I'm a big fan of CentOS project. I use it in production and I recommend it to the others as an enterprise ready Linux distro. I have to admit that I was quite disappointed by the behaviour of project developers who weren't able to tell the community the reasons why the upcoming releases were and are so overdue. I was used to downloading CentOS images one or two months after the current RHEL release was announced. The situation has changed with RHEL 5.6 which is available since January, 2011 but the corresponding CentOS was released not before April, 2011. It took about 3 months to release it instead of one or two as usual. By the way, the main news in RHEL 5.6 are:
- full support for EXT4 filesystem (included in previous releases as technical preview)
- new version 9.7 of BIND nameserver supporting NSEC3 resource records in DNSSEC and new cryptographic algorithms in DNSEC and TSIG
- new version 5.3 of PHP language
- SSSD daemon centralizing identity management and authentication
More details on RHEL 5.6 are officically available here.
The similar or perhaps worse situation was around the release date of CentOS 6. As you know, RHEL 6 is available since November, 2011. I considered CentOS 6 almost dead after I read about transitions to Scientific Linux or about purchasing support from Red Hat and migrating the CentOS installations to RHEL . But according to this schedule people around CentOS seem to be working hard again and the CentOS 6 should be available at the end of May. I hope the project will continue as I don't know about better alternative to RHEL (RHEL clone) than CentOS. The question is how the whole, IMO unnecessary situation, will influence the reputation of the project.