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CentOS Administrator Reappears

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the bet-he-was-hiking-in-the-appalachian-trail dept.

Operating Systems 211

str8edge sends word that Lance Davis, the CentOS project administrator who had mysteriously gone absent, has now returned and is working with the development team to get things back on track. From their announcement: "The CentOS Development team had a routine meeting today with Lance Davis in attendance. During the meeting a majority of issues were resolved immediately and a working agreement was reached with deadlines for remaining unresolved issues. There should be no impact to any CentOS users going forward. The CentOS project is now in control of the CentOS.org and CentOS.info domains and owns all trademarks, materials, and artwork in the CentOS distributions. We look forward to working with Lance to quickly complete all the agreed upon issues. More information will follow soon."

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damn (0, Redundant)

ionix5891 (1228718) | about 5 years ago | (#28908913)

and i was about to fork CentOS into PennyOS

Re:damn (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 5 years ago | (#28909049)

You might have better luck with EurOS lately

Re:damn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909055)

What's the most confusing holiday in Harlem? Father's day!

Re:damn (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | about 5 years ago | (#28909209)

VamOS would be more appropriate!?

Appalachian Trail (5, Funny)

yoghurt (2090) | about 5 years ago | (#28908929)

Hiking that Appalachian trail can be tricky. I hear it goes all the way to Argentina.

Re:Appalachian Trail (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909231)

2. Kidnapped by space aliens; managed to escape when they neglected to secure the Dilithium Crystal Hatch.

3. My grandmother died. No, not the one that died six months ago, or the one that died a year before that; this was my *biological* grandmother.

4. Didn't realize the batteries on my beeper died.

5. Met an old classmate from Yale, who gave me GHB and tried to induct me into the Skulls organization. Managed to escape by commandeering a single shell and out-rowing their eight-man shell.

6. Just came back from the Tour de France; found it tough to compete when you refuse doping.

7. Dog ate the Post-It notes.

8. Just came back from central Africa, where I was building makeshift shelters and administering medical supplies in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. How was the last couple weeks for y'all?

Hate to break it to you... (1, Insightful)

andre_pl (1607319) | about 5 years ago | (#28909395)

.. but the Appalachain trail jokes arent funny. The first one wasn't even remotely funny, and the two dozen that followed it in the last post about this guy were annoyingly lame. This one is just way past the line. If I see the word Appalachian in this thread I'm going to stab my face with an icepick.

Re:Hate to break it to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909409)

.. but the Appalachain trail jokes arent funny. The first one wasn't even remotely funny, and the two dozen that followed it in the last post about this guy were annoyingly lame. This one is just way past the line. If I see the word Appalachian in this thread I'm going to stab my face with an icepick.

If you were on the Appalachian trail, wouldn't you be better off using a walking-stick?

Re:Hate to break it to you... (1, Funny)

JCCyC (179760) | about 5 years ago | (#28909975)

.. but the Appalachain trail jokes arent funny. The first one wasn't even remotely funny, and the two dozen that followed it in the last post about this guy were annoyingly lame.

It's only unfunny for Republicans. For sane people, it's still funny as fuck.

CentOS the FRESHMAKER !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28910463)

Machts es la fresh !!

More likely (5, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 5 years ago | (#28908979)

Lance realized this very public oops wasn't going to do anything for his future employment prospects. A shame it had to come to that, but sometimes you need to upgrade from a feather to a cattle prod to get results.

Re:More likely (-1, Flamebait)

yttrstein (891553) | about 5 years ago | (#28909035)

And CentOS relying on one person for as much as seemingly their very existence (by their own tone over this issue) has absolutely guaranteed that I will never use CentOS for anything important.

This entire thing should never have been news in the first place for two reasons:

1. If the health of the company and their product is absolutely dependent on the well being of Lance, then they should have done everything they could to keep this story quiet, as it is embarrassing.

2. A cranky engineer screwing off for a few days is common enough that it was a non-story to begin with.

Re:More likely (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909073)

Yep, you do have a point. I don't think I'll be using CentOS for anything mission critical going forward either.

Re:More likely (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909107)

Me neither! My mission critical servers are too important to trust to open source. I am switching everything to Windows.

Re:More likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909287)

I have only ever used CentOS for associated Dev/Test/QA of our production environment and other various machines needed to support the environment. CentOS never had a chance of making it into the actual mission critical environment. I love CentOS and if it were my decision and mine alone it might have, but RedHat has the backing of a large company with much money and time to support what they deliver. Management insists on paid support for the prod environment. Whether or not we have ever actually used support is not important. We/I have never calleed RedHat support for anything ever. I guess it is what allows them to sleep at night.

Re:More likely (2, Insightful)

PixelSmack (837457) | about 5 years ago | (#28909193)

I totally agree, unfortunately i administer a few centOS boxes at work. This will be bought up and i will argue for moving to a more open community distro which is a shame because i quite like centOS - however if it can not be relied upon like that it just looks bad.

Re:More likely (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909285)

You know, RedHat ES is only $349 a year. You could just migrate to RedHat ES and enjoy full support while still having the same features and environment as CentOS...

