Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (230 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openSUSE 2016: taking a picture of openSUSE today
  • From: Andrew Wafaa <awafaa@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:43:51 +0000
  • Message-id: <>
Hi Agustin,

Adding the list back into the discussion.

On 27 November 2013 23:12, agustin benito bethencourt <abebe@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Wednesday 27 November 2013 22:09:07 Andrew Wafaa wrote:
On 27 November 2013 21:11, agustin benito bethencourt <abebe@xxxxxxxx>

just some clarifications about the discussion process.

We will try to answer as many comments as possible, obviously. The
Team will do this together with me. They will lead the most technical
topics from our side. Since both, factory and this ML have several
hundred subscribers we will apply some "management" to answer.

Sorry, are you not part of the openSUSE Team? Your signature certainly
seems to say you are.

Yes I am. Please read.... "the rest" of the openSUSE Team.....

Excellent, thanks for the clarification.

Max Lin (with help, I hope), will try to summarize and group (if required)
the questions so myself or any other openSUSE Team member answer them. We
will also try to make summaries and recap the most significant
ideas/comments as overview.

Are the plans to publish the details on the wiki, maybe a read only page?

Ah, this could be an option, yes.

I'm sure there are other possibilities, the wiki was the first thing
off the top of my head. I'm curious as to what tools you plan on using
and how the community can help with this task. Improving openSUSE is
not just the openSUSE Team's task, it is the community's.

I am open to hear ideas to handle the process if become bigger. It would
ideal if it become our process.

Not sure I follow. Are you saying you would prefer that the community
agree on _your_ proposed process?

I was referring to the communication/discussion process in this sentence.

I think the process of discussion and communication has already been adopted.

Second try...

If someone is interested in helping to drive the discussion or have ideas
like the one you proposed....please shoot.

For many of you the following information is known, but order
clarify the scope of my words....

The following days you will read comments from me making references to the
openSUSE Team from my position as Team Lead. You all are aware that
sometimes being employees working in a Free Software project is not like
contributing as volunteers or being sponsored. But SUSE is a Linux based
company with a very open/participative culture. This is not the military.
There is room for disagreement.... also in these discussions. ;-)

I disagree, I am employed to work almost entirely within open source,
it is what you make of it. The tone of your emails do not come across
as participative, you come across all dictatorial - You have decided
this is what you want and you are telling us to fall in line. That may
not be what you intend, but that is certainly how it comes across to
me - sorry for being honest.

I appreciate honesty.

I do not think that sharing ideas, being open to discuss them and willing to
come to conclusions is being dictatorial. Being clear not just about the
content but also about the motivations is one way toward transparency.
Obviously not the only one.

Oh I agree entirely. The problem is you do not come across as wanting
to share ideas and discuss their pros/cons. All your communication to
date has been very much in the style of "I've got this idea, here take
it!" No one wants anything shoved down their throat, we're not geese.

I understand your words as a negative to participate in this process. If that
is the case, let me invite you to reconsider it. Anyhow, I am sure you respect
that others participate and that I keep trying to collect as much
input/opinions as I can.

No you understand incorrectly. I am participating in the discussion,
what I am doing here is trying to help you so you don't loose any
credibility. One of openSUSE's biggest consistent failings over the
last 12 years is communication. We either didn't communicate, or when
we did we weren't clear enough; quite often the message that came out
was not the intended one due to processes etc getting in the way.

SUSE in openSUSE is way more than the openSUSE Team, as many of you know.
Sysadmin team, OBS crew, maintenance/security..., I do not speak on
behalf of them. My responsibilities are limited to the openSUSE Team.

But.......we (oS Team) will do our best to bring the needed answers and
statements from the qualified people at SUSE if, for whatever reason, they
cannot or do not want to participate directly in the debate. This task
will be part of the communication management mentioned earlier when
Why would the openSUSE Team answer for the other teams?
OBS/Security/Legal/Maintanence/Release are already very active within
the community, so much so that their affiliation with SUSE is almost a
secondary thought.

My intention was to clarify who I am not. I am not surprised this information
is redundant for you. You have been around long enough. If it is also for
everybody else, I could have saved one paragraph. But if is not.....

May I suggest in that case for future communication, less is more?
Just get to the point, remove the padding. If you have an idea, state
it and provide any rationale you have. These multi page emails, make
people switch off which is not what we want.

Thanks for participating.

On Tuesday 26 November 2013 20:38:11 agustin benito bethencourt wrote:

Once openSUSE 13.1 has been released, it is time for the openSUSE Team to
focus on the future. We want to share some ideas we have about the
in general and factory in particular. The topic is not easy. so this mail
is a little long and dense, but hopefully worth it. It won't be the last
one so let me know how to improve it.


This is the first of a series of mails we will publish the following days
with different ideas. The process we are proposing has no intention of
pointing at anybody, revisiting the past or enforce any situation within
the community. Our goals are:

* Share a picture as a starting point of discussion.
* Use the discussed picture as a reference to agree on actions we all
can/want to execute.


One of the first things we did was digging into numbers that provided us
information about the status of the project. Data cannot be the only
to create a complete picture, but it is helpful as first step.

