Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2831 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] The state of openSUSE
  • From: Marcus Meissner <meissner@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 11:03:23 +0200
  • Message-id: <20060720090323.GA24303@xxxxxxx>
On Thu, Jul 20, 2006 at 07:32:53AM +0100, B.Weber@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Greetings all,
> I would like to share some of the concerns I have about the state of SUSE
> Linux / The openSUSE project. I hope this does not come across as a rant
> as it is not intended as such, but to point out issues in the hope that
> something may be done about them.
> The perceived problem : Declining product quality
> Obviously there is the unfortunate situation of 10.1 where critical flaws
> were allowed to remain in the final product, making it in my opinion

There was just 1 critical flaw in the development process, the very
late introduction of the new package management.

What is bad in the rest of the distribution?

> unsuitable for use by people who don't know what they're doing, probably

I dont think so.

> the first version of suse for a very long time for which this applies. I
> have not heard anything about what steps are being taken to ensure that
> this will not happen again, which has perhaps lead to the feeling amongst
> some that this is the sign of things to come.

Even we learn from our mistakes, rest assured.

> In the past 3 or 4 years what has really improved in terms of the value
> added by SUSE? Every 6 months we get a new set of packages with exactly
> the same suse additions. Very little has really changed since the 7.x
> days compared to prior to that point.

Better hardware integration.
More smoother installation.
Always delivering the latest and greatest to you.

We work with the upstream community, so most of our work also goes
to the upstream packages.

And the new values for 10.1:
- Greatly enhanced handling of external package repositories, which was
only handled step fatherly in older distributions.
- Better wireless support by Novell/SUSE developed NetworkManager + GUIs.

> Possible causes:
> 1: Lack of vision / communication
> What causes the above observations? Is there really no vision of where
> SUSE Linux / openSUSE should be in 2-3 years time. What tangible

What needs to be done in larger scale work? Linux is at a point where
there is not much work to do to make it working for everyone.

Having a vision of where to go is difficult for us as "integrators".

Yes, we might need some vision ... And you can help here too.

> 2: Difficulty of community involvement
> - Communication (Lack of)
> Without communication of what the long term goals are, people generally
> have no idea of what they can be working on to help. The google summer
> of code project suggestions were good, but there is no reason these sort
> of things should be restricted to google summer of code. Suggestions of
> projects that could be taken on by community members would be helpful.

We try to communicate, see our biweekly meetings, our presence here,
our talks at various conferences.

> - Documentation (Lack of)
> It is difficult for people to work on things useful for SUSE if SUSE
> specific things are undocumented. Not everyone has time to read reams of
> code to determine how to use something. An example: libzypp - wonderful
> (apparently) new library for package management related stuff. Is there
> any api documentation beyond the automatically generated docs in the
> -devel package? No. Is there any documentation about what it actually
> does? No. Is there any documentation for packagers etc wishing to make
> use of new features like add on products? No.

Wrong, for the overview what it does at least:

The regular user really would not care about it, since the tools drive it

> Solutions:
> - Communicate the long term strategies to the community. If they really do
> not exist then leverage the community in deciding upon some.

We are listening to you. :)

Ciao, Marcus

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