Re:More likely (1)

Bandman (86149) | about 5 years ago | (#28910289)

The problem of this is scale. Especially for a small company like mine, where we don't have the budget to put out an extra few thousand per server, especially now that virtualization is the new hotness.

I admin a network that is on the large side of small.....50-70 servers, both physical and virtual. That's going to be around $18k-$19k per year for the infrastructure. No way will that work with our budget. So we run CentOS, which is (supposedly) as stable as RHEL and has full binary compatibility with it. We just don't have support from Redhat, and apparently we're at the mercy of stuff like this happening.

Re:More likely (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 5 years ago | (#28910395)

Does RedHat really require a separate license for each VM?

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server licenses per CPU - with multi-core CPUs counting as a single processor. A three year multi-processor license is about $1000 so you're paying $333 per year per box, even if it's a quad CPU box with 16 cores running 20 individual VM hosts.

Re:More likely (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 5 years ago | (#28910539)

Does RedHat really require a separate license for each VM?

RHEL is supported for up to 4 VMs [redhat.com] and 2 sockets ('Benefits' tab at the bottom). RHELAP, on the other hand, has no such limitations [redhat.com] .

Re:More likely (3, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | about 5 years ago | (#28909413)

What's not to rely on? The distribution itself was never in danger. The only thing Lance controlled was the domain name, some IRC channels, and the PayPal account. Now Lance has handed those things over, and they'll move forward with a foundation to control the project.

Re:More likely (1)

ckaminski (82854) | about 5 years ago | (#28910807)

Didn't Linux go through this same thing way back in the day when Linus was the gatekeeper of all and sundry?

Re:More likely (1)

MsGeek (162936) | about 5 years ago | (#28910709)

Debian is your friend.

Re:More likely (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 5 years ago | (#28909197)


And CentOS relying on one person for as much as seemingly their very existence (by their own tone over this issue) has absolutely guaranteed that I will never use CentOS for anything important.

If by "CentOS" you're talking about the Centos.org domain and some IRC channels, you're right. If by "CentOS" you mean updating and developing the operating system, you're wrong. Any open source project is always about the developers behind it. There are many developers involved in this project, and the project itself isn't dependent any any one of them.

My guess is the thing you care about is the OS and not a domain name. Drawing conclusions from tone and not facts is just a bad practice in general.

Re:More likely (3, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | about 5 years ago | (#28909283)

Do you not think that the issues at the heart of your (very valid) concerns are now being addressed - albeit a little later than they should have been?

I think the situation with CentOS's command and control structure merits monitoring for a short while to see how things settle down.

FWIW I have around 10 servers running various versions of CentOS and am keeping an eye on developments.

Re:More likely (1)

Bandman (86149) | about 5 years ago | (#28910301)

I think you're probably right. The manner in which this was brought to light probably guarantees that CentOS won't have this problem again. But yes, I'll be watching too.

Re:More likely (0, Redundant)

noidentity (188756) | about 5 years ago | (#28909807)

So now that he's back, the development team has promptly ensured that he won't be a single point of failure in the future by giving other developers the same access as him, right? Right???

Re:More likely (5, Insightful)

sabernet (751826) | about 5 years ago | (#28909205)

"relying on one person for as much as seemingly their very existence"

Ssssh! Do you want to start a flamewar with the Apple fans too?

....sorry, had to :)

Re:More likely (4, Insightful)

operator_error (1363139) | about 5 years ago | (#28909217)

The philosophy that has been applied to Debian development has served it well over the years. Consider using either it, or a derivative like Ubuntu. Since I have chosen this path, I've had no regrets.

This is a complete debacle for CentOS.

Re:More likely (2, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 years ago | (#28909243)

And CentOS relying on one person for as much as seemingly their very existence (by their own tone over this issue) has absolutely guaranteed that I will never use CentOS for anything important. This entire thing should never have been news in the first place for two reasons: 1. If the health of the company and their product is absolutely dependent on the well being of Lance, then they should have done everything they could to keep this story quiet, as it is embarrassing. 2. A cranky engineer screwing off for a few days is common enough that it was a non-story to begin with.

Ok, I'm not real familiar with everything that is going on. However, it appears that this happened as a result of the rest of the CentOS development team pushing Lance to work with them in setting things up so that they weren't absolutely dependent on him. He appears to have been resisting this step.
Rather than saying, "Too bad, CentOS is my baby and I'm not giving up control" he appears to have said, "Yeah, you're right. We need to have backups and I'll get you an accounting of the money we've raised." Then he never took any of the steps that would have allowed that to actually happen. When the phone calls and emails from the rest of the development team got insistent, he just stopped answering the phone or his emails.

Re:More likely (4, Insightful)

Macka (9388) | about 5 years ago | (#28909347)

1. If the health of the company and their product is absolutely dependent on the well being of Lance, then they should have done everything they could to keep this story quiet, as it is embarrassing.

They did. Washing your dirty laundry in public is never pleasant, but in this case they needed to find a way to get Lance to engage and had run out of options. Shining a public spotlight on him seems to have done the trick, so it was the correct move.

