Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (235 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] My Idea of a Good Strategy
  • From: Thomas Hertweck <Thomas.Hertweck@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 22:21:07 +0100
  • Message-id: <4C8FE743.5010708@xxxxxx>

On 14/09/10 21:30, Charles Wight wrote:
Hee hee ... we obviously have VERY different ideas as to what might be
accomplished with a survery :D.

While surveying not users could be interesting ... to do so meaningfully
is quite a data collection conundrum! The most obvious problem: how do
you identify folk who are potential OpenSUSE users as opposed to folk
like my mom ....

Geez, you still don't understand what this is all about. ;-)

It's very very simple, you think far too complicated. openSUSE has lost
users (new starters and experienced users) to other Linux distributions
and/or openSUSE has not managed to attract as many new users (as in "new
to Linux") everybody had hoped, they decided to use another Linux
distribution right from the beginning of their Linux career, so to speak.
The question is: Why did that happen? In order to find out, we don't have
to ask your mom or openSUSE members or members of our mailing lists and
forums. That's the wrong audience. We need to go out there and ask users
of Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, Mandriva, CentOS, <you name it> why
they have chosen the respective Linux distribution and *not* openSUSE, or
why they decided to leave openSUSE (I actually know quite a lot of
experienced users who used SuSE Linux in the 90ies but have moved on to
other distributions since then). There must be reasons, but nobody within
the openSUSE project has been able to come up with a logical explanation
for all of that so far. The answers we get from non-openSUSE Linux users
will tell us what's currently missing and will certainly help us to decide
on any future directions of openSUSE. It's really very basic stuff.
Philipp has really summarized it nicely earlier today. Of course, getting
reliable information isn't an easy process.

You propose to ask users already making use of openSUSE. This is like a
self-fulfilling prophecy! You won't learn from them about the bad or dark
sides of openSUSE. However, it's these sides that need to be improved in
order to stop people from leaving openSUSE (or not considering it at all
in the beginning) or to become more attractive for Linux users in general.
You could come up with a nice strategy, but if this strategy doesn't solve
the fundamental problems why users decide against openSUSE, the strategy
won't do openSUSE any good, and if openSUSE runs out of users and
contributors at some point, it certainly won't do openSUSE any good.
That's why Philipp and I think we first of all need to find out where we
are right now before deciding on the strategy that will affect the next 5
years or so. Don't plan for the future until you are sure you will survive
the present.

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