In order to better understand the rest of the mail, you probably want to
look the following references:

* Alberto Planas talk at oSC13: openSUSE in Numbers[1]
* Alberto Planas' slides from the above talk[2]
* First openSUSE Team blog post: Numbers in openSUSE[3]
* Second openSUSE Team blog post: More on statistics[4]
* Jos post about numbers[5]

One important note about the numbers: since most of the behaviors of the
variables reflected on the graphs were consolidated, at some point we
decided to stop adding effort in collecting numbers until 13.1 was
released. Once the Release is well established, we will update them and
evaluate the influence of this Release in the global picture.

I won't try to go very deep in the analysis. It would be too long. There
are many interpretations that can be done based on the graphs. I will
just point out the most relevant for our purpose. Feel free to add

Following Alberto Planas' order from his slides[2]...

1.- Downloads

The number of downloads do not measure our user base, but provide hints
about the impact of the work done every 8 months, the potential new users
we might bring to the project and, looking at pre-release downloads, the
number of testers.

Taking a look at the graphs, we can see that the overall number of
downloads is growing at a slow path (slope). This behavior is not
consistent in every release. For instance, 12.1 was more downloaded that
12.2 or 12.3. More and more people uses zypper for updating the
distribution though.

2.- UUIDs (installations that update regularly)

* Looking at the number of machines that regularly update against
repositories (daily, weekly and monthly), we can easily conclude that the
situation is very stable. The speed of growth (daily and weekly stats) or
decline (monthly) is low.

* What the graph do not show is the acceleration. It has been negative
(small in value) for quiet some time now.

* When looking at the architectures, we see that x86_64 is more popular
than i586. This behavior is accelerating, as confirmed in the download
numbers collected for 12.3

* When looking at the mediums where those installations come from, we
clearly see three dominant ones: .iso (dvd version), ftp (net installs)
Live CD.

* There is a relevant detail that Alberto mentioned in his talk. More
half, almost 2/3, of openSUSE installations are not using the last
many weeks after Release date. There is also a significant amount of
installations using unmaintained or Evergreen versions.

3.- Factory and Tumbleweed installations/"users"

Factory is our ongoing development effort. As you can see in the graph,
number of Factory installations is constant. Tumbleweed was very
when it came out. Many developers and bleeding edge users liked it. Its
popularity is decreasing though.

4.- Contributors to factory and devel projects

The numbers of users that are submitting request to factory/devel
is increasing. Now we have more non SUSE contributors. SUSE ones remain
constant. The overall growth is about 27 new contributors per year, a
little bit more than 2 new contributors per month.

5.- Social media and comparison with Fedora

openSUSE is, in the social media channels evaluated, in the range of
Fedora. Comparing our numbers, I guess we all agree with this general
trend that states that openSUSE is a more user oriented distribution
than Fedora is. We have less downloads but more users (installations
updating regularly).


All the above pieces shows a stable picture. Every sign of growth or
decline is, in absolute and/or relative numbers, small except social
media, due to their explosion as communication channels (which I do not
think is way different from what other Free Software communities are


openSUSE coexist with other "coopetitors" (Free Software competitors +
cooperators) and competitors (closed sources distributions).
Touchscreens, cloud, big data, games...the Linux ecosystem is evolving
there are new users with new needs.

New players are consolidating their positions: Arch, Chakra, Mint...
is moving to the mobile space, Debian is getting some attention back from
previous Ubuntu users....

On the other hand, some distros that were relevant in the past have
disappeared, our 13.1 has got more attention than previous ones, SUSE is
healthy and willing to invest more in openSUSE in the future ...

In the above context, how is our "stable" situation perceived? How
do we think it should be perceived?


If we agree that the overall number of users of Linux based server +
"traditional" desktop OS (let's remove the mobile/embedded space and
cloud for now), is growing, not following the "market" growing trend
be perceived as a wake up call, a clear sign that improvements needs to

But if we agree that we are playing in a risky and challenging field,
stability can be perceived as a healthy sign.

After these months of analysis and discussions with both, contributors
users, I would like to ask you if you agree with the the idea that the
first picture is more prominent than the second one. But, does the
second one provide us a good platform to improve our current position?


Let me propose you some questions:

1.- What other variables we should put in place to create an accurate
picture of the current state of the project?

2.- What is the perception you think others have from the project?

3.- What is your perception, your picture?

To get some context you might want to take a look at the following

* Current strategy[6]
* Ralf Flaxa keynote at oSC'13[7]
* Jos article: Strategy and Stable[8]
* Jos article: Strategy and Factory[9]


Please point us to other relevant references:

[1] Alberto Planas talk at oSC13: openSUSE in Numbers:
[2] Alberto Planas' slides from the above talk:
[3] First openSUSE at SUSE team blog post: Numbers in openSUSE
[4] Second openSUSE at SUSE team blog post: More on statistics
[5] Jos article about numbers:
.html [6] Current strategy:
[7] Ralf Flaxa keynote at oSC'13:
[8] Jos article: Strategy and Factory:
[9] Jos article: Strategy and Stable:


Agustin Benito Bethencourt
openSUSE Team Lead at SUSE
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Agustin Benito Bethencourt
openSUSE Team Lead at SUSE

Andrew Wafaa
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