2. A cranky engineer screwing off for a few days is common enough that it was a non-story to begin with

They've been trying to resolve this quietly for about a year and they were getting no where.

And CentOS relying on one person for as much as seemingly their very existence (by their own tone over this issue) has absolutely guaranteed that I will never use CentOS for anything important.

Hm, I smell the fresh scent of manure in the air. From your tone I'd bet that you never have used CentOS for anything important, or you wouldn't be so quick to give it up. Not that this is going to be an issue for much longer, which makes your objection pointless.

Re:More likely (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909459)

you should know that when /.'ers say things like "I'd never use that for anything important" they mean either they wouldn't install it on the slack box they have set up with 6 years uptime on it or they would never use it to find/download/store pr0n.

It's been my experience that most people who say things about not trusting this or that to mission critical production environments are not actually in any position to chose what happens in a production environment or are in fact not in need of any sort of production environment being as they don't actually *do* anything.

Re:More likely (0, Flamebait)

yttrstein (891553) | about 5 years ago | (#28909863)

Here's how you deal with the Lance situation, if what you're saying is true:

You fire him before his immaturity costs the company any money, which seems to in this case be about a year ago.

So you break open the servers and the code that runs them and its a pain in the ass. Keeping an immature brat on as the "main web guy" is insane, as there are so many very talented "main web guys" currently looking for work. Give the job to someone who appreciates it, and grow some balls.

Re:More likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28910203)

Stop overreacting, already. You sound like a typical juvenile who's response to any disruption in a business is "OMG!!1 Fire teh id10t!". Thankfully, the real world doesn't work like that, and canning otherwise useful people over non-catastrophic issues is counterproductive to your goals.

Re:More likely (0)

richlv (778496) | about 5 years ago | (#28910681)

are you trolling or just plain stupid ?
you have no idea about the basic facts regarding the thing you are commenting on.
i'd expect most slashdot readers to know what centos is, even if they haven't ever used it themselves (like me). i would expect the rest to go and quickly find out, especially before commenting.
hint - centos is an opensource project.

Re:More likely (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 years ago | (#28909379)

you're a little late. now the project domains, artwork, materials, trademarks are under control of project team (which were the people who's product you were using) and not Lance anymore. And by the way the issues were ongoing for *months* not weeks. So you weren't really paying attention anyway, and not until a slashdot news article did you even know what was going on. Your servers might be in danger, but not from Centos. More like your lax attitude.....

Re:More likely (1)

jjohnson (62583) | about 5 years ago | (#28909393)

Your loss.

First, the existence of the project was never in doubt, and it didn't all depend on Lance--he owned the domain and had access to the PayPal accounts. Important bits, but not at all project-threatening.

Second, CentOS isn't created by a company, it's created by a set of volunteers relying on donated hardware and time. If Lance was found in a ditch, they'd create a new domain name and a new PayPal account, and continue as before with no disruption to the distribution.

It's regrettable that they had to resort to public pressure to get Lance to hand over those parts for which he was solely in control, but they did it, and it worked, and they'll go forward with the foundation setup that works so well for a variety of other OSS projects.

Re:More likely (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | about 5 years ago | (#28909433)

1. If the health of the company and their product is absolutely dependent on the well being of Lance, then they should have done everything they could to keep this story quiet, as it is embarrassing.

Quality developers care more about the quality of their product than about a little bit of embarrassment. I would call this a mark in their favor - they care so much about CentOS that, if it's the only option remaining, they're willing to publicly drag themselves into the spotlight to solve a major problem.

On the other hand, if you'd rather give money to a classic not-our-fault everything-is-fine the-ship-is-not-sinking oh-btw-we're-bankrupt company, which would always choose the least embarrassing option even when it means the death of the company and all its products . . .

. . . well, then I suppose you'll get exactly what you hope for.

So much for openess. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#28909661)

1. If the health of the company and their product is absolutely dependent on the well being of Lance, then they should have done everything they could to keep this story quiet, as it is embarrassing.

Substitute OSX or Win 7.

Watch from some safe distance the purple-faced geek shifting into high gear, frothing at the mouth and about to burst an artery.

Note the double standard and profit from the experience.

And You Shouldn't (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909691)

If you have something that's actually important, you should be using Red Hat. You know, the people who actually made the distribution that CentOS is giving away for free.

Re:More likely (1)

Bandman (86149) | about 5 years ago | (#28910117)

As soon as I heard about the management practices at CentOS, I immediately began shopping around for another distro.

I've so far come to the conclusion that if I stick with RH based distros, I'll probably go with Scientific Linux, and if I make the break, it'll be Ubuntu Server.

Of course, CentOS can keep my loyalty by immediately implementing a large amount of transparency in their operations. I wish this had been brought to light much earlier, but hopefully it will the the catalyst that fixes things over there. I really don't want to have to redeploy 70 servers.

Re:More likely (5, Informative)

MoralHazard (447833) | about 5 years ago | (#28910175)

OK, how the hell did the parent poster get modded to +5, informative? He has the wrong facts on virtually EVERY important point. He could have read yesterday's Slashdot. article, or just Googled the damn story, but I guess he didn't have the time.

