Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (244 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Don't search developers. Develop them. Events, events everywhere
Lørdag den 9. maj 2015 19:24:52 skrev Richard Brown:
On 9 May 2015 at 15:14, Martin Schlander <martin.schlander@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
If you dismiss the model of Tumbleweed based openSUSE releases on this
background, you never gave the model a fair chance.

This is a fallacy. While we did rename Factory to Tumbleweed, we
didn't revolutionise the development model for the Regular Release

In fact, we didn't change a thing

Things went into Factory, Factory had a snapshot, the release process
kicked into gear, we pumped out a release

The model for 13.2 was no different than the development model for
every release I've ever been involved in, so I think I can make
conclusions based on the 13.2 release process

Technically it wasn't different, but procedurally it was - for starters people
weren't used to only a 3 week window for testing and bugreporting. The time
that openSUSE was branched off of Tumbleweed (effectively "feature freeze")
wasn't known well ahead of time etc.

And regardless, whatever problems 13.2 had, will only become worse by basing
on SLE, and alienating the Tumbleweed contributors further from the stable
openSUSE releases.

We need to fix the issues, and not venture into some radical experiment, that I
can't see succeeding.

We need a new Regular Release which either a) appeals to a new breed
of contributors who will invigorate the Regular Releases or b) reduces
the amount of work required so we can sustain producing regular
releases alongside Tumbleweed as a rolling release - because frankly,
right now, the status quo is not sustainable

Luckily, the availabilty of the SLE Sources, in my opinion, gives us
an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

I fail to see how basing on SLE does either.

It'll be much more work initially creating a distro based on SLE than on
Tumbleweed, because of the lack of packages and the heavy need for
backporting. With Tumbleweed, everything is already there, it just needs some
polishing. The subsequent maintenance of the distro might be a bit less work
with a SLE base, since SUSE will maintain the core of that.

The new breed of contributors barely exist. Ask Debian Stable, CentOS and

We have other users who crave stability. Who pick openSUSE because
we build stuff that works, not because we build stuff that changes all the
time (and also works). These are the 'long tail' of people we know who are
still using openSUSE 12.x, or openSUSE 13.1 and looking
forward to an Evergreen release in the future.

Those users tend to have an extremely consumeristic approach and won't ever
contribute a damn thing.

So, if we're not compromising on speed because we have Tumbleweed, why
should we compromise on Stability for our Regular Release?

Because those are the two extremes that each appeal to very few people. Others
have tried this before (Gentoo, Arch, Debian Unstable on the one side, CentOS
and Debian Stable on the other).

Most people don't want bleeding edge or enterprise grade stability. They want
the middleground, i.e. a good balance of reasonable stability and reasonable
(consumer) hardware support and fairly up-to-date applications.

The only 'flaw' in this plan, that I totally accept exists, is that
for anyone who feels the current openSUSE regular release is
'perfect', then things might be changing for you in a negative way
However, I'd ask those people, deep down, to identify the key reason
they like the current openSUSE regular release.

Easy. Like I said above, you get decent stability, up-to-date software and
hardware support. And you can easily install updated applications, without
jeopardizing your stable base. Because it's pretty easy for Tumbleweed
packagers to provide tons of backports for the stable releases with minimal
extra work.

The current situation is far from perfect, but it is fully fixable and full of
potential (26 months lifetime would be very attractive, Tumbleweed improving
means stable releases improve etc).

If you're primarily motivated because "every release I get all the new
stuff", then please, use Tumbleweed, and if it's not perfect for you,
help us make it better.

Tumbleweed will never be an option, no matter how good it becomes, it will
still be rolling. Hence I will not use it and I can barely recommend it to

If you're motivated to use openSUSE because "I want a Linux
distribution that just works", then please, help us with this new
Regular Release, in order to make it perfect for you use cases.

Well, if you're going to sell this idea, you need to show me how it'll be
significantly different than Debian Stable (apart from having a few great tools
like yast, zypper, obs of course ;-).

Because from what I gather from the discussion, assuming anyone would actually
step up and build this distro, it'll have:

* a release every 2-3 years
* it'll have outdated hardware support compared to any mainstream distro
* old software (primarily talking about applications and desktop environments
here, the stuff that people actually "see")
* it'll be very stable
* the lifetime will be at "least 3 years" (i.e. not 5-6-7 years)

So to me that sounds very much like Debian Stable. And people have already
voted with their feet on that. There is very limited interest from users and
developers alike - apart from the home/small office server niche. On the
it is virtually non-existent.

If you could convince us that this distro could somehow achieve competitive
hardware support of random newish cheapo laptops (wifi, power management etc.)
and have applications that don't represent the state of the free software
world of 2-4 years past - while maintaining hyper stability. Then maybe it
could become interesting. But I can't see how that's possible.
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