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sorenson2743
18-Feb-2011, 14:07
Maybe I'm just not looking in the right spots on the web, the openSUSE website, and the forums, but 11.4 milestones don't seem to have received a fraction of the exposure as previous 11.x and 10.x versions, and RC1 of 11.4 seems to be the most closely-guarded secret of our times. Just recently, the 11.4M6 availability announcement appeared on Distrowatch a full week after it became available for download, and I've yet to see any mention of 11.4 RC1 there.

Searched the forums, too, but can't seem to find any "announcement" reference to 11.4RC1 there, either. Is it out?

Is this recent lack of promotion a temporary lapse, or part of a more conscious strategy?

malcolmlewis
18-Feb-2011, 14:54
Things that make you go Hmmmmm....
Status: distribution RC1 is streaming to the mirrors.... (http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/pre-release-beta/453897-status-distribution-rc1-streaming-mirrors.html)

ionmich
18-Feb-2011, 17:54
My opinion. I don't think lack of exposure to an interim release is nearly as bad as people thinking it is a fully polished product, trying it, finding some small problem and then going elsewhere. Better to keep it in our fold a little longer where we can test and improve it.

consused
18-Feb-2011, 18:21
My opinion. I don't think lack of exposure to an interim release is nearly as bad as people thinking it is a fully polished product, trying it, finding some small problem and then going elsewhere. Better to keep it in our fold a little longer where we can test and improve it.
Well said. Bad publicity can be counter-productive when there is a lot of competition> :)

ah7013
18-Feb-2011, 20:29
My opinion. I don't think lack of exposure to an interim release is nearly as bad as people thinking it is a fully polished product, trying it, finding some small problem and then going elsewhere. Better to keep it in our fold a little longer where we can test and improve it.

100% agree

dragonbite
18-Feb-2011, 20:49
I would suspect any announcement would be eclipsed with the whole Novell deal in the comments rather quickly. Agreed, it is probably better to put out a solid release than to advertise each iteration.

As is, I don't trip over Fedora's incremental steps, but Ubuntu touts each and every release it seems (with screenshots). Too much exposure also reduces some of the excitement of finding out what changed/improved.

I am hopeful for 11.4, seeing how the Intel graphic issues put the kibosh on 11.3 at this point (no sense going to 11.3 with 11.4 coming out in 19 days).

sorenson2743
19-Feb-2011, 06:12
Thanks for the responses. If I understand this issue correctly:

1. The original notice came via the mailing lists (naturally), prompting a "public" announcement via a thread in the pre-release/beta sub-forum only. That's apparently it. I have checked the "News and Announcements" sub-forum, and the Feb 5th and 12th Newsletters and there's no announcements there, along with Distrowatch, so I guess that the world obviously "knows" to search the first-mentioned sub-forum for important news like the release of RC1.

2. IMO, it's all very well to have the opinion "Better to keep it in our fold a little longer where we can test and improve it." and whatnot. But that view seems to fall apart when you consider the amount of exposure that M1 - M6 got, and the accompanying pleas for testing. Not to mention the general truism that broadened testing during development improves a product's quality and people's impression of it's worth when it is released.

3. Which returns the issue to the central question I raised in my initial post: has a conscious decision been taken within the community or the board to de-emphasize promotion of the product? Or was the ball just dropped on synching the RC1 release to external PR measures? If the latter, it's still not too late to effect recovery from the ball-dropping.

4. As an aside, it's my opinion that marketing tactics like "Better to keep it in our fold", and "Too much exposure also reduces some of the excitement of finding out what changed/improved", will certainly guarantee that OpenSUSE falls quickly to somewhere far below the NuTyX distro (haven't heard of it, you say?) which, currently, is in the glorious position of #100 out of 100 on the Distrowatch top 100.

If that's "marketing", then perhaps the definition of marketing needs to be changed to be synonomous with "invisible".

consused
19-Feb-2011, 06:13
I am hopeful for 11.4, seeing how the Intel graphic issues put the kibosh on 11.3 at this point (no sense going to 11.3 with 11.4 coming out in 19 days).
Possibly, but those issues also affected other distros as they mostly require kernel/xorg/driver/drm improvements.

wakou
19-Feb-2011, 07:21
There was this, from Linux mag First Look at openSUSE 11.4 | Linux Magazine (http://bit.ly/fXbU5d)

DenverD
19-Feb-2011, 08:05
On 02/19/2011 02:36 PM, sorenson2743 wrote:
> If that's "marketing", then perhaps the definition of marketing needs
> to be changed to be synonomous with "invisible".

it is not hidden, it was not overlooked, it is not invisible...the
latest pre-release software is always at the same place:

http://software.opensuse.org/developer/

and, has not moved from there in a long time...and, you and others are
welcome to check it out daily....sometimes a code pack pops up there
before there is an official announcement..(just because it gets put up
before the announcement is prepared)

so, bookmark it and be the first on your block!!

also unhidden in the wiki is lots of info:
http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Factory
as usual..

short: there is no magic marketing tactic in operation here..you have
discovered no grand marketing failure news story...the info is open to
the public, as usual..

nothing to see here, move along.