Let's correct his factual problems, shall we?

  1) The CENTOS organization is not a "company", nor is the distro a "product". It's an informally-organized open source project, and the Linux distro they produce isn't sold or supported for profit by the project, itself. (There are many other companies that do provide CENTOS support contracts, though, and some of the developers may own/work for some of those companies.)

  2) The health of the CENTOS distro and organization were never "absolutely dependent" on Lance Davis. He controlled the project's domain name registration, the Google AdWords account, and a few other important resources. But these were inconveniences, at worst: Had Lance not responded to the open letter, the rest of the developers would simply have registered a new domain name, set up new repos/wikis/blogs, and copied the project data over. Lance would have been forgotten as the speed bump that he was. (And if Lance breaks his promises AGAIN and fails meet the latest deadlines, this is what we'll see happen.)

  3) Lance Davis didn't "screw off for a few days"--over the course of a year, he repeatedly made and broke promises, and failed to either provide accounting for the project's finances or to turn the relevent logins over to other group members. Then, he just stopped returning phone calls and emails, and he quit attending real-life and IRC meetings. Meanwhile, the Google AdWords account was raking in a few thousand dollars per month, and to all outward appearances, it looked a lot like Lance was just taking it for himself.

THE REAL STORY:

The lack of a formal structure (a la nonprofit incorporation, like Fedora or Debian) seems to be CENTOS's biggest problem, and the community's perception of this dispute does cloud the project's future. But like any open-source project, it's impossible for one person to be anything more than an inconvenience.

  * The source code repos and packages are globally mirrored by dozens of independent organizations, and Lance Davis never had control over any of them.

  * Domain registration, hosting, and such are cheap--even if some of the AdWords money were misappropriated, the developers could still pass the hat and/or offload bandwidth to the mirror providers. Hell, they could always move to SourceForge for free, if they were really desperate.

  * As long as the CENTOS core community learns its lesson, here, they can recover and grow stronger than before. They need to incorporate as a not-for-profit foundation, establish a board of directors, executive roles, accounting practices, and all the other structural crap that goes with it. It's not a trivial amount of work (in the US, at least--I don't know about the UK), but this episode demonstrates why successful, influential, long-lived F/OSS groups like the GNU, Debian, etc. have all decided to go this route.

Finally, on a personal note, I would like to ask yttrstein why he feels compelled to burden the rest of us with his un-informed opinions on this topic. He could have easily researched the issue, in about 5 or 10 minutes, and perhaps contributed something worth reading.

If it bleeds it leads (Reisner has nada to fear) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28908983)

I make my living off the Evening News
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em all around

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
comes on at five
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam
in her eye
It's interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation?
Is the head dead yet?
You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
running bet
Get the widow on the set!
We need dirty laundry

You don't really need to find out what's going on
You don't really want to know just how far it's gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're stiff
Kick 'em all around

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody's pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do "The Innuendo"
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done we haven't told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry!

Did he... (5, Funny)

jsse (254124) | about 5 years ago | (#28908999)

reappear in front of the team one day, with bloodstain and mud all over his body, and yelled "I'm single, AGAIN!".

I wish... (1)

cardsinhand (1601329) | about 5 years ago | (#28909009)

I could just disappear for awhile and come back acting like nothing happened.

Wanted, Dead or Alive REWARD 100 CentOS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909041)

am an outlaw, I was born an outlaw's son
The highway is my legacy
On the highway I will run
In one hand I've a Bible
In the other I've got a gun
Well, don' you know me
I'm the man who won
Woman don't try to love me
Don't try to understand
A life upon the road is the life of an outlaw man

First left my woman, it was down in Santa Fe
Headed for Oklahoma, I was ridin' night and day
All of my friends are strangers,
They quickly come and go

And all my love's in danger,
Cause I steal hearts and souls
Woman, don't try to love me
Don't try to understand A life upon the road is the life of an outlaw man
oo....

Woman, don't try to love me
Don't try to understand
A life upon the road is the life of an outlaw man

Some men call me Abel,
Some men call me Cain,
Some men call me sinner, Lord
Some men call me saint

Some say there's a Jesus
Some men say there ain't
When you got no life to lose
Then there's nothin' left to gain
Outlaw man
Outlaw man

I'm really glad to hear this! (-1, Offtopic)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | about 5 years ago | (#28909053)

As a long-time CentOS user, I'm really glad to hear this. I've been a bit worried about CentOS (indeed, I recently muttered darkly about maybe moving to Scientific Linux [slashdot.org] ), but it looks like CentOS is working on decentralizing their leadership so we don't get issues like this and the delayed 5.3 release because a key member was getting married.

