[Proposal] Ring-based Packaging Policies

Matthew Miller mattdm at fedoraproject.org
Wed Feb 18 16:28:39 UTC 2015

On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 06:13:23PM +0100, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> >Core vs. Extras.) But no one is proposing a _society_-based distinction
> >— instead, a _technical_ one.
> I know and understand this, but I expect the outcome to be the same:
> Ring 0 == Red Hat
> Ring 1 == The Red Hat business/RHEL-irrelevant parts
> In other words, on the techicall level I do not see any difference
> to CentOS+RHEL and to Core+Extras
> On the political and social level, .... it raises questions going
> far beyond these consideration

Ralf, thanks for articulating this concern. You're seeing this from
a different perspective than I am, and that's very valuable. I
don't expect that outcome, for several reasons.

First, the plan is for Ring 0 to be much, much smaller than current
RHEL. As I understand it, that aligns with the direction Red Hat
would like to go as well (because it fits with the general sweep of
the operating system landscape), but independent from that that,
the benefits are clear for Fedora on our own. (Better change
management, focal point for QA, a place to work on integration
improvements without requiring overwhelming thousand-package
alterations, easier bootstrap of new architectures or sub-projects,
etc.) But, a tiny Ring 0 is too small to be practically useful to
most actual end users — Fedora users, but also RHEL customers. So,
just as Fedora's interests in quality, integration, usability, and
so on extend beyond that first ring, so do Red Hat's.

In fact, second, Red Hat is much bigger than RHEL, and Red Hat has
significant business interests based on not just Rings 0 and 1, but
also what I called Ring 2 (environments and stacks) and Ring 3,
applications. So, if the concern is that RH is planning to abandon
investment in everything in Fedora except the minimal part, I
wouldn't worry. In fact, one explicit hope I have here is that we
can do this in a way that attracts engagement in Fedora from parts
of Red Hat that have traditionally had difficulties, including the
middleware/WildFly world, OpenShift, and (not to detract from the
degree that it does work and the effort people have put in)

I think, though, I hear at least a suggestion of an opposite
concern: that Red Hat will end up the sole owner of Ring 0. So,
third (and I'm going to go ahead and say most importantly), that is
an explicit non-goal. That's true from a Fedora-plan point of view,
and also, for the record, I hear no one inside Red Hat agitating
for anything otherwise. The benefits of keeping Fedora
community-based at all levels are clear and understood. Technical
oversight and decision-making will still come from FESCo, and the
Base Working Group as a FESCo sub-committee. Ownership of packages
in Ring 0 (or any ring) will continue to be agnostic of employer,
and official Change proposals evaluated by community leadership on
their own merits.

So, while there may be superficial similarity, it's quite a
different plan, and I don't worry that the outcome will be what
you're afraid of.

Matthew Miller
<mattdm at fedoraproject.org>
Fedora Project Leader

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