EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


CentOS is NOT Dying, It’s Just Bad Reporting

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Red Hat at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CentOS 5.3

Summary: Media FUD about CentOS is refuted

Boycott Novell runs on a CentOS server, so it is painful to watch The Register and some other publications spreading FUD about the project. Basically, the lead person (one among a large group) may be departing, and that’s not even news. The word has been circulating for quite a while. All that happened was that the team posted a public letter on the Web site and it is quickly being misinterpreted.

Contrary to the FUD, Sam Varghese delivers a more accurate report:

The head of the CentOS GNU/Linux project has gone missing and other contributors to the project are sufficiently concerned to post an open letter to him on the project’s website.

As the CentOS team assures everyone:

CentOS is not dead or going away. The signers of the Open Letter are fully committed to continue the CentOS Project. Updates and new releases will continue.

Enough with the disinformation then, please. The project even has a newsletter going now, which is indicative of growth and maturity.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. whatever said,

    July 31, 2009 at 9:20 am


    While I agree that the death has been greatly exaggerated, it IS news when the owner/controller of the domain, PayPal accounts and other info goes AWOL. It’s a total security risk for anyone running CentOS who grabs updates from CentOS’s servers if the domain isn’t in the control of people who are actively involved.

    I have a VPS running CentOS, and it’s fine for that purpose — it isn’t mission crticial — but this and past domain security issues have led me and many others to flat-out refuse to use it in a professional setting. I could pay RHEL, I’d rather not (their support isn’t worth the paper it is printed on so if I’m going to go Linux, I’m going Debian and having in-house guys do it. Otherwise we’ll compile for the various Unixes our client servers use).

    It’s not a very comforting sign for a guy with all the keys to go AWOL.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’d like to believe he’s just being possessive like Terry Childs (not that I make a direct comparison). Maybe he needed some prodding.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Lance has been “just being possessive” since last October, from the sound of things.

    He’s also been “just being possessive” of all the monetary contributions made to the project, and after 9 months—and a repeatedly-requested accounting of these funds from Lance has never been produced—that’s starting to sound kind of like larceny.

    Why are you whitewashing this story, Roy?

    zatoichi Reply:

    …he’s just being possessive like Terry Childs (not that I make a direct comparison)…

    Since you seem to be unclear, you just did make a direct comparison.

    zatoichi Reply:

    You really seem to be all over the map on Lance’s status, Roy. Is he “maybe departing” (after having been, apparently, incommunicado since October) as you say in the article?

    Is he “just being possessive” (relative to whom? the entire rest of the project team? and with the piggy bank?) as you’d “like to think”?

    Or has he done some sort of a runner, as the “open letter” seems to be suggesting?

  2. zatoichi said,

    July 31, 2009 at 9:50 am


    I don’t understand why Roy wants to brush this story under the rug. There are clearly some serious problems around Lance’s involvement with CentOS, and it’s clearly been kept quiet since late last year when he first “went missing”—along with any contributions that had been made to the project.

    That, and the many instances of the “open letter” to Lance, are legitimate news. Roy, weirdly, would seem to want to take a “don’t worry, be happy” approach to the whole thing; one can only speculate why.

    Nothing to see here, people, move along. Is that it, Roy?

  3. David Gerard said,

    July 31, 2009 at 11:15 am


    No no no! CentOS is dying dying dead dead dead! With a chair through its skull! Only Mono can save it now! (may all be 0% true)

    zatoichi Reply:

    So, you don’t see the project lead’s having not been heard from in nine months and having the only access to and information about community contributions as indicative of any sort of a problem, then, Mr. Gerard? The rest of the contributors would seem to be in disagreement with you on that.

    And who mentioned Mono (other than you, I mean)? That seems a little…monomaniacal…

  4. verofakto said,

    July 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm


    Interesting then how this, this and this were considered ‘news’.

    Let me pull a quote from each of those:

    Some people say that SUSE has not been the same ever since Novell acquired it.

    As they say in Wikipedia, [who?]

    this does not look promising for the project as a whole

    Except if you’re CentOS, then it’s almost an opportunity!

    changes at this level are never a sign of health.

    That last one you were forced to correct, I note. Yet the FUD (because how else does one call that?) remained.

    Further, doing a site search for “suse departures” reveals you banged on that horse for about a week afterward. As you’ve said before, “repetition counts” (I can also pull that quote if you need me to).

    I might agree that the tech rags are exaggerating this. The letter on the CentOS site certainly seems a bit on the desperate side, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the project cannot survive the departure of this single person, whatever his position might be. But that’s what the rags do, they exaggerate and spin and troll for page views and ad revenue. I also agree that this breathless type of reporting on issues like these is FUD. Funny that?

    By the way, is my account going to be deleted immediately after this comment, or how does it work now?

    zatoichi Reply:

    If your account happens to stay around long enough, you might verify for Roy that I’ve got nothing in particular to do with your blog, nor you with mine. He’s been claiming otherwise (for starts, and in the usual absence of substantiating evidence) on comp.os.linux.advocacy…

  5. whatever said,

    July 31, 2009 at 3:57 pm


    Again, calling the project “dead” a la the Register is total hyperbole, but InformationWeek, CNet and the Planet CentOS blogs all provided additional quotes and analysis (and additional info from the cosigners of the letter, in the case of the Planet CentOS blog feed) that show why this IS genuine news.

