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

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On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 8:10 AM Neal Gompa <ngompa13@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.

In 1.5 years is entirely too late.  Massively so.  I know people think
we're paying lip-service to upstream when discussing Fedora and RHEL,
but even with a terrible "import once" model the code being developed
in Fedora right now will materially land in RHEL 9.  Your presumption
on a branch needing to exist is simply incorrect.

> > > 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...

So... more time investment.  Yep.

> 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 agree on this one.  It would be great if someone created a canonical
specification for both kickstarts and comps.

> 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.
> [1]:

I'll disagree, but only in severity.  It would certainly be inconvenient.

> > 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
> themselves.)

I think you're conflating "selective in what they accept" and "do not
value community".

> 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.

There certainly is.  You submit a PR.  It's what they would do.  That
PR being merged or not is a completely different topic than the
ability to submit it in the first place.

> > 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 mean, if you want to materially help free up time for that team to
do project on-boarding, developer education, and code review you could
always volunteer to do all their bug triage.  Nobody wants to do the
crap work though, so you're just asking for more things they don't
have time to properly document.

Or you could document it for them and see what they think?

> 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
> Anaconda!

This is not hard.  You're trending to hyperbole, which is always fun.
So let's bring it back to concrete steps:  You submit PRs.  Submit
them with testcases.  Submit them with documentation.  If it's
something the project wants to accept, great.  If it isn't, they'll
tell you.  Remember, determining what contributes to the success of
the project is up to the project owners.  Dealing with rejection can
be hard for anyone, but it's not a statement on you or your work.  It
normally winds up being about what the project is trying to do and
what it wants to support.


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