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Thread: Question about OpenSuse development.

  1. #1

    Default Question about OpenSuse development.

    I am not familiar with OpenSuse development and I have some questions that people experienced with the process might be able to answer.

    Is OpenSuse developed in a conservative way? It does not appear to be the mass flurry of breakage I am seeing in Ubuntu right now but I would like to hear some comments from people experienced with the process.

    I admire the way OpenSuse has increased it's development cycle to 8 months rather than 6, in my opinion this provides more time to resolve bugs and refine the release. What do experienced users think about this? Does this help build a better release?

    A point of particular interest to me is Intel graphics. Currently milestone 8 has exceptional support for Intel graphics. Is it safe to assume there will not be regressions as far as support for Intel graphics goes?

    Certainly no release is flawlessly perfect, software just doesn't work that way but I do think Ubuntu's development process is seriously flawed and I would like to think that OpenSuse uses a more realistic approach to quality.

    Thanks!

    exploder_91

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question about OpenSuse development.

    Quote Originally Posted by exploder_91 View Post
    I am not familiar with OpenSuse development and I have some questions that people experienced with the process might be able to answer.
    I'm not a developer, but might as well try since this isn't a dev forum so waiting around for an actual dev to answer may take a while...

    Is OpenSuse developed in a conservative way? It does not appear to be the mass flurry of breakage I am seeing in Ubuntu right now but I would like to hear some comments from people experienced with the process.
    I would characterise openSUSE as conservative in some respects. openSUSE is generally engineered around a principle of 'use the best technical solution'. This means that openSUSE sometimes implements 'cool' stuff later than other distros, but when those things finally are adopted they usually work well. There have been some misques, but that principle has generally held through from the pre-Novell days to today.

    I admire the way OpenSuse has increased it's development cycle to 8 months rather than 6, in my opinion this provides more time to resolve bugs and refine the release. What do experienced users think about this? Does this help build a better release?
    The 8-month fixed release cycle is new to openSUSE. oS 11.1 was a 6-month release and the developers felt that 6 months was too short for them. If the wikipedia article is to be believed however, SUSE has had a bit of a history with 6-month release cycles. After the acquistion by Novell, there's never been a long term commitment to (or occurrence of) a 6-month release cycle. I cannot speak to the pre-openSUSE days too much. Still, the length between releases isn't that important so long as there are realistic goals for each release. A distro can have an annual release cycle and still be unstable if they try to do too much.

    A point of particular interest to me is Intel graphics. Currently milestone 8 has exceptional support for Intel graphics. Is it safe to assume there will not be regressions as far as support for Intel graphics goes?
    Well it's not in the plan...openSUSE 11.2 is feature, version and translation frozen. So it's not probable that Intel graphics will regress in the final release. Will you get a guarantee? No.

    [edited...]I do think Ubuntu's development process is seriously flawed and I would like to think that OpenSuse uses a more realistic approach to quality.
    Just depends on how you look at it. The way I see it...Ubuntu really only releases every 2 years, the LTS releases. The other 3 releases along the way are to placate people who don't want to use old software and to keep testing momentum going.

    Certainly for any given release to release I prefer openSUSE to Ubuntu (since oS 10.3 anyway). But it's always good to remember that F/OSS is a collaborative effort. Ubuntu has brought good things, openSUSE has brought good things and so have other distros. The best part is that the vast majority of those contributions helps everyone else. If not for the Fedora's and Ubuntu's of the distro-verse a lot of stuff wouldn't be so well tested by the time it lands in openSUSE... and somebody's got to broadly test that up-and-coming stuff first.

    While I have a lot of faith in the openSUSE community, if you are using oS because you're hoping to be forever free from a bad release, you should readjust your expectations. You might just have a piece of hardware or setup that doesn't sit well with a particular release. There are so many moving pieces that it just may happen eventually.
    Primary OS: openSUSE 11.4
    Testing OS: openSUSE 12.1
    oS TCT

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about OpenSuse development.

    Thanks! I was not looking for answers from the developers. I was after answers from experienced users like yourself. I understand there is no garentee of hardware compatibility from one release to the next but it sounds like in general OpenSuse is not in the habit of introducing regressions in a new release.

    I would characterise openSUSE as conservative in some respects. openSUSE is generally engineered around a principle of 'use the best technical solution'. This means that openSUSE sometimes implements 'cool' stuff later than other distros, but when those things finally are adopted they usually work well. There have been some misques, but that principle has generally held through from the pre-Novell days to today.
    This sound like a good way to maintain a stable system. I understand the desire to add new technology but Ubuntu seems to introduce new things that are not even close for use by the general public. Sometimes it is best to wait for new technology to mature a little before trying to push it out to the public.

    The 8-month fixed release cycle is new to openSUSE. oS 11.1 was a 6-month release and the developers felt that 6 months was too short for them. If the wikipedia article is to be believed however, SUSE has had a bit of a history with 6-month release cycles. After the acquistion by Novell, there's never been a long term commitment to (or occurrence of) a 6-month release cycle. I cannot speak to the pre-openSUSE days too much. Still, the length between releases isn't that important so long as there are realistic goals for each release. A distro can have an annual release cycle and still be unstable if they try to do too much.
    Well, I guess we will see at least to some degree with 11.2 if the 8 month release cycle makes a difference. I think there will be a difference because it provides more time to make refinements to the system.

    Just depends on how you look at it. The way I see it...Ubuntu really only releases every 2 years, the LTS releases. The other 3 releases along the way are to placate people who don't want to use old software and to keep testing momentum going.
    Funny you should mention Ubuntu only releasing every two years because today in the Karmic development section someone wrote:

    04 = alpha
    10 = beta
    LTS = release

    While I have a lot of faith in the openSUSE community, if you are using oS because you're hoping to be forever free from a bad release, you should readjust your expectations. You might just have a piece of hardware or setup that doesn't sit well with a particular release. There are so many moving pieces that it just may happen eventually.
    Yes, I am realistic about hardware support. I asked about Intel graphics because Ubuntu has a viscous cycle of fixing something and then breaking it again with updates that carry the same flaws that were originally present. There is nothing worse than having your hardware working and an update breaks it all over again.

    Thank you for answering my questions. I have been spending time lately looking at distributions that are doing thing rigt and OpenSuse is doing a very nice job!

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