Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (328 mails)

< Previous Next >
Re: [opensuse-project] Development release: How to make it better, And produce an extremely usable "Boxed Release"
  • From: James Tremblay aka SLEducator <fxrsliberty@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2008 13:53:12 -0500
  • Message-id: <49567998.80108@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rob OpenSuSE wrote:
2008/12/24 James Tremblay aka SLEducator <fxrsliberty@xxxxxxxxxxx>:

Rajko M. wrote:

On Wednesday 24 December 2008 05:13:16 am Vincent Untz wrote:

We need to get the idea out there that, the community aka bleeding edge
versions are just that, and that the x.3's are what Novell is considering as
SLE replacement's. (Make public references to SLED which could even drive
SLED sales) This tells the average "Joe Plumber" that if He downloaded or
purchased x.3, He's getting some really well "polished" stuff and he gets 24
months of updates which takes him to the next SLE /_*candidate*_/(never
committing to an inevitable SLE status), He says "That is some cool stuff.
Enterprise quality software at bargain pricing."

This is the kind of reputation Ubuntu is building. example: My brother
(MCSE) was so sick of Windows he bought a MAC, he asked me
what I would do with his old PC hardware. I said "I would build an openSUSE
server for music and videos and put a copy on the laptop too" He decided to
try it out. openSUSE 10.3 , would not load on his Toshiba laptop. He
installed Ubuntu then called me and said "Hey, I couldn't get that stuff you
suggested to boot after install, but, I found this Ubuntu distro and it did.
A few weeks later he said, "I wanted more multimedia stuff so I installed
Linux Mint, man this Ubuntu stuff is cool. what do you think of MythBuntu?"
Imagine my heartbreak. Now I know with a few minutes on the phone I probably
could have gotten him running, but, he isn't that weak of a computer guy so
He just Googled his way onto Ubuntu.

Yep, but someone's made a good suggestion. To have a solid kernel
from previous release available as a fall back, for the installer.
Then a booting kernel might be available from update, and the older
installed kernel could be put on to, as the "Fall back" in that case.

It's not just the Kernel it's application software availability too.
Ubuntu has weaknesses, it drove me crazy, but the large user base,
means that it attracts spins and software developed for it, making it
appear to "just work" for many users.

Are ppl installing 8.04.1 (LTS) now, in general I think not, and fit
pc who ship with Ubuntu pre-installed move to new release, despite
it's shorter support cycle.

Can we get download statistics, I am willing to bet this is the gauge
that Canonical uses to justify it's
LTS version. I use and install SLE because I want it to work. Novell is
starting to make money this way,
I'm not suggesting we cut into SLE but 24 months vs 5 years is not
likely to hurt Novell's SLE sales.

I don't think ppl will install a release that offers :

kernel 3 or 4 versions out of date
KDE/GNOME that is 1 or 2 versions out of date

I'm not sure I can agree with discounting a a slightly "stale" release.
Specific examples can be seen
already, "Joe Plumber" made Microsoft extend the life of XP which was
already 7+ _/*years*/_ , not weeks, old.
As a test, why not add a release to the 11.0 series after 11.3 called
"11 Boxed!" and market it as a test of openSUSE LTS.
If it generates a lot of attention then we could start an independent
release schedule for the Boxed version and include longterm package
availability as a bonus.
I know it's sad, but I just don't think a community distro can spend 9
months doing purely stability and integration testing.

some portion of the community can and should if it wants to achieve
market ubiquity.
Most ppl who run Debian on desktop end up with "unstable", at least
from what I've seen at LUGs, because new shiny things, that need newer
release are just too hard to resist.

LUG's do not include "Joe Plumber"
Having interim, short term throw away releases, ppl can use online
update to leave behind, don't suffer from the staleness factor.

This was the point of the "release as an add on", the day after each
release, Factory could be added as a repo for those who wish bleeding
edge and continued updating. By extending the life of one release via a
"Boxed" release, shorter 6 months cycles can be made more acceptable as
interim releases AKA community\developer releases.

There are ,without a doubt two distinct user types, to date we have been
turning a blind eye to the needs of 'Joe Plumber" who wants to install
the OS \ configure e-mail\ add gnucash\ add music tools\ bookmark
wholesale plumbing parts Web 2.0 sales pages \ bookmark his banks web
page and be able to Google the occasional "how to" on some new gadget.
He doesn't want to reinstall \ update\ learn to be a bleeding edge
software specialist. Basically when this guy comes to me pissed that
his XP is yet again corrupted by the latest Malware AKA "the Yoog"
search engine hijack -
- discovered this month. I want to install something I'm not going to
have to maintain very 6 months or further piss this guy off by having to
answer his questions regarding "I heard they made a new release, what
was wrong with the old one? Can I trust it? Do we need to upgrade me?
How much now?" SLE is a great answer to this problem except for one
thing, the 10.1 repo is not online anymore and I can't install GNUCash
from the SLE DVD's or other sources.
The oldest package here is for 10.2
So I must waste time compiling and if I'm doing it in front of the
customer and something goes wrong or takes to long, my customer thinks
I'm an idiot and that Linux software is to much of a pain because he
could have gotten Quickbooks installed on his own by now. I tried to
warn the project of this issue when the discussion to terminate the 10.1
repo was on the table.

Basically if we don't build a path for the average guy to either buy
SLED and install what he needs throughout it's lifetime(aka maintain
the openSUSE equivalent application repo)or use an openSUSE for long
enough to feel he gets his money's worth, (because I charge to install
and support) he stays on XP or worse wants Ubuntu.
The openSUSE project in my mind needs to think about the commercial
implications of it's product as much as it's hobbyist's desires.
There is a huge gap between Enterprise support and Community usability.
We can widen our target just a little.
My IBM r51 laptop runs well with 11.0 and it probably will through the
whole series, but what if it doesn't. what if 11.1 won't load?
What do I do, if I stay on 11.0 and in 1-2 years I decide to re-purpose
the laptop from my current use of testing and developing openSIS to just
correspondence and billing , will I be able to find the GNUCash package
then? Will my admittedly aging 1.5 Ghz laptop be useless even though it
runs well and suffers no external damage. This is the target for the
ideal that computers need not be obsoleted merely due to software
availability or because they offer an older processing platform. What is
the processor speed of the Intel Atom, 1.1 and 1.6 Ghz? I would have to
say that the market for such a device is widening not narrowing.
Building towards the newest hardware isn't in our best interest if we
inadvertently disable mainstream hardware and diminish our install base.

fn:James A Tremblay
n:Tremblay;James A

< Previous Next >
Follow Ups