Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (502 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] future features
On 2011-04-04 Martin wrote:
Mandag den 4. april 2011 18:07:16 skrev Jos Poortvliet:
we're already seen as not-innovative
and that's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody, after all,
will join openSUSE development if it is seen as boring. So it will
BE boring just because of that.

We've done pretty OK with our 11.4 release in terms of features, so
now people want to know more. Let's try and give them that.

Why? I thought the strategy was making something productive, not
hyped "innovation" for the sake of innovation.

I think you're overestimating the importance of "new (distro
specific) stuff". People are craving for something that works and is
usable. And whenever something changes a little bit half of the
users will whine like crazy - not praise the innovation.

Sure, users want something that works. But I'm not asking what
improvements we will do in the stability and performance area but what
new things we do because marketing needs those to market openSUSE.
Unfortunately, journalists, bloggers and in general techies on the web
are entirely uninterested in a list of fixed bugs. And without them
writing about openSUSE, nobody will KNOW about the new releases and we
won't have many users left in a few years.

They want features and cool things. Do you know what got openSUSE 11.4
most attention? Tumbleweed. What got us most criticism? We don't
innovate.

Now for an end user it might not matter that much - but that end user
won't HEAR about openSUSE unless we get bloggers to blog and journalists
to write.

Hence we need, among the improvements to "just work" things, sexy
features.

Oh and I'm marketing enough to be able to talk a little innovative
feature which make things just work (like finally catching up to other
distro's in the area of application installation UI's) as a big one. OK?

What innovation does Debian or Gentoo or Arch do? ... They just ship
packages, and they don't seem to have much trouble being hyped or
attracting contributors.

Indeed, that is why they get little attention and little users. Debian
is a bit of an exception in terms of users (mostly thanks to Ubuntu, I
would say) but Gentoo is almost dead and ok, Arch is great for the few
thousand powerusers it has. We have a million users, 90% of which would
never have come if we didn't get any mainstream tech press. And Arch and
Gentoo don't get that while Debian is merely mentioned as a "harder to
use Ubuntu", if at all.

We should just accept that there are no resources for major
innovations (except susestudio and webyast which most users have no
interest in) and set realistic, honest goals. We can barely maintain
the distro as it is.

Luckily there are people working on noteworthy features,

And I think we'd be much more succesful if we could deliver
functional NetworkManager and updater applets for the first time in
years, than providing some hyped "innovation".

As I said, we can talk those up if needed. Having things that "just
work" are features too.



In general, I mostly see comments in this tread from non-developers with
feature requests and suggestions for improvements. I appreciate that you
guys have opinions and I could surely add 1000 others to that but it is
off-topic and just cluttering the discussion. Couldn't you have spread
those opinions in either another tread or where it belongs (openFATE)?

I don't want to smack down on you but I have 500 unread mails in
opensuse-project@ and I bet I'm not the only one. The large amount of
irrelevant traffic is what keeps developers OFF this list. We all know
multimedia is an issue, we all know we don't package this and that etc,
nothing new you guys said... Sorry to say it but it's true.

Can we keep the meta discussions in a separate thread (or just skip them
as it's nothing new anyway) and focus on what we're doing here?

Thanks,
Jos
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