    You might not like that a project you respect is publicly dealing with some issues, but it is legitimate and it is news.

    Sadly, this sort of thing reflects poorly on community projects. How do I sell my boss or a client on using this open source solution if I can’t guarantee any level of accountability (even if just in appearance) behind the scenes?

    I’m glad the CentOS team is finally talking. Someone needs to get the keys from Lance so they can move forward.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Roy would seem to very much prefer that no one said anything about it for some reason. Apparently he thinks this is a normal situation on a project, not worthy of comment or mention.

  6. verofakto said,

    July 31, 2009 at 4:58 pm


    Roy, I will say this just once, so please pay attention.

    My blog has nothing to do with David Schlesinger. I contacted him through his blog when I finished the timeline I made of the Mark Fink episode and asked him to provide corrections if he wanted. That was the first post I made, even though I had other drafts, because I wanted to make sure he had something factual to refer to as he battled with your accusations. I also used it as a test case to see how using Blogspot would work at managing large posts (not well, but I digress).

    I will however freely admit that your treatment of him was one of the things that finally motivated me enough to take the time to organize the information I had and push it online. That doesn’t mean we take long showers in the wee hours of the morning together and crack jokes about you. It means the “Fink” thing is an important part of what I’m going to be writing in the future. David just happened to be the victim.

    I strongly suggest you take a deep breath and think twice before you play fast and loose with people’s identities that way. Eventually I’m sure you’ll figure out who I am, but I assure you I am not David, and David has nothing to do with my blog, other than being an unwilling character in your ongoing soap opera.

  7. The Mad Hatter said,

    August 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm


    The problem with CENTOS is the same problem that many Free Software projects face. Governance.

    Let’s say you start something. You have a vested interest in it. It’s your child (from one point of view). You want to maintain control, so you keep everything under your own hand. Or alternatively you set up a group to control the project, with yourself in charge to start, and a succession plan in place.

    I’ve been through both. In cases where one person maintains control things tend to be better defined, but when that person leaves/dies/etc. all hell breaks loose. In cases where a control group is set up, and a succession plan implemented, there’s more stability, if less definition.

    I’d rather have less definition, and more stability myself.

What Else is New

  1. TXED Courts Are Causing Businesses to Leave the District, Notably For Fear That Having Any Operations Based There is a Legal Liability

    A discussion about the infamous abundance of patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas (TXED/EDTX) and what this will mean for businesses that have branches or any form of operations there (making them subjected to lawsuits in that district even after TC Heartland)

  2. PTAB Hatred is So Intense Among the Patent 'Industry' That Even Scammers Are Hailed as Champions If They Target PTAB

    The patent microcosm is so eager to stop the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that it's supporting sham deals (or "scams") and exploits/distorts the voice of the new USPTO Director to come up with PTAB-hostile catchphrases

  3. The Patent 'Industry' is Increasingly Mocking CAFC and Its Judges Because It Doesn't Like the Decisions

    Judgmental patent maximalists are still respecting high courts only when it suits them; whenever the outcome is not desirable they're willing to attack the legitimacy of the courts and the competence of judges, even resorting to racist ad hominem attacks if necessary

  4. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Carries on Enforcing § 101, Invalidating Software Patents and Upsetting the Patent 'Industry' in the Process

    A quick report on where PTAB stands at the moment, some time ahead of the Oil States decision (soon to come from the US Supreme Court)

  5. Luxembourg Can Become a Hub of Patent Trolls If the EPO Carries on With Its 'Reforms', Even Without the UPC

    With or without the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is the wet dream of patent trolls and their legal representatives, the EPO's terrible policies have landed a lot of low-quality patents on the hands of patent trolls (many of which operate through city-states that exist for tax evasion -- a fiscal environment ripe for shells)

  6. The Patent 'Printing Machine' of the EPO Will Spawn Many Lawsuits and Extortions (Threats of Lawsuits), in Effect Taxing Europe

    The money-obsessed, money-printing patent office, where the assembly line mentality has been adopted and patent-printing management is in charge, is devaluing or diluting the pool of European Patents, more so with restrictions (monetary barriers) to challenging bad patents

  7. Links 17/3/2018: Varnish 6, Wine 3.4

    Links for the day

  8. Deleted EPO Tweets and Promotion of Software Patents Amid Complaints About Abuse and Demise of Patent Quality

    Another ordinary day at the EPO with repressions of workforce, promotion of patents that aren't even allowed, and Team UPC failing to get its act together

  9. Guest Post: Suspected “Whitewashing” Operations by Željko Topić in Croatia

    Articles about EPO Vice-President Željko Topić are disappearing and sources indicate that it’s a result of yet more SLAPP from him

