Re: To free or not to free
Here's the thing: we (I work for RH) *do* "share our added value".
The thing we keep trying to communicate about this change is: if you're actually interested in doing Normal Open Source Stuff with Red Hat, "downstream of RHEL" is the *worst* place to be.
We do not do any significant engineering work in RHEL. One of the internal buzzwords at RH is "upstream first". This means: you do your significant work upstream. All the interesting engineering work we do happens in upstream projects first, then in Fedora, then in Fedora ELN, then in CentOS Stream, then it *finally* trickles down to RHEL.
If you actually want to do normal F/OSS collaboration with RH, you almost certainly don't want or need to be downstream of RHEL. The idea that cutting off the RHEL source means we're not "sharing our work" relies on a misunderstanding of how RH actually *does* work. There is no RH work that would be interesting to most F/OSS developers that's in RHEL and not in anything else. The 'value' of RHEL is not 'it has all this novel stuff in it that you can't find anywhere else'.
The only significant reason that I can think of to be downstream of RHEL is to build a RHEL clone, and the only reason to build a RHEL clone is to not have to pay for RHEL or not have to deal with the subscription stuff. Which, I get it, people like and want! And you *can* argue that it's good for RH to provide/enable free RHEL clones, or that we "ought to" do it because "spirit of GPL" or "we bought CentOS" or whatever. That's up for debate. But I would argue that it's really a *separate* debate. If you want to see and participate in and contribute to and reuse the substantial engineering work RH does, *you already can*, because it all happens upstream of RHEL.
The only stuff that happens in RHEL and nowhere else is *extremely* long-term backports - like, keeping 5+-year-old environments working and patched. Which is hard work, but it's probably not something many people are actually interesting in seeing and collaborating on. Aside from that, embargoed CVE fixes happen first in RHEL, but then land in CentOS Stream (and of course Fedora).
If you take a wider view, I would argue we are significantly *improving* our F/OSS 'accessibility' in recent years. CentOS Stream is not what CentOS used to be, and if you want a RHEL clone it is not the thing you want, but it's much *better* for the 'spirit of open source'. Before CentOS Stream, this is how RHEL was developed:
1. We forked it off Fedora (more or less)
2. Stuff happened in private, behind the Red Hat firewall, where you couldn't see it, for months or years, then a RHEL .0 release appeared, with .src.rpms
Now, this is how RHEL is developed:
1. A new CentOS Stream release forks off Fedora ELN, which is a kind of variant of Fedora with RHEL-like customizations applied, and is entirely open - https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/eln/
2. The new CentOS Stream release itself is fully open, with git repos and everything. All the stuff that used to happen behind the RHEL firewall now happens in public. You can watch the process of the RHEL pre-release and .0 release coming together as it happens. You can submit pull requests, if you like.
Between them, Fedora ELN and CentOS Stream move a *huge* chunk of the RHEL development process from happening in private behind the RH firewall where nobody could see it, to happening in public where everyone can see it and even contribute to it. This, to me, seems like a massive improvement in openness, and it's all happened in the last few years (under the Evil IBM Empire, no less).