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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sun, 23 Feb 2014

At SCALE 12x, I just spoke with Karsten Wade about Red Hat's new relationship with CentOS

I haven't had time to listen back to the recording yet, but I just spent some time with Karsten Wade of Red Hat, the onetime Fedora Community Gardener who's now tending to the community around CentOS, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux-derived distribution that is now a whole lot closer to Red Hat that it has ever been before.

That last statement is a bit of a cheat because until the announcement this January of the new relationship between CentOS and RHEL, they were deliberately not very close at all.

I still have to "process" the interview (in my own mind, that is), but I get the feeling that Red Hat's involvement with CentOS -- which includes employing a number of developers who have been volunteering their time until now, adding some open governance to the project as well as providing infrastructure support -- will only be positives for the distribution that people have turned to when they want an enterprise-level operating system without the Red Hat subscription that goes along with it.

I'm also intrigued by some of the plans to make CentOS the stable platform on which less-stable (i.e. faster moving) components can be built. If all goes according to plan, as Karsten told me, it should be easier to run an up-to-date Ruby or Node environment on top of CentOS once these ideas turn into actual code and packages in Software Collections.

The Software Collections idea is familiar to me from Fedora, but Karsten drew an intriguing analogy about how in the world of CentOS these proposed extras could either be created in a way that is similar to Ubuntu PPAs to make it easier for developers to get their packages up and running. After that, they could opt to bring their code closer to the project, presumably (unless I'm wrong) via the Software Collections infrastructure.

This is all off the top of my head, and I promise to write up a full Karsten Wade interview, or at least do it in pieces, as soon as I can. I forgot to take a picture of Karsten, so he'll remain mysterious from a visual perspective -- for now anyway.