  10. Monumental Effort to Highlight Decline in Quality of European Patents (a Quarter of Examiners Sign Petition in Spite of Fear), Yet Barely Any Press Coverage

    he media in Europe continues to be largely apathetic towards the EPO crisis, instead relaying a bunch of press releases and doctored figures from the EPO; only blogs that closely follow EPO scandals bothered mentioning the new petition

  11. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

    The tyrannical Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being spun as something that only fascists would oppose after the right-wing, anti-EU politicians in Germany express strong opposition to it

  12. Links 15/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.6 RC, Microsoft Openwashing

    Links for the day

  13. PTAB Continues to Increase Capacity Ahead of Oil States; Patent Maximalists Utterly Upset

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) sees the number of filings up to an almost all-time high and efforts to undermine PTAB are failing pretty badly -- a trend which will be further cemented quite soon when the US Supreme Court (quite likely) backs the processes of PTAB

  14. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Create a Patent Bubble in India

    Litigation maximalists and patent zealots continue to taunt India, looking for an opportunity to sue over just about anything including abstract ideas because that's what they derive income from

  15. EPO Staff Has Just Warned the National Delegates That EPO's Decline (in Terms of Patent Quality and Staff Welfare) Would Be Beneficial to Patent Trolls

    The staff of the EPO increasingly recognises the grave dangers of low-quality patents -- an issue we've written about (also in relation to the EPO) for many years

  16. The EPO is a Mess Under Battistelli and Stakeholders Including Law Firms Will Suffer, Not Just EP Holders

    As one last 'gift' from Battistelli, appeals are becoming a lot more expensive -- the very opposite of what he does to applications, in effect ensuring a sharp increase in wrongly-granted patents

  17. The EPO Under Battistelli Has Become Like China Under Xi and CPC

    The EPO is trying very hard to silence not only the union but also staff representatives; it's evidently worried that the lies told by Team Battistelli will be refuted and morale be affected by reality

  18. Links 14/3/2018: IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 119, Tails 3.6

    Links for the day

  19. Links 13/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.5.2, Tails 3.6, Firefox 59

    Links for the day

  20. Willy Minnoye (EPO) Threatened Staff With Disabilities Said to Have Been Caused by the EPO Work Pressures

    Willy Minnoye, or Battistelli's 'deputy' at the EPO until last year, turns out to have misused powers (and immunity) to essentially bully vulnerable staff

  21. IAM and IBM Want Lots of Patent Litigation in India

    Having 'championed' lobbying for litigation Armageddon in China (where IBM's practicing business units have gone), patent maximalists set their eyes on India

  22. The Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM) Already Pressures Andrei Iancu, Inciting a USPTO Director Against PTAB

    Suspicions that Iancu might destroy the integrity of the Office for the sake of the litigation ‘industry’ may be further reaffirmed by the approach towards patent maximalists from IAM, who also participated in the shaming of his predecessor, Michelle Lee, and promoted a disgraced judge (and friend of patent trolls) for her then-vacant role

  23. Patent Trolls in the United States Increasingly Target Small Businesses Which Cannot Challenge Their Likely-Invalid Software Patents

    South by Southwest (SXSW Conference/Festivals in Austin, Texas) has a presentation about patent trolls, whose general message may be reaffirmed by recent legal actions in Texas and outside Texas

  24. EPO Staff Union Organises Protest to Complain About Inability “of the Office to Recruit the Highly Qualified Staff it Needs.”

    Having already targeted union leaders and staff representatives, the EPO may soon be going after those whom they passionately represented and the staff union (SUEPO) wants the Administrative Council to be aware

  25. Battistelli Likes to Describe His Critics as 'Nazis', Team UPC Will Attempt the Same Thing Against UPC Critics

    Demonising one's opposition or framing it as "fascist" is a classic trick; to what degree will Team UPC exploit such tactics?

  26. Session in Bavaria to Discuss the Abuses of the European Patent Office Later Today

    The EPO shambles in Munich have gotten the attention of more Bavarian politicians, more so in light of the Constitutional complaint against the UPC (now dealt with by the German FCC, which saw merit in the complaint)

  27. Links 12/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC5, KEXI 3.1, Karton 1.0, Netrunner 18.03, Debian 9.4

    Links for the day

  28. EPO Patent 'Growth' Not Achieved But Demanded/Mandated by Battistelli, by Lowering Quality of Patents/Services

    Targets at the EPO are not actually reached but are being imposed by overzealous management which dries up all the work in a hurry in order to make examiners redundant and many European Patents worthless

  29. Doubt Over Independence of Judges at the EPO Clouds Reason in Deciding Regarding Patents on Life

    With the growing prospect of a Board of Appeal (BoA) having to decide on patentability of CRISPR 'innovation' (more like explanation/discovery), questions linger or persist about judges' ability to rule as they see fit rather than what some lunatic wants

  30. Patent Academics and CAFC Make a Living Out of Patents, But Both Must Begrudgingly Learn to Accept That Patents Went Too Far

    A look at academic pundits' views on the patent system of the United States and where the Federal Circuit (a high patent court) stands on these matters after the US Supreme Court (highest possible court) lashed out at many of its decisions, especially those from the disgraced Rader years


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts