"As frequently heard on the forums"

Hi guys,

I’m getting very tired of hearing “as frequently heard on the forums” quoted to support an unpopular, divisive, or otherwise negative opinion about our project and it’s distributions

Here’s two examples from today
http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-project/2015-07/msg00058.html
https://www.reddit.com/r/openSUSE/comments/3cbgza/tumbleweed_doesnt_seem_as_stable_as_it_used_to_be/

but generally speaking I’m seeing this more, and more

And the problem is, it seems to be totally unjustified. I come to this forums and look for the debates which support these statements…and I don’t find them.

On the topic of the next Regular Release - The thread about my talk at oSC15 hasn’t been touched since May, the thread about openSUSE
13.3 hasn’t been touched by anyone for a month,. and I see no new threads since then on these topics

On the topic of Tumbleweed - I see a healthy support community of people asking questions on these forums and getting good answers that normally help them. I am seeing an increase in questions, but that seems to be in line with the increase in users which we know Tumbleweed is getting - I’m not seeing any trends or evidence of problems with general stability.

Now I understand these are really fast moving topics, and a lot of those movement is happening in the openSUSE mailinglists, but I really don’t think it’s good for the perception of the openSUSE Forums to be cited when spreading FUD in this way.

I think it’s been too long since anyone called it when “as frequently heard on the forums” was used inappropriately.
It doesn’t do much for this communities reputation, and makes it harder for me to encourage more developers to engage here when the growing (mis)perception is that the Forums are home to a bunch of people who just complain a lot

I don’t know what you can all do about it, but I wanted to use this opportunity to get on my Soapbox and talk about it.
It has to stop, it isn’t good for the Project as a whole and for these Forums in particular. I think if there’s a concerted effort from everyone here to start pushing back when these Forums are cited in vain, then hopefully it’ll be happier and healthier for all involved

Regards,

Richard

On Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:46:02 +0000, RBrownSUSE wrote:

> I don’t know what you can all do about it, but I wanted to use this
> opportunity to get on my Soapbox and talk about it.
> It has to stop, it isn’t good for the Project as a whole and for these
> Forums in particular. I think if there’s a concerted effort from
> everyone here to start pushing back when these Forums are cited in vain,
> then hopefully it’ll be happier and healthier for all involved

Thanks for raising this issue here, Richard.

I think what we need to do is require citations - just saying “as
frequently heard on the forums” is kinda like saying “the lurkers agree
with me in e-mail”. If you’re going to cite the forums, then provide
links to example threads - and if you’re going to say “frequently”, then
more than a couple citations supporting your point need to be included.

We also need to remember that forum users asking for help are not
necessarily representative of the userbase as a whole. People don’t tend
to seek out support forums (which these forums are) because everything’s
working fine. They seek them out because they need help. As such, the
group is skewed towards people who have had problems.

That’s not to say that everyone here is having problems and needs help
with something - but the vast majority of users are people who come in
here because they have a specific issue they need help with, and they get
help and go on to the next thing.

So citing the forums as representative of the user base also can be
misleading. This isn’t to say that the users here shouldn’t be listened
to - by any means - but it means that if you’re going to cite the forums,
do so responsibly and provide examples so members of the board and others
involved in the project governance and management (a) don’t have to
search for these references for verification, and (b) the forums don’t
earn a black eye from the project for being the source of unverified/
unverifiable rumours.

Thanks.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Noting one of the examples is from ‘openSUSE forums’, I tend to agree with hendersj that users who post such are not representative of the openSUSE forum. Calling them out on such might be an approach to cover such claims - asking them to give specific thread references.

wrt reddit, I don’t follow that forum so I can’t say much - other than to note I participated in an openSUSE forum thread where it was noted the exact opposite from that reddit title, where openSUSE Tumbleweed is more stable than it used to be. In fact, that thread motivated me to go back to Tumbleweed (some months back) after leaving Tumbleweed for over 18-months due to stability concerns. My conclusion is Tumbleweed is much more stable than in the past.

There is a massive diversity of opinions on the forum, and many of the opinions are simply that - opinions.

I try to watch the mailing lists, but the volume is massive, and I find it more difficult to track than forum threads. It may be useful to point to some of us when such ‘forum claims’ occur in the mailing lists, and if we think it inaccurate we can chime in with our view .

On the topic of the Regular Release, it reads to be MOST interesting. I’ve been watching many (albeit likely less than 50%) of the mailing lists posts on the topic, and I am looking forward to openSUSE Leap 4.2 (the successor to openSUSE-13.2).