If people are having problems with yum update, this should fix the issue I saw the other day: yum clean metadata

I would like to use 64-bit CentOS 5 as the primary OS on my 1997 Dell 1420 laptop, but there are a couple of hardware compatibility issues:

  • The Alps touchpad driver included with X doesn't support the particular touchpad the 1420 has. This is an issue fixed in newer versions of X, but I'm wondering if anyone has backported the newer Alps touchpad driver to work with CentOS's version of X
  • I haven't found a driver for the Intel 3945ABG wireless card I'm happy with; one driver had an issue with crashing unless I pinged the router every second, and I haven't been able to get a newer driver to work

Not a big deal; right now I'm using 32-bit Windows XP Home edition as my primary OS and 32-bit CentOS 5 is in a virtual machine for Linux open-source software development (My DNS server [maradns.org] ).

Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909111)

The main problem with using Centos 64 bit on that laptop, is that it doesn't have a 64 bit processor, what with being 12 years old and all.

Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (1)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | about 5 years ago | (#28909131)

Sorry, I meant to say "2007".

Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (1)

Macka (9388) | about 5 years ago | (#28909431)

While you can run CentOS on a laptop why would you want to? There are other Linux distributions out there (Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, etc) that are designed to provide a better desktop/laptop experience using more up to date software. CentOS = Redhat commercial, and is really built to get the most out of server systems.

Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909655)

I have to say that you are talking a load of rubbish.
The suitability of CentOS vs lets say Ubuntu on the Desktop is more to do with what sort if things the user wants to do with the Laptop.
I run CentOS on a Dell 8600 (6+ years old) as I do development for Websphere & DB2. I can take my who dev environment with me when I visit customers who just happen (in the majority anyways) run RHEL on their servers where my software is targetted.
Which is more suitable, Ubuntu or CentOS?

On the otherhand, if I were just using it as a general purpose machine then the choice would be closer. Just what USP is there in Ubuntu that I need for browsing & email that running the same apps (Firefox & Thunderbird) can't give me?
I also use Windows Server 2003 on an IBM T43p. Everything runs fine and I have an OS with all the crud removed. What is wrong with running a Server biased O/S as a desktop? Not a lot really

Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (2, Insightful)

farrellj (563) | about 5 years ago | (#28909789)

Because if you are supporting CentOS systems in the field, it is easier to do so with a system that is running the same OS, as it, at very least, provides a system you can experiment with. It also means you will have the roughly same software load, and you won't be used to running apps that are not on the server. As well, replicating your server on your laptop also means having a system you can replicate a problem with, even if you are travelling. Of course, now that a 4 Gig laptop is possible, you could be running that replica system in a Virtual machine...I've been running Slackware 64 on my Laptop, and it is running very nicely. My main server also runs Slackware, but 32 bit, and has been running for a few years, with a few updates...it also has an AMD64, so I may move to that as it's next update.

ttyl
          Farrell

Four weddings and a funeral (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#28909809)

it looks like CentOS is working on decentralizing their leadership so we don't get issues like this and the delayed 5.3 release because a key member was getting married.

I am not convinced that decentralized leadership is leadership.

You need someone strong enough and knowledgeable enough to hold all the pieces together no matter what. You need a clear line of succession.

Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (0, Flamebait)

nawcom (941663) | about 5 years ago | (#28910605)

None of these issues involve CentOS themselves. iwl3945 in the linux kernel supports every aspect of the 3945abg - from monitor support to the little slashy lights laptops have under the display that shows wireless activity. Alps is also fully supported in X11, configure xorg.conf for it.

Not a big deal; right now I'm using 32-bit Windows XP Home edition as my primary OS and 32-bit CentOS 5 is in a virtual machine for Linux open-source software development

You're hardly a software developer - you aren't willing to find solutions yourself - you expect some distro with a dickhead of an admin to make it so it magically works. Seriously, these issues you list don't exist and don't depend on the distro at all. You're a developer - compile your own kernel.

but I'm wondering if anyone has backported the newer Alps touchpad driver to work with CentOS's version of X

The source code is free. CentOS doesn't use an ancient version, so compile it. git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/git/xorg/driver/xf86-input-synaptics/. That's what synaptics and alps use. Backported? wtf? CentOS uses X.org code so I'm a little lost on what the hell you mean.

Anyways, my point of this response is that your issues are bullshit if you are going to wear a developer's mask.

Just another day at the office? (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 5 years ago | (#28909057)

If this is what constitutes a "routine meeting" for them, I'd shudder to think what an extraordinary meeting would be like.

Re:Just another day at the office? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 5 years ago | (#28910565)

My guess is the CentOS-folk have routine meetings, but he is usually not present, now he was.

Two weeks (2, Insightful)

MaizeMan (1076255) | about 5 years ago | (#28909061)

He'd been invisible for more than two weeks. Once you're in a position of responsibility like that the longest you can disappear without making prior plans is maybe a long weekend. Which sucks because sometimes you're going to want to crawl into a hole and ignore what has gone wrong with the world but you don't have that freedom when people are counting on you.

Re:Two weeks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909139)

Two weeks is also the time it takes for the CIA to fully grow a clone, according to some conspiracy theorists.

Re:Two weeks (2, Funny)

GaryOlson (737642) | about 5 years ago | (#28910519)

I don't think the CentOS revenue sources or computing facilities are significant enough to finance a small CIA democracy promotional action.

Re:Two weeks (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 5 years ago | (#28910581)

Two weeks is also the time it takes for the CIA to fully grow a clone.

