Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (911 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Wiki as foundation of a community
Richard Brown schreef op 29-12-2015 0:02:

On 28 December 2015 at 23:39, Xen <list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


I think you might be using the wrong 'front page'

So the first thing you say is you say I'm wrong.

The rest of your message just continues with that.

You cannot have two front pages. If you are going to use some obscure search page as
the front page for actual users, which is basically just a substitute for
"g <search term>" (in Opera at least) then you are clearly putting
your existing users at 2nd place.

You basically admit that the real front page ( is just a marketing tool.

This page, as it targets users of the openSUSE distributions, has
'Wiki' nice and clear, in the top right hand corner, as one of the 3
most important things for the users of our distributions (Get Software
and the Build Service being the other two)

Just a side-note btw. The Dutch version (yes I am presented with the Dutch version
whether I like it or not) has "Software ophalen" as the translation for "Get software".

Now some people translate "Download software" as "Software ophalen". To old time computer
users, this is a very ghastly word, because "ophalen" means "picking up" so it litterly says
"picking up software". However, because the English word (downloading) uses "down" instead
of "up", this is vastly confusing. I would seriously recommend changing that to the most
literal translation for "Get software" which would be "Verkrijg software". Also, "build-service"
is not translated but could easily be translated as "bouw-service" which sounds fine.

At the same time, I would change "openSUSE" to "Homepage" because that would really signify the
current page as a search place, and gives that search page a proper place (at least logically,
or conceptually) without a larger site where there is a homepage on the one hand, and a search
page on the other hand.

Just to illustrate that there are simple improvements to make you know even if you start
really small. A link to "openSUSE" makes no SENSE because you are ALREADY at OpenSUSE, right?

That's like saying "go home" when you are already home.

But "homepage" does have meaning, because clearly the search page is not a home page.

This was announced on (
) and I recommend if you have been using as your
browser homepage since then, then now is a good time to change it

You are treating your users as employees who have a duty to keep track of news and update their systems
accordingly, instead of people you need to cater to and provide with value. is, intentionally, targeted more at absolute
newcomers to our project. I disagree with your argument that openSUSE
ONLY needs to sell itself on its technical merits (we've done that for
years). I believe (and I have received feedback from many, many,
contributors on this topic for many, many years now, so I believe lots
of other Geekos also believe) that the solution is to have both
Solid marketing materials, directed towards attracting the sort of
people we want to appeal to in the openSUSE Project. The www.o.o
website is clearly that idea taken manifest.

I never said that you only need technical slogans (or rather, technical non-slogans).

And of course you can use persuasive words.

One of the posters here says "Pleasant words are persuasive". But it currently means your flagship
product is not the flagship.

The flagship is supposed to be the distribution. But the current flagship is the website, which is
not meant for information about the distribution, but only meant for selling it.

And you consider selling and using it two different things. You consider new users and existing
users to be vastly different groups with completely different needs.

But you are also putting one group above the other.

You are basically treating your existing users as martyrs for the higher goal, which is to draw
in more new users.

Look many websites do this. Many websites confuse me, as a user. Just think of it. Take the Opera browser.
The Opera browser has a feature it wants to sell, which is cloud sync.

Consider Evernote. Evernote wants to sell its own product, which is Evernote.

Both sites / products make the "become a new user" feature much more prominent than the "existing users
log in here" feature.

Go check out the Evernote site. How easy is it to log in, and how easy is it to register?

Vastly more easy to register.

A typical "not-yet-user" might visit that site maybe twice or thrice in a lifetime.

A typical "already-user" might visit that site even daily, or a great many times, during even a month.

And yet the site is optimized for those that individually at least, hardly ever visit.

In order to visit it, they must already have heard of it. So the front page cannot sell the interest,
at least not the initial interest.

Now of course it could be that the number of interested new users exceeds the number of unique existing
users visiting the site, by a factor of 1000. I doubt it. That would or could be about the break even point,
where this optimization strategy would begin to make sense. It would still not be respectful to existing users.

Even if the site was to be bombarded by thousands of new users daily, or millions of them, it would still not make
sense, because that strategy would mean that "keeping users" would be unimportant compared to "getting users".

In other words: the new user gets the bonus, the existing user gets the price increase.

The way many corporations do it of course.

But it has never been this ghastly before.

A Dutch internet service provider and television cable provider that has a way more balanced site.

The main focus of the site is still 80% on selling the product, but it is not as terrible.

The menus all have Service categories, Customer Service is a main category, there are obvious and clearly
visible links for "My Ziggo" and "Ziggo Mail".

This site is optimized for both and although it could still be better (the entire forum area is just called
"community") it is near ideal from the perspective of someone trying to lure new customers constantly, and
someone also providing service for existing customers.

Of course it would not do for openSUSE, which is why the discrepancy is even greater, for openSUSE the balance
would have to be about 50-50% or 60-40% with the first number representing promotion.

Today, it is 100-0%. The most obvious improvement would be to split the main section (first vertical section)
horizontally, turn the left side of that into the search box, and the right side into a promotion area.

/If you were to balance this presentation, a lot of other aspects of the entire product/system would start
to rebalance itself also, naturally/.

Then, if you did that, the search box would entice new interested users to try out a search term to see what
would happen.

This way the search (that you believe is good for existing users) would synergize with the promotion field
(as if they invite each other in) and for existing users visiting the real home page would actually have a
use (albeit a small one).