--
DenverD
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
[NNTP posted w/openSUSE 11.3, KDE4.5.5, Thunderbird3.0.11, nVidia
173.14.28 3D, Athlon 64 3000+]
"It is far easier to read, understand and follow the instructions than
to undo the problems caused by not." DD 23 Jan 11

dragonbite
19-Feb-2011, 08:15
Possibly, but those issues also affected other distros as they mostly require kernel/xorg/driver/drm improvements.
Ohter distros have applied different patches with mixed results. One distro works practically 100% on my system but fails completely on oldCPU's similar chip set. He has made mention that 11.4 has improved but whether or not it will be comparable on my system is to be seen.

sorenson2743
19-Feb-2011, 10:37
@wakou re: "There was this, from Linux mag First Look at openSUSE 11.4 | Linux Magazine". Yes, thanks, I missed that one. Joe's an expert on Suse. Unfortunately, the teaser doesn't say what version he's writing about, since the main article is hidden behind mandatory registration. Only then do you find out he's writing about 11.4m6, which is why it didn't show up in my RC1 searches. I doubt many will register, though, for that type of article, no matter how good it is, even if they find it.

@DenverD re: "the latest pre-release software is always at the same place: http://software.opensuse.org/developer/". Indeed it is, with lack of release notes, still. In fact, the link to the release notes results in a 404 page. Regardless, I'm sure the world will be tickled pink by the necessity to visit each distro's obscure wiki page to get the latest and greatest news from the developers.

@DenverD re: "also unhidden in the wiki is lots of info: Portal:Factory - openSUSE (http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Factory) ... as usual.." Yes, I'm very aware of those pages, including the fact that they still haven't been updated for RC1! I'm not sure that the rest of the world should be asked to plow frustratingly through pages and pages of a wiki, dead links, et al, to get news on the status of 11.4. Ditto on the obscure and rapidly-diminishing visibility (unpinned) of the forum post referenced by @malcolmlewis. It's just not going to happen.

Folks, regardless of your well-researched comments and links, the fact is that:

1. OpenSuse's external marketing and PR is not very effective right now. Heck, internal communication and co-opting of testing resurces from the community ain't in good shape either. It didn't used to be that way, and maybe it's connected with staff departures and the recent sale of Novell assets. I don't know.

2. While Distrowatch hits are hardly an accurate measurement of usage, they can be a proxy for interest and effectiveness of messaging. In 2008, OpenSUSE was in 2nd spot. In 2009 and 2010 it was #4. The last 30 days it was in #5 position, and in #6 for the past 7 days. Want to look at the flip side? Take a gander at MINT, PCLOS and, of course, the highly marketing-oriented Ubuntu-whatever clans. Point made. Keep your eye on the NuTyX distro, because it may go whizzing upwards past us in the not-to-distant future. No marketing, no users, no developers. Familiar story.

3. I'm not a marketing or sales person, but I have been a Suse/OpenSUSE user since (I believe) version 7.x days. And I've never seen it this bad. The post contributors on this thread, and I, know where to look. The casual and casual+ adopter doesn't. The world certainly doesn't. So all that great effort by OpenSUSE's hard-working developers and contributors is in aid of ... what?

4. That's why I asked the original question: is it a conscious strategy, or just something that slipped between the cracks? Moreover, who has the job/task of promoting the distribution? Until those two questions are answered, it's not useful to write more. Lack of answers will, as usual, be more telling.

Pointing to internal, deeply buried, "need chicken entrails to decypher" links on the wiki or in the forum isn't the answer, I'm afraid. Nor a defence. Which shouldn't be needed in any case.

consused
19-Feb-2011, 10:58
Ohter distros have applied different patches with mixed results. One distro works practically 100% on my system but fails completely on oldCPU's similar chip set. He has made mention that 11.4 has improved but whether or not it will be comparable on my system is to be seen.
I didn't realize you were referring to a particular problem chip (i.e. yours). My comments assumed you were talking about support for the newer intel chipsets.

DenverD
19-Feb-2011, 11:50
On 02/19/2011 07:06 PM, sorenson2743 wrote:
> Pointing to internal, deeply buried, "need chicken entrails to
> decypher" links on the wiki or in the forum isn't the answer, I'm
> afraid. Nor a defence. Which shouldn't be needed in any case.

you have rightly noted that there is uncompleted work needing to be
done...besides bellyaching in this forum what are you doing to make
things better?? (by the way, just griping is not helping)

are you a member of the marketing team?
or a booster, a tester, a contributing artist, or or or ??
or, are you a member of the community?
or contribute in some other way?

http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Project

--
DenverD
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
[NNTP posted w/openSUSE 11.3, KDE4.5.5, Thunderbird3.0.11, nVidia
173.14.28 3D, Athlon 64 3000+]
"It is far easier to read, understand and follow the instructions than
to undo the problems caused by not." DD 23 Jan 11

sorenson2743
19-Feb-2011, 14:12
@DenverD: OK. So I'll take your response as "don't know", to the the two questions that I posed.

chief_sealth
19-Feb-2011, 18:50
You're right, it's been kind of quiet. A positive out of this: I haven't noticed any posts by new users who've installed beta on their production machine and come here to rant about how buggy it is. The beta users seem to be people who are aware of its pre-release status and are using it to report bugs.

DenverD
20-Feb-2011, 00:50
On 02/19/2011 10:36 PM, sorenson2743 wrote:
>
> @DenverD: OK. So I'll take your response as "don't know", to the the
> two questions that I posed.


take it any way you wish..

the fact remains you have nothing here but an in progress *****
session with the single suggestion that other folks should be doing
more to promote openSUSE..

duh!

--
DenverD
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD
[NNTP posted w/openSUSE 11.3, KDE4.5.5, Thunderbird3.0.11, nVidia
173.14.28 3D, Athlon 64 3000+]
"It is far easier to read, understand and follow the instructions than
to undo the problems caused by not." DD 23 Jan 11