Re: Discussion: what would not blocking on btrfs look like?

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On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 7:41 AM Josh Boyer <jwboyer@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 7:19 AM Neal Gompa <ngompa13@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 5:55 AM <jkonecny@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > >
> > > On Mon, 2019-08-26 at 23:54 -0400, Neal Gompa wrote:
> > > > On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 7:16 AM <jkonecny@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > I understand them. The point is, for them and even us (the
> > > > > installer)
> > > > > is work on BTRFS not a priority. It's something we can't benefit on
> > > > > RHEL and it could be almost completely replaced by LVM + xfs
> > > > > solution.
> > > > > However, it still giving us bugs and making our test surface
> > > > > bigger.
> > > > >
> > > > > > From the Anaconda team PoV it would make our lives easier to not
> > > > > support BTRFS at all. I'm not saying that we should drop BTRFS in
> > > > > Fedora, only that it would be easier for Anaconda team to be
> > > > > without
> > > > > that on Fedora.
> > > >
> > > > This is flat-out a trap. This is what makes Anaconda such a failure
> > > > as
> > > > a community project. Why does the past (RHEL) affect the present and
> > > > future (Fedora)? There's basically no way whatsoever to make anything
> > > > better with this logic. The Anaconda releases that any improvements
> > > > would be going into aren't even landing into the RHEL 8 branch that
> > > > governs the latest iteration of Fedora's past. From any reasonable
> > > > person's perspective, this answer makes no sense unless you're using
> > > > RHEL as an excuse to not support Fedora.
> > > >
> > >
> > > RHEL is not the past. Everything we do we have to think that it will go
> > > to RHEL and if it is Fedora specific we have to create a way to disable
> > > the functionality for another RHEL branching. And yes, we have a few
> > > things (not only a BTRFS) specific to Fedora the same way as a few
> > > things specific to RHEL which are disabled on Fedora.
> > >
> > > And as I wrote before, I'm not saying that we will remove the BTRFS
> > > support from Fedora. The point is that making the list specific to
> > > releases smaller will make our live easier.
> > >
> >
> > By definition, RHEL *is* the past from a Fedora context. It's forked
> > from an old version of Fedora that's not supported anymore. It is the
> > result of decisions that aren't supposed to apply to Fedora. And it is
> > the result of a different bias that should never apply to Fedora if
> > the RH ecosystem is supposed to be able to evolve.
> There is always the *next* RHEL.  Or, if you want to remove a product
> context, the next enterprise operating system derived from Fedora.
> RHEL/enterprise is both past and future and Fedora focuses on the
> future.  You cannot dismiss enterprise as a target by waiving it away
> as "past".

Until there's a branch in Anaconda's git for the next version of RHEL,
it doesn't exist yet. I'm sure people are *thinking* about it, but
it's obviously on the back burner for a little while. I would expect
to start to see a rhel-9 branch in Anaconda in 1.5 years, but for now
it doesn't exist.

> > From the way you describe it, Fedora is just something occasionally
> > give lip service to while your main focus is RHEL. That's fine, but
> > that is a problem for the Fedora context.
> Neal, I don't understand.  The source code to anaconda is available.
> What is preventing you from taking it and making a micro-fork that
> does better btrfs enablement, and packaging that in Fedora and using
> it in a spin?

I have seriously contemplated it. It isn't the first time I've done a
fork because I had to[1].

But the main reason I don't do it is because it will cause more damage
in the Fedora community by doing so. Two sets of packages for Anaconda
that all the things that depend on Anaconda could cause a huge level
of breakage because the two versions must *always* be drop-in
replacements for each other. If they're not, it makes it impossible to
leverage the Fedora tooling to do things like making spins and such. I
don't even *know* what kind of work it would entail if I wanted it to
be an official spin composed through pungi. I'm pretty sure the releng
folks would kill me for doing that, as now pungi would have be aware
and switch anaconda packages for lorax...

Additionally, it would require a fork of pykickstart so that further
enhancements to the Btrfs partitioning can be defined. However, *that*
causes bigger problems because now there's incompatible grammar. Given
how poorly the pykickstart project is run right now, it might even
make sense to fully fork it, except that it fragments a specification
defined in implementation (kickstart files).

I've looked at writing automation to watch Anaconda and pykickstart
and continuously integrate patchsets on top for a forked package set.
But in the end, it would be too destructive for the Fedora community
to do so.


> My guess would be that you perhaps don't have the time to do that.
> That's reasonable.  I can say, with no uncertainty, that the anaconda
> team doesn't have time to do it either.  The day to day things that
> team is working on far outweigh btrfs as a priority, even in Fedora.
> This team literally gets dozens of completely unrelated bugs they have
> to look at and triage simply because it is the first thing people
> interact with when they install the OS.  It's a catch-all.  Btrfs
> enablement would continually sit on the back burner waiting to get
> done.

I *know* the Anaconda team barely has bandwidth right now. That is a
function of them being too closed for a community to develop around
it. That is *entirely* their fault. The Anaconda engineers, the team
leads, the managers, and the project/product owners for Anaconda do
not value the community enough to allow one to develop.

(I've met a fair number of Anaconda developers and manager folks, I
know this is the case, even if they don't entirely realize it

There are several distributions in the RH ecosystem that use Anaconda,
and yet only a team of ~3 people are allowed to do anything on it?
That seems brutally useless. Then again, we have the same problem with
Koji. Terminally understaffing is not useful. And because the
community cannot contribute to Anaconda, if there are bugs, there's no
way for the community to help fix them.

> Before you think I'm being naive or disingenuous, I'm truly not.  I
> understand the frustration of wanting to get code into a project or
> product that isn't willing to take that code.  However, it's not only
> about the code.  The code review and acceptance isn't the end of the
> time investment.  It is the start.  There's test cases, test
> infrastructure, debugging support issues, on-going code changes and
> refactoring, etc etc.  One of the ways to limit these impacts is to be
> selective in what enablement you choose to bring into a project.  That
> is what the anaconda team is doing here.  The beauty (and ugly!) of
> open source is that you can still take the code and do what you want
> if you are willing to make that investment.

Honestly, this goes back to Anaconda being a horrifically managed
project. Where is the contribution criteria? Where is the onboarding
process for more people to be involved?

I'm proficient in Python. I work in plumbing code all the time. Tell
me what I need to do to make my feature possible! Let me see the test
feedback in my pull request so that I can act on it! Give me (and
other interested folks) the ability to contribute to the success of

真実はいつも一つ!/ Always, there's only one truth!

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