Ridiculous. A long lunch is plenty of time.

Re:Two weeks (2, Informative)

Macka (9388) | about 5 years ago | (#28909503)

No. According to the Open Letter from Ralph Angenendt that kick started all this Lance dropped off the CentOS radar sometime in 2008.

Re:Two weeks (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | about 5 years ago | (#28909837)

Unless you are hiking the Appalachians!

Re:Two weeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28910183)

Freedom from responsibility. It is the sweetest of freedoms. Cherish it if you have it.

Re:Two weeks (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 5 years ago | (#28910199)

Anyone that CARES about their role can take any time off they need/want. Just LET EVERYONE ELSE KNOW that you are going on vacation or sabbatical or whatever and when you are expected back. Communication is the key. Just "disappearing" without telling people is not suitable behavior for anyone- a parent, a friend, a SO, an employer, an employee, a government official, even a volunteer. It is just plain rude, immature, and inconsiderate.

I needed something to cheer me up (3, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | about 5 years ago | (#28909075)

Good news.

Here I am in my sickbed writing rsync scripts for cross-site backups between CentOS-based servers, and seeing the headline made me smile, in-between fits of coughing.

If by some amazing chance Karanbir Singh see this - I promise to rack up the dual Itanium server for IA64 testing and dev as soon as I get back to work and clean up a few other outstanding issues.

Re:I needed something to cheer me up (2, Informative)

kbsingh (138659) | about 5 years ago | (#28909189)

Hey,

Awrite then, let me know when that IA64 machine comes online :D)

and hope coughing isnt too manic.

Re:I needed something to cheer me up (2, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | about 5 years ago | (#28909309)

Ha - thanks for that. I'll live!!

Signed off at the moment so lots of time to 'do stuff' at home.

Two other 'urgent' projects crashed my plans for the Dell server but I'll let you know when I get back on track.

Glad to see things seem to be moving in the right direction for you and the rest of the core team.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28910057)

Finally, someone found a use for the new Slashdot comment system: a replacement for Basecamp! Shall I assign this 'Disappear from world for a year while running 'round Manchester with a shotgun killing zombies' to-do to kbsingh?

writing rsync scripts for cross-site backups between CentOS-based servers

Should've used Debian. As Eddie Izzard says 'Debian or death'. ;)

Re:I needed something to cheer me up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909851)

You mean CentOS IA64 is back under development?? Wow! Fedora 8 was getting painful.

Ran out of money already? CentOS, natch !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909077)

This here's a story about Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue
Two young lovers with nothin' better to do
Than sit around the house, get high, and watch the tube
And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose

They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That's where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run

Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run

Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He ain't gonna let those two escape justice
He makes his livin' off of the people's taxes

Bobbie Sue, whoa, whoa, she slipped away
Billy Joe caught up to her the very next day
They got the money, hey
You know they got away
They headed down south and they're still running today
Singin' go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run
Go on take the money and run

Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (3, Interesting)

rikrebel (132912) | about 5 years ago | (#28909201)

This whole story is unnerving.

CentOS is widely used in datacenters due to it's red-hattyness, it's Long Term Support, and conservative adoption of whizbang.

It's by far my favorite distrobution for important servers.

I have already had two meetings over this and had my team start their proposals for alternate LTS distros and a migration plan. I am sure I am not the only one.

If the CentOS project manages to remove this single point of failure I think confidence will return. But I think I'll keep my projects going for a while just in case.

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909281)

alternate LTS distros

Ubuntu. It's not going anywhere.

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909343)

Until Spaceman's money runs out or he decides to stop investing in it.

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | about 5 years ago | (#28910559)

Yep, Ubuntu's single point of failure just like CentOS was.

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (4, Informative)

jjohnson (62583) | about 5 years ago | (#28909299)

Isn't that just what this article is about? Lance Davis is AWOL for almost a year, the rest of the project publishes an open letter, Davis shows up and hands over the keys. What more resolution is needed?

In a way, this gives me some more confidence in CentOS, insofar as the rest of the admins were willing to "break glass in case of emergency" and deal with Davis' erratic leadership. They spent a long time trying to deal with it quietly and internally, but when it came down to it, they basically removed him the way all OSS projects end up doing it, with public pressure.

In case of fire, break glass (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#28909959)

Lance Davis is AWOL for almost a year

You punch up 911 when you first smell the smoke - not when your house has burnt down to ashes.

In a way, this gives me some more confidence in CentOS, insofar as the rest of the admins were willing to "break glass in case of emergency" and deal with Davis' erratic leadership

Confidence? Confidence?

To me this story reads more like a Chinese Fire Drill [wikipedia.org]

Re:In case of fire, break glass (1)

jjohnson (62583) | about 5 years ago | (#28910101)

For all the handwringing here, it's worth remembering that this was a pretty small issue. Davis controls the domain, the IRC channels, and the PayPal account. Nothing about continuing to release the distribution was ever threatened by his absence. It's ultimately small potatoes. The house hasn't burnt down, and there wasn't smoke in the first place. They got 5.3 out the door with no help from Lance at all. This is about administrative issues.