That would be a small beginning.

** I wish I could do graphical work. Would make my life so much easier in some ways **.

** A picture is worth a thousand words, they say **.

IN ADDITION to that, we still need exceptional resources for our
users, easily found, easily searchable - is a step in that direction, and I
hope to see more people doing more work on the wiki to make that
better fill the needs of the Project

You do not really expect people to use that as a home page, do you?

openSUSE is not life.

I have never ever had a homepage set in my browser, anyway.

A lot of what you're suggesting for the wiki are things I totally and
wholeheartedly agree with, but I do not believe we need to have ONLY
accurate technical information, we need the explanatory marketing
stuff also (but we only need to keep it for as long as it's accurate
and relevant - but that is equally true of technical and marketing

Marketing involves asking questions. Questions spark the mind.

Technical documentation does not ask these questions, it gives anwers to questions that
apparently, by some, have already been asked (and answered). So clearly, a question like

"Would you like to find out ....."

" a free operating system can improve the power you wield..."

" a computer user?"

Is naturally something fun and interesting to do. An intriguing question. If it's fun, it's good.

I do not disagree with the need for fun engagement of new users, or the asking of questions
that might give direction to the project as a whole. Because asking such a question, or making
such a statement, requires you to think about what you want the project or the product to be.

What are its essential qualities? What is the fact that you love most about it? What does it bring you
the most, that you value the most? And what do you want to see more of, what do you want it to be more

These questions you must answer for yourself, but it is also the question you pose at the one you want
to interest.

Of course, ideally, there is a congruence between the question you ask and what the product is today.

But regardless, this marketing part can help you define the product and the direction of the project.

And growth is natural, expansion is natural. Intrigue, interest, meeting new needs, and finding old
enemies (dissolve), is a natural part of it.

And before someone screams 'why?', here is one point to consider

Since launching the new website, the user numbers of
Tumbleweed *alone* (ie. Ignoring 13.2 and Leap 42.1) now outnumber the
published user numbers of Arch Linux

I never thought Arch was very popular, but okay. They have a rather ugly homepage with too much information
and they should present all of what they present on one screen (at least on a 1080p monitor). But still.

I take it to assume that user numbers have greatly gone UP since the launch, that
that is what you mean.

At the same time people on the mailing list claim that the quality of the distribution has deteriorated.

At least some do. I think I am one of them.

Prior to this era of time, perhaps around 2008, I did use openSUSE. Maybe version 10. [I see now that that was the initial release].

Eventually I got so frustrated with it that my mind couldn't handle it anymore (I have a weak mind/brain)
and I went back to Windows, but there was never a time that I used Linux as long as I did. There was also
a time where I remember compiling my own kernels. That was long ago.

But my impression of the entire thing was that it was a lot less NERVOUS. Less CHAOS. And as such more down to earth
and less up in the air.

I also take it to mean you don't mean just downloads, but actual retained users.

Nevertheless promotion can be a good thing, I won't complain. It's just that there is a great discrepancy
between how you value your existing users (except as work slaves) and how you value your "fresh and new incoming $$$"
so to speak.

Arch is well renowned for it's great wiki, which is often cited as a
cause for its success. Arch is also often claimed to be more popular
and successful than our Project


And yet we're bigger (and better), and now, finally, lots of other
people are starting to realise that.

Better, I don't know. Better for me, yes, probably. But, you can also put people on the wrong track.
I'm not sure if they are "realizing" it or whether you've "led them to believe" it. ;-).

Because it sounds like an over-the-top ego thing "People finally realize how great I am".

Now we've got those users, we need to keep on improving the technical
quality of our distributions, improve our supporting materials (like
the wiki), and keep the marketing side of things fresh too.. that way
hopefully leads to exciting things ;)

Buh, you're sure nobody ever called you maniacal before? :P.

Jeez. So when is the time when you will blow more sense and more calm into the thing?

Is that also on the agenda?


- I have issues with the zypper program, the slow speed of Yast, or both (zypper is also slow)
- I have issues with the zypper commands (they don't make sense to me)
- I have issues with the zypper documentation (the man page, it doesn't read as a help text but as a complete book)

- I prefer having root access AND sudo that actually works in KDE/whatever.
- I have issues with the useless help messages I get when I type a superuser command as user (/sbin)
- I have issues with the fact that zypper file search does not seem to function (at least not for me)

- I consider the file structure of configuration files to be vastly more complex (in /etc) than in Debian/Ubuntu/Kubuntu
- I really can't find my way around it.

- I hate and hated the green scale background of 13.2, that is prevalent everywhere, and permeates everything, and how
on earth do you get rid of it.

- I enjoy the quality of the grub2 menu design
- it's a shame that's not the first thing you see (it should be!)
- I don't enjoy the fact that encryption info (luks) still leaks in the UI (such as which device is being decrypted)

Other issues are more Linux-broad issues that I can't really attribute to OpenSUSE.

In general it seems the entire world has gotten more nervous, not just you.

I do expect things to calm down after the entire society has collapsed and it has taken humans 200 years to rebuild in a more
saner fashion. Meanwhile I'm still personally trying to back out of the nervousness.

And I'm trying to create calm and peace in my life (that will never know it probably) (the peace). And I just want to get
the heck out of here (and this madness).

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