After quite a long time, I decided to do some considerations on the
status of OpenSUSE as a community and as a distribution, starting from
I'll start from some bug reports, which affects me directly and which
have been waiting for a solution for a long time since the release of
10.2 final. They're only examples, you can find many others on bugzilla.
* main-menu Hangs
* Banshee doesn't recognize ipod
* yast is still unable to list printers
* Gimp can't print:
to bug #226710, which is not accessible.
The main menu bug is a blocker and it's really strange no-one in the
development team noticed it during the development stage. A patch was
recently released on bugzilla, but it only partially solves the problem
for some user and does nothing for others, which indicates the issue is
The helix-banshee bug is really a mystery. It's there since beta stage,
but no solution is coming. It seems that recompiling a package is
impossible at SuSE.
The yast-printer bug seems solved, but I still can't see my network
printers in yast. I've just reopened the bug.
The gimp problem was marked as duplicate of a FIXED bug, but this one
links to an inaccessible report.
In my opinion these issues are serious and the lack of consideration
they receive is very disappointing considering that solutions were
promised in many occasions, and they're not provided in an acceptable
time (~3 months after the official release).
The bugzilla is full of other examples of problems which could be easily
solved in a short time, but never received a comment. There are many
easily fixable bugs with many comments and no solution.
OpenSUSE, in the opinion of most users, is the mean through which users
know SUSE, evaluate it and start using it. There are many users who
approached to SUSE through OpenSUSE to evaluate the enterprise line too
and to see how the team/community works.
I don't think OpenSUSE is giving a good image of itself neither as a
distribution nor as a team/community.
The quality of the distribution is lower then in the past due to the
choice to release too quickly and the lack of testing.
The issue of testing was addressed by adding a beta release for 10.3,
but I don't think the team should expect significant improvements from
testing provided by users if
* a pre-testing is not done in-house.
* no guidelines are given to community testers.
* no consideration is given to their reports.
Especially the pre-testing is important in my opinion, because community
users often don't have enough experience and knowledge, or they don't
test the distribution for enough time.
Guidelines would help us a lot to look for problems in specific areas
and to test things more carefully
Of course all this makes sense only if reports will be considered in
time and seriously, hopefully before release ;-)
A final comment, to conclude this already long e-mail, is about the
GNOME-KDE question (seriously, for once).
Gnome users (not only me, there are a few, but there are) are quite
bored to see GNOME considered the de-facto second choice of the
distribution because it is less tested than KDE and less maintained.
Now, I understand many developers at SUSE love KDE and that SUSE was a
KDE based distribution. But in the past at least it was coherent: KDE
was the default and SUSE was really optimised for KDE. It was so evident
that GNOME appeared out of place, and it was OK. A user who chose SUSE
knew it was a KDE distribution.
Today SUSE has no defaults, so a user thinks he can choose what he likes
more, but it's not that way.
In openSUSE 10.2 it is so evident a lot of the efforts were put in
creating a KDE which is better than GNOME. Examples are many: from the
new kickoff menu, which was developed faster than the gnome main-menu
and has none of the issues of the gnome one, to the opensuse-updater,
which has no equivalent in GNOME (I know one is coming for 10.3).
Both DE should be considered as alternatives, not as rivals. I do myself
this mistake, I know. But it's really annoying to read "Use KDE" or
a KDE app" when a user asks for help about GNOME.
Moreover GNOME is the default on SLED, and having a low quality GNOME on
openSUSE doesn't help to give a good image to potential customers.
If things are going to stay as they are at the moment, I would really
prefer a strong but clear decision to make openSUSE again a KDE based
distribution instead of having a two-DE distribution only in appearance.
Sorry for the long message.
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