Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Re: [opensuse-announce] Creating a group of conserned Users and Novell partners/longer life time for openSUSE... (LONG POST)
  • From: Mark V <mvyver@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 19:36:27 +1000
  • Message-id: <389c43e40908170236v1d182233xbf4a1fa1ab6b774a@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 5:53 PM, Per Jessen<per@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Peter Albrecht wrote:

4.  "Tired of hearing we do this for fun, it is not my
problem/responsibility, hire a programmer or become one."  "Fix it
yourself as it is a community distro.  The community is not doing
enough or is too small."  What happens is or feels like the various
groups that are part of the community are not fully trusted.  What I
see/feel/hear is that globally the openSUSE distro is moving to the
bottom of the Linux Distro Heap.  I am being asked to move to CentOS
as it has a longer support window.  "Having to update my OS every 2
years is a real pain in the butt!  Now it is moving to a 18 month
window.  I really need to look at something else that meets my needs"
Business like to stay as long  as they are able to the release.  "If
it aint broke don't fix it!"  "We really need a fall back position.
What are your recommendations?
Doesn't Novell realize who pays their salaries?  What about Ubunto,
Debian, Fedora/CentOS, or Solaris, BSDs?"

My question is: Why don't these customers move to SUSE Linux
Enterprise (Server and Desktop)? Is that EUR 300.00 per year an amount
they do not want to pay for getting 7 years of support, updates and
training? Don't they want to pay additional money for the services?
Are they not happy with the services offered by Novell or with the way
Novell treats them?

That's exactly what I thought too when I read Boyds item#4.

Hmm I thought they'd have to pay EUR 2,100 to get 7 years of support. No?
Anyway, I think the existence and popularity of the CentOS
distribution establishes beyond dispute that there is demand for this,
albeit in a particular market segment.

Back on topic.
I think an openSLES/openSLED distro could actually encourage some
users to stick with openSUSE, but I feel this will hurt Novell
revenues much more than what I propose below. I also think this
openSLES/openSLED effort could dilute the time spent on the openSUSE
release that feeds into SLES/SLED.
I do think , like the CentOS crowd, that having the openSLES/openSLED
distro would be better than not having it, .i.e I'd be happy to bear
the cost of the diluted openSUSE effort.

My current reasoning is this:
At the moment I make bug reports for openSUSE x, then I get to lose
the 'benefit' of that investment when I have to migrate to openSUSE
x+, furthermore I have to pay cash (in addition to the time already
paid) to get SLES/SLED and have the ongoing long-term-benefit of the
time previously contributed.
It doesn't seem right that I could skip committing time to openSUSE,
then pay the /same/ amount of cash for SLES/SLED /and/ now have bugs
fixed for me when I report them in SLES/SLED... I'm assuming SLES/SLED
bug reports receive more professional reponses than is the case for
openSUSE - maybe not?
Anyway, I think Novell has created some 'interesting' incentives,
perhaps with the unintended consequence of creating an incentive for
bug hunting to take place in SLES/SLED.
At least if I had openSLES/openSLED I could employ those on my stable
machine(s) and so retain the benefit of the bug hunting and reporting
I, and others, did in the openSUSE x release. This long lasting
benefit encourages me and others to continue bug hunting... trust me
I'd rack up EUR 300 in no time tracking a bug.

Of course this begs the question: Why don't Novell cultivate their
code and bug reporters/contributors by 'granting'/bestowing SLES/SLED
licenses to these people. Could be tricky to work out a
rewards/points scheme, but it might be worth the effort? It might
eliminate any dilution of openSUSE effort that would accompany an
openSLES/openSLED effort.
Besides airlines, finance and supermarket firms managed to get their
heads around these reward schemes. Perhaps an open source distro
vendor's business analysts could too ;) ?
To be ahead all Novell has to do is get more than EUR 300 of code
and/or reporting effort contributed each year before they grant a
SLED/SLES license to the contributor/reporter. To work the reward
scheme would have to be structured carefully and be effective from the
outset - i.e. it should not be require herculean levels of effort to
earn licenses - I'm not sure how much more bad press Novell/openSUSE
can sustain.

At the moment I'm thinking of jumping to Ubuntu (Redhat have created
the same incentive problem Novell has, witness CentOS), precisely to
use the LTS release in a hosted environment. So I'll also migrate my
laptop to hammer on which ever is the release that is intended to be
the next LTS release.

my 2c

/Per Jessen, Zürich

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