EDT