Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (89 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openFATE feature 306967, KDE default
  • From: Will Stephenson <wstephenson@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:41:28 +0200
  • Message-id: <200907311641.28770.wstephenson@xxxxxxx>
On Friday 31 July 2009 16:10:35 Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier wrote:
On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 9:52 AM, Will Stephenson<wstephenson@xxxxxxx> wrote:
But openSUSE is also a great GNOME distribution - how can we point out
properly that openSUSE has both?

I'm sure we now do a better job of promoting that than Canonical do for
Kubuntu and that would not change.

For me this feature is about 2 things -

First, the project taking the obvious step to recognise what the majority
of our users want and give them that. This would go a long way to
undoing the 'Novell is evil' smell that we can't shake off.

What is it, exactly, that "the majority of our users want," here? A
default? That doesn't seem likely, as our users already know how to
get KDE and having an additional click isn't exactly a major
impediment to this.

Or is it the political statement?

Secondly, giving openSUSE a very strong distinctive feature as a first-
rank distribution that says 'We offer KDE by default because it's what
our users want' compared to other first-rank distributions. Kubuntu and
Pardus aren't in that category and our current "The distro that offers
great KDE and GNOME desktops" position isn't perceived by many people
outside our close circle of contributors - they take Ubuntu because it's
highly successful, or Kubuntu because it's related to Ubuntu.

How is this a "feature" exactly? It doesn't make our KDE any better,
easier to use, etc. It just means we've said "we recommend this over

GNOME by default for Ubuntu means that Canonical has chosen to focus
most of its efforts on GNOME, and the community can work on KDE and
they'll support that a bit. If you're wanting the inverse of this,
this feature doesn't get that -- it only means that the project will
recommend one over the other.

I have never suggested an inverse Canonical+GNOME. I am talking about a
political statement, but those terms are loaded with plenty of negative
connotations. Call it a marketing direction. We market to the clear
preferences of our existing users (in most places a 70/30 split is pretty
clear - look at the enterprise Linux market). We market to a large and
vibrant developer community - it's clear that the majority of future
innovation in openSUSE is going to come from the community. And a largely
untapped community rather than one already aligned with our two largest
competitors. So call it a strategic shift, call it a marketing move, call it
a political statement, but recognise the benefits.

This should not weaken our support for GNOME, XFCE or anything else.
Look at Kubuntu, which has become a successful project in its own right
despite initial hostility and neglect from Canonical, or Fedora-kde,
which has a contributor community that is of the about the same size as
the openSUSE-kde community.

Then the feature is pointless -- if you're trying to achieve the
inverse of what Ubuntu and Fedora have with GNOME, it would require an
actual *focus on KDE. And that's not on the table, so what we'll have
is a political statement just to say "lots of our users use KDE and
want us to make a political statement that we'll wave the KDE flag a
bit higher than the GNOME flag."

You're putting words in my mouth there - I am quite aware what's on the table.

Political statements can have 0 direct relevance to openSUSE but a large
negative effect on us as a distribution, take the Microsoft deal. This one
would have a net positive effect.

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