Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-buildservice (145 mails)

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[opensuse-buildservice] Proposed OBS rename
Hi. I am forwarding a proposal for the renaming of the openSUSE Build Service, in order to try and increase its adoption and recognition. Indeed, it seems like certain moves may already have been made in this direction but I'm not too clear on that (see below). This is a follow-up to a suggestion by Jos Poortvliet which he originally made mention of in a recent blog post, here:

Whilst I am merely an end-user, he has suggested in the spirit of openness that I contact the project via this list to further the discussion. Essentially, such a renaming could be as 'simple' as calling it the 'Open Build Service', and I note that the Meego project, for example, already seems to use this on some of its webpages, but the main OBS introduction page does not, hence my uncertainty. The reasoning behind this subtle change is that the project has perhaps not gained the traction that it should have done in the wider open source and distro community in consideration of what an advanced and useful tool it is. I see there being two key contributory factors behind this:

1) The very name openSUSE Build Service immediately implies something related and perhaps specific to the openSUSE distribution. Many developers / packagers are simply unaware of its scope.

2) There are those for whom anything associated with the name openSUSE makes them run a mile. Rightfully or wrongfully, all the previous Novell / MS associations forever tarnish the image of openSUSE for some. The OBS is unfairly tarred with the same brush, and no matter how good a service it becomes, this perception is unlikely to change for a long time to come.

Of course, general marketing and other factors may also play a part, but I don't think the above two reasons should be easily discounted. Several times I have read conversations involving developers / packagers who are struggling to make packages available for a variety of distros, and when OBS is raised as a potential solution the thread often falls flat or it is dismissed, sometimes for some technical reason or sometimes for no good reason.

To appease the latter category of OBS avoiders, the openSUSE branding could perhaps take a back seat and not be so obviously featured. Let the service speak for itself. The website would need some rewording and perhaps more generic theming or image elements to reduce all the immediate references to openSUSE. I'm basing this broadly on the concept that subtle or subconscious persuasion can often triumph over blatant advertising, but I'm no marketing expert!

Having openSUSE in the title should bring some prestige and publicity to the openSUSE project, but it probably has just as much adverse effect. Far better to attract more people to the service in the first instance, and upon discovering its qualities a certain kudos might then be attributed before the user needs to discover who's behind it.

The rewards and prestige would eventually come from the project generating many times as much usage and therefore media recognition, instead of shouting about itself and falling upon deaf ears, and ultimately occupying a niche.

Not meaning to take anything away from the efforts so far. Having Meego and others on board is a great achievement, but I think the points in Jos's post are an indicator of the widespread ignorance that may be holding it back from reaching out further.
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