Confidence? Confidence?

Sure. They had a problem with one of the team members. Over time they tried to resolve the problem in various ways, ultimately escalating it to a public confrontation that successfully resolved the issue. That means 1) there are guys on the project who care about it enough to bother, 2) they weren't afraid of taking some hard steps to solve the problem. Ultimately, CentOS will be improved by moving to foundation management rather than key person model.

Imagine instead if Lance's absence made the key maintainers drift away to other projects where they didn't have to deal with him. CentOS dies a slow death for lack of updates, like so many other OSS projects.

Every mature OSS project moves beyond the key figures that launched it, and becomes its own organizational entity. We just saw CentOS take that important step forward. Good on them.

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (1)

slyborg (524607) | about 5 years ago | (#28909637)

You know, the credibility of all the handwringing about people using CentOS in mission critical deployments all upset about the maintainer gone missing is kind of undermined by the fact that it's, you know, free stuff that some guys put out there, and that, you know, you don't want to pay for so WHY IS IT ON AN IMPORTANT SERVER??

So maybe this CentOS dust-up is a good thing to make people wake up and realize that perhaps they really should be on Red Hat Enterprise, which has commercial support and is developed by a real company. This whole thing is more or less an ad for Red Hat and completely validates their business model. If I were an CIO, I would also be wandering down into the dungeon to ask the moles down there just how many CentOS/Fedora/etc. servers are running, and just what is on them....

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (1)

rikrebel (132912) | about 5 years ago | (#28909831)

PFFT!

It's about money. No budget for Redhat.

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (0, Flamebait)

arcade (16638) | about 5 years ago | (#28910625)

Grow a pair of balls.

Seriously.

They did what they had to do, to get control over some important aspects of the project - while all the main developers were still behind it.

If you had bothered to spend about one minute researching the topics before you had meetings with "your team", you would have discovered that the developers openly said that everything would continue as before. Worst case scenario: They would've have to move the domain-name and get new IRC channels, plus they would have lost some donations.

That you overreacted like some crazy clown .. well, that's entirely your fault, and nobody elses.

Re:Great way to piss off LTS userbase. (1)

rikrebel (132912) | about 5 years ago | (#28910725)

I am responsible for an extremely sensitive real time transaction system.

My company operates in a bit of a panic mode due to the nature of the revenue flow. We ma*e contingency plans for even tiny things. The CEO is absolutely brutal over any thing that smells li*e ris*.

What really burns is the lac* of a decent budget.

It's called being prudent. And you can *iss my hairy balls.

* my "cay" *ey just bro*e. Cats + water glass with straw on des* = straw-now-cat-toy and wet *eyboard.

They better watch out (1)

asherlev (2499) | about 5 years ago | (#28909267)

He could have been replaced with a robot completely powered by C#, just like they did with Reagan in '81.

Re:They better watch out (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 5 years ago | (#28909337)

That's absurd, C# wasn't released until 2000.

Everyone knows the Reagan-bot's software was written in Lisp.

Re:They better watch out (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 years ago | (#28909397)

that's silly, Reagan *always* was a robot, that's how he took the bullets and bounced back. But he was programmed in COBOL with a VSAM back-end.

Re:They better watch out (1)

yossarianuk (1402187) | about 5 years ago | (#28910419)

Well it seems that the Robot suffered from a memory leak...

CentOS, FOSS, and leadership problems. (3, Insightful)

cenc (1310167) | about 5 years ago | (#28909315)

Everyone will jump on this as proof that open source projects can not be trusted or relied on. Now, that may or may not be true. This instance really is not a poster child for problems with FOSS projects. We are talking about a project based on repackaging and rebranding a commercial distro. The heavy lifting is done by RH and other projects.

This should be food for thought however about other projects, which there are many many instances of FOSS project management issues leaving users high and dry because of political issues.

We really need some better organizational standards for FOSS project management, not just high quality code. Remember the segment of society we are talking about. They might be great at programing or whatever, but they rarely have the leadership and organization skills to handle a project once it reaches a critical mass of popularity or use.

One of the first things I have to do, after years of using FOSS, is look at the project and see how healthy it is before deciding to implement it in my biz. I have to do things like look at how many projects have derived work from it, who is contributing to it, how alive is the forum community both for developers and users, development cycles, and so on.

What we really need is some sort of organizational certification. Something that an end user of FOSS or other FOSS project can with one glance determine what is the status of the organization and the project. Especially the large important ones. Are there for example policies in place to handle the death of the head of the project? Is there a formal system for order of succession? Is there policy for archiving legacy code and related information?

The worse thing that can happen to a FOSS project is a cult of personality forming around just one person ( that is more than just PR).

Re:CentOS, FOSS, and leadership problems. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 years ago | (#28909427)

utter bullshit, proprietary corporations have exactly the same issues, and even with world-wide scandals a thousand times worse than this even with murders and spy intrigue. Mountains compared to this little anthill chickenshit issue.

Re:CentOS, FOSS, and leadership problems. (2, Insightful)

cenc (1310167) | about 5 years ago | (#28909573)

Really?

