Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1839 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Now That Novell is seling the Linux Division...
  • From: "Brian K. White" <brian@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2010 20:04:42 -0400
  • Message-id: <4C99481A.60704@xxxxxxxxx>
On 9/21/2010 4:21 PM, David C. Rankin wrote:
On 09/21/2010 04:13 AM, Simon Caseley wrote:
If VMware buys Novell's Linux business, it's a compelling value proposition for
VMware customers: my experience is that customers like integrated solutions from
a single vendor.

Great point Simon,

I guess the uncertainty is "what does this mean for openSuSE?" It's
granted, but at the macro level, I don't seem much changing. If vmware wants
Novell for whatever reason ...and... keeps SLES/SLED, then openSuSE should
remain the test-bed/development arm for both. No company in their right mind
would do away with all the free user contribution and support that goes into the
opensuse pipeline.

That being said, the touchstone for opensuse will hinge on their
approach to
either (1) maintaining opensuse as a quality opensource distro, or (2) whether
they let it become a loose beta where the development is piped downstream to
SLES/SLED or (3) whether they fall into the trap of shrinking release cycles to
gen up revenue. The latter two are never good.

We can "what if" this to death, but the bottom line is we will just
have to
wait and see. Regardless of whether a sale goes through, we are unlikely to have
any idea of the direction any new owner will take or the consequence to opensuse
until at earliest 11.5 (or whatever they call the one after 11.4) 11.4 is fairly
well mapped out.

My last .02 on the issue :p

Exactly. Except the last part. No, smart people try to plan ahead where possible.

I see plenty of opportunity for conflicts of interest to the detriment of opensuse and any users of it. I see plenty of prior examples that showed me the hard way what to worry about, not because I'm all that much of a worrier in general.

So I say it's exactly the right time to think about things like, why do you use opensuse now? What might be vmwares motives wrt opensuse? Of the key points that cause you to use opensuse, are those points possibly met elsewhere such as centos or ubuntu ?

Personally, I chose opensuse for my company (this means all production application service boxes as well as all other backup and special purpose boxes like hylafax servers etc...) for several reasons. Some of those initial reasons have since become untrue, but the remainder have remained.
I no longer think it's the "best engineered" distribution. I no longer get much value out of yast. And with this news I can't exactly continue to think it has the highest probability of staying the same over time. Switching to the 6 month release cycle has already almost killed me. It means now, _most_ of my live production boxes have _no_ official repos for me to install the occasional new requirement from. Lucky me I've been maintaining my own mirror of every version I've used along the way. I haven't gotten a functional bootloader install out of the installer in years and I always have to do it myself from a shell in the installer, except in the dead simple and utterly useless case of a single-drive-desktop. The installer now installs a kernel that is broken for server use, no matter even if you select the text-only minimal system install.

But I have found tolerable ways to deal with the bootloader and kernel-default vs kernel-desktop.

And opensuse build service is AMAZING.

SuseStudio is AMAZING.

I think rpms and the obs are way easier to use than the ubuntu launchpad ppa, and I don't know if redhat/centos even has an equivaent of the obs let along susestudio. obs and kiwi are open source so one could be set up, but how much of the amazingness is the web front ends? How much of that is available to copy or easy to re-implement?

So in my case I'm not actually doing much just yet. But I AM at least thinking ahead. For my usage, I think my best bet if I were to switch would be to Centos. I should and shall invest some time evaluating Centos and maybe others from the redhat family, and perhaps one or more of the debian family. And perhaps, since I already have to do so much myself anyways, maybe for me there is really no longer very much value in a full service distribution like suse anyways and I should just move to arch or gentoo. More responsibility but more flexibility.

The point is the initial news about the sale is EXACTLY a valid reason to begin this kind of preparing, and now is EXACTLY the time to at least start this kind of thinking.

Not necessarily to do anything. You need a little more cause than that. But neither is it smart to just pretend all is well.


Codicil: Once upon a time I was certain SCO Unix would be with me forever and be a good solid honorable company. Then when they started the sales and re-namings and the initial suits, ah well they've been here for decades and have a zillion back office users and VARS, this junk will all blow over. There's way too much inertia to worry about those wacko sky-is-falling guys. The types of vars who ever used SCO in the first place could care _less_ about the politico-religious ideals of linux and other foss. They just want their same old same old thing to work the same old same old way and they want it to _work_ like only something that is 15 years old can possibly work. Not be forever 2 months old and forever full of more undiscovered new bugs than fixed old ones. Well, all that IS and WAS perfectly TRUE. And yet, the ones who smelled the wind and thought ahead about it and thought things like "what if SCO were no more, or were for whatever reason no longer good for me, like they stopped developing according to the original priorities or started changing the deal on me etc?" were in fact the right ones, because all of that did in fact happen.

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