It feels good to see how the opensuse community is taking the right perspective on this topic of the usability of OpenSUSE. As a user who is trying to make the switch (not the first time), I will share some of my thoughts about my experience.
I am recently trying to make a complete switch to Linux (again and as usual lots of hiccups). Every time I find it making a lots of progress in application stability and GUI capabilities. As I am a software engineer, I am also impressed about seeing the Kernel, X, Desktop Environment etc to morph into systems with designed architecture.
I am here not to make complains about buggy codes all around. This is the easy part to fix. I want to emphasize on the part where "Desktop Linux" is just a nightmare compared to "Just Works" Windows. I spent the whole weekend on OpenSuSE Install and "make it work exercises" and at the end it was a broken install beyond fixing (or another few days of community email exchange to fix it). If it were windows I am sure with about 50 clicks, 5-7 list box selection and name/password typing of 30 min I would have had my box ready.
Does it make Windows a better OS? NOPE!!. But It is a better "User Product". Why not? It "Just Works". You press button, it flashes a boring logo and then hola ..You with your mouse is ready to rule the world. Adding/Removing apps are AMAZING. Applications have VERY CONSISTENT look. So you most of the time know how to go about using the app and what specific windows/icon/text/menu means even if it is a application that you just installed to check out. You don't need to know about "Dependency" as, if there is something that the app I am trying to run requires then it will be taken care of instead of bothering you.
I: May I have some water please? You: This involves a dependency on Mug/Bottle. Do you want to have that too?
What the ...??!#!#$?
I hope you see what my point is. In my early days of software engineering career, I was lucky to have a CEO who taught me a great deal about the concept "Productization". I came to learn to "code for end user". That's when I gave up showing "Initializing Inter process Communication subsystem ..." message in application startup / splash screen. They never care even if I am sending data to satellites, all they are waiting is for that stupid app UI so that they can start their work.
My point being, I see Linux distributions full of amazing apps that are Code developed by programmers for programmers. Also many times the codes are "working code" that are "not productized".
For example : Explain me how flashing 20/30 progress bar with downlaoding../parsing... messages help while I am adding installation source. As a engineer I can see clearly its a "developer testing" code that helps to see if download/parsing is going OK. How a end user will benefit from this messages. Also that flashing is annoying enough to nuke the programmers den.
I can go all day long pointing out what I think are sins of User Experience commited in App UI, System customization, Desktop workflow, but this email was more about to appreciate the steps taken to focus on the hard part (getting a app that a user will like) than the easy part of writing few 100 lines of code to do something in a annoying way.
Mohammad Bhuyan Software Engineer (R&D)