Yes, corporations have these problems also. When they don't deal with them, they go under. There is a reason why corporations sink so much time and money in to insuring they don't happen.

These problems however are not so much similar to the problems you find in companies, but problems you find in none-profit organizations of any stripe. Places where ego is basis for much of the personal incentive for getting involved. Spend some time on your average neighborhood NGO board of directors, and you will see the very similar things happen to their projects.

Re:CentOS, FOSS, and leadership problems. (1)

Abuzar (732558) | about 5 years ago | (#28909985)

Yes, corporations have these problems also. When they don't deal with them, they go under. There is a reason why corporations sink so much time and money in to insuring they don't happen.

These problems however are not so much similar to the problems you find in companies, but problems you find in none-profit organizations of any stripe. Places where ego is basis for much of the personal incentive for getting involved. Spend some time on your average neighborhood NGO board of directors, and you will see the very similar things happen to their projects.

Bullshit
Bullshit
Bullshit

Ego and Power related problems are much more pronounced in For-Profit structures. You talk about corporations throwing money and time in insuring that it doesn't happen, but what is that if not ego and power flexed another way? It just proves the point even more.

Nonetheless, it's debatable that the CentOS dude went AWOL due an ego problem.

The articles are biased. This is a more complex conflict. It looks like the dude just had it with some sort of (possibly passive aggressive) infighting and decided to say 'the hell with them' for a couple of weeks. I can understand that as it's something I've done in the past. Unpaid work is often very unappreciated, and it isn't unreasonable to simply trash all emails and phone calls until you can catch your breath and unwind the high anxiety tension. Seems to me like some other CentOS folks jumped the gun and turned it into a needless crisis. After all, it isn't like he defaced the site or blocked access. They were able to do all updates including the one denouncing his going AWOL !!

I had a vague suspicion when I read the first denouncement that some other folks at CentOS had power issues, and looking at how he's just come back to simply hand over access rather gracefully without demands or excuses just confirms my doubts. There's always more than one side to a story like this and I wouldn't be surprised if this 'new management' ended up trashing CentOS.

Remember, when power issues arise, the first ones to leave are the wisest.

Re:CentOS, FOSS, and leadership problems. (2, Insightful)

QuarkofNature (845690) | about 5 years ago | (#28909689)

At my company, we vet the software we use, both proprietary and FOSS, prior to using it in our systems. I think you raise some good points here...one thing I have observed is that our "standards" for doing this analysis are very commercial-company-centric.

The folks who do trade studies "get" how to look at company financials, strength, size, etc., to ensure that we aren't going down a bad path with a piece of proprietary software. Yet, in most cases, I see people at a loss of how to do equivalent analysis for FOSS products. It might be surprising to some people around here, but many still don't grasp just how different a developer-and-user community for a product is, compared to a corporation that produces software. And even for those of us who do understand the differences, it's still sometimes tricky to do a fair comparative analysis.

Just as the OSI has tried to formalize what open source means, and helps vet licenses to make it easier for people wanting to use FOSS software, it might be very useful to come up with some standard measures of the health of FOSS projects, and start gathering that data in one place for popular ones.

Re:CentOS, FOSS, and leadership problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909785)

Remember the segment of society we are talking about. They might be great at programing or whatever, but they rarely have the leadership and organization skills to handle a project once it reaches a critical mass of popularity or use.

Sounds like you're talking about them there emby-yay dudes. Round these here parts they're considered as barely better than lawyers.

Maybe they should update the frontpage.... (0, Flamebait)

117 (1013655) | about 5 years ago | (#28909323)

of their website [centos.org] :

CentOS has numerous advantages over some of the other clone projects including....developers who are contactable and responsive

Re:Maybe they should update the frontpage.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909357)

of their website [centos.org] :

CentOS has numerous advantages over some of the other clone projects including....developers who are contactable and responsive

So which of the developers you have contacted hasn't replied to you?

Re:Maybe they should update the frontpage.... (0)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#28910019)

developers who are contactable and responsive

a modest acquaintance with English spelling and grammar wouldn't hurt

Dang (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 5 years ago | (#28909725)

I use CentOS for most of my servers (except 2 nameservers), and was really hoping for a fork... mainly so that they rename it to something that doesn't suck, and so that they get a better logo and icon. Seriously... the CentOS logo and icon suck...

Re:Dang (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 years ago | (#28909951)

A fork of a fork? Why dont go to an other RH derivative like i.e. scientific linux? As they are all based in the same distribution (basically a repack of it) all should be more or less the same.

Re:Dang (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | about 5 years ago | (#28910701)

Jeez, your life must be one peachy rose garden if all you have to worry about is a logo and icon that appear sucky to you.

Oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28909825)

I bought an RHEL license yesterday. I'll probably keep using CentOS on the less important machines I have, but I'm likely going to switch to Ubuntu LTS where possible and RHEL where I need the RH layout for existing scripts, etc.

Hope they get a stable leadership organized.

Found him ... (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | about 5 years ago | (#28910593)

... Using Google Earth ! See ? Told you you could find people using Google Earth! Now, off to find Bin Laden...
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