I have been thinking about this for days, the thing is, I am not as articulate as some of you are, so bear with me.
I, like some of you, have been with Linux, and in particular openSUSE for a long time. I started with openSUSE back when it was SuSE. I remember cutting my teeth on Red Hat 7.something and Slackware 7.1. Then I went to Mandrake 8.0. But enough of the history, and on to my point. I have noticed some attitudes among our more tenured Linux users that, well to put it simply, has to change. Over all, this community is great, and provides a great service to newbies, but when these newbies express an "improvement, because of something, take how some have expressed “improvements” to YaST, they have been shot down. Now granted, YaST is a great tool. Is it perfect? No! Can it be improved? Yes! We could simplify it. That, in essence is what their expressing. Not so much that we transform YaST into synaptic. But instead of listening to them, we become hostile, and subsequently run them off.
Another area is the change of KDE. We are one of the last distros to have and offer KDE 3.5, but it is KDE that has brought that to an end. The only way to keep 3.5 is if the community does it. I tried to see if we could keep it, but the answer was “no”.
The last area to address, or that I will address. Perhaps some others can bring up some other points. Is the attitude of RTFM. This, quite simply has got to stop. We all started at some point. We were all newbies at some point. But the attitude of RTFM says that you have forgotten where you began, or that you have become cold and calloused. This has two problems. 1) Linux can be made easier. I have heard and see where tenured Linux users will chew newbies out cause they didn’t check the HCL. While they may have a valid point, Linux can do things to make it easier for the user. One of the first things, after accepting the license is probing the hardware. Now after the hardware probe, we could put in the hardware that was detected, what hardware showed up on the HCL as known to work, what won’t work, and what might work. This, in and of itself would go a long way.
2)The other problem is that it communicates to the newbie that we don’t care. That they are on their own. This is not the message, we at openSUSE wish to convey. I’m glad that some of the tenured users are tenacious and read the manual, and through trial and error got it working. But not everyone is like that. We need to learn to see beyond ourselves, and put ourself in their shoes.
Linux/openSUSE can do so much better, and I am working on some ideas behind the scenes. I can’t go into it now. But please, make use of openFate for feature requests, and then post the feature request here in the forum. Also feel free to make me personally aware. We must not shrink away from change, but embrace it.
OK, I’ll get my fire retardant suit now. I welcome all posts. I’m sure some will agree with me, and some won’t.