On 2015-07-07 18:28, Jim Henderson wrote:
> On Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:46:02 +0000, RBrownSUSE wrote:
>
>> I don’t know what you can all do about it, but I wanted to use this
>> opportunity to get on my Soapbox and talk about it.
>> It has to stop, it isn’t good for the Project as a whole and for these
>> Forums in particular. I think if there’s a concerted effort from
>> everyone here to start pushing back when these Forums are cited in vain,
>> then hopefully it’ll be happier and healthier for all involved
>
> Thanks for raising this issue here, Richard.
>
> I think what we need to do is require citations - just saying “as
> frequently heard on the forums” is kinda like saying “the lurkers agree
> with me in e-mail”. If you’re going to cite the forums, then provide
> links to example threads - and if you’re going to say “frequently”, then
> more than a couple citations supporting your point need to be included.

Yep.

The person that said that has not posted a link. He did not even say
which specific forum, so it could be anywhere.

I don’t think that the people in this forum are to blame for that
alleged criticism. I was quite surprised when reading it.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))

Well, this is the Internet. And rants are common on the Internet.

If that reddit post had instead been at the forums, the would have been some good responses to help the guy out. But reddit is another feature (or misfeature) of the Internet.

In your first example, the writer said that there’s a lack of information. I actually agree with that. However, I don’t see that as a problem. I’m ready to wait and see how opensuse leap develops and evolves. It will be easier to provide information and explanations when we have more experience.

For me, Tumbleweed, followed by Leap, is an indication that the opensuse community is alive and vigorous, changing what it does to make things better. Thanks for your work in keeping it that way.

On Tue, 07 Jul 2015 17:18:06 +0000, Carlos E. R. wrote:

> The person that said that has not posted a link. He did not even say
> which specific forum, so it could be anywhere.
>
> I don’t think that the people in this forum are to blame for that
> alleged criticism. I was quite surprised when reading it.

It happens a lot more frequently than the two examples Richard cited, and
the two examples he called out aren’t the only recent examples.

I don’t think Richard is looking to assess blame, but rather to call out
that he’s noticed this as a trend when debating over something that’s
controversial, and within the context of the project, using uncited
references to people who support one’s point of view is a poor way to
make a point - regardless of the source.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Yep, and so that needs to get dealt with in the mailing list thread(s) (or wherever else uncited references are being proclaimed), the same as it would be here.

On Tue, 07 Jul 2015 22:36:01 +0000, deano ferrari wrote:

> hendersj;2718654 Wrote:
>>
>>
>> It happens a lot more frequently than the two examples Richard cited,
>> and the two examples he called out aren’t the only recent examples.
>>
>> I don’t think Richard is looking to assess blame, but rather to call
>> out that he’s noticed this as a trend when debating over something
>> that’s controversial, and within the context of the project, using
>> uncited references to people who support one’s point of view is a poor
>> way to make a point - regardless of the source.
>>
>> Jim
>>
>> –
>> Jim Henderson openSUSE Forums Administrator Forum Use Terms &
>> Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C
>
> Yep, and so that needs to get dealt with in the mailing list thread(s)
> (or wherever else uncited references are being proclaimed), the same as
> it would be here.

No argument, but raising the issue here and there gets it to a broader
audience, which isn’t a bad thing.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

On 2015-07-08 01:08, Jim Henderson wrote:
> On Tue, 07 Jul 2015 22:36:01 +0000, deano ferrari wrote:

>> Yep, and so that needs to get dealt with in the mailing list thread(s)
>> (or wherever else uncited references are being proclaimed), the same as
>> it would be here.
>
> No argument, but raising the issue here and there gets it to a broader
> audience, which isn’t a bad thing.

Sorry, I must be today thicker than usual O:-)

(I was fighting with a recalcitrant router for something
like 10 hours…)

What is being asked of us? :-? :slight_smile:


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))

Well, Richard was mentioning that he’s noticed an increase in numbers with users complaining about various issues (mailing lists), and generalising with statements such as ‘as frequently heard on the forums’ type remarks, as if to to suggest that openSUSE Forum users back their opinions (but totally unsubstantiated). He mentions

I don’t know what you can all do about it, but I wanted to use this opportunity to get on my Soapbox and talk about it.
It has to stop, it isn’t good for the Project as a whole and for these Forums in particular. I think if there’s a concerted effort from everyone here to start pushing back when these Forums are cited in vain, then hopefully it’ll be happier and healthier for all involved

He’s essentially suggesting (encouraging us) that when we notice such behaviour in the mailing lists on anywhere else for that matter, that we can push back by asking for evidence, rather than just accepting the opinion being delivered without any references to back it up.

On 2015-07-07, RBrownSUSE <RBrownSUSE@no-mx.forums.microfocus.com> wrote:
> I’m getting very tired of hearing “as frequently heard on the forums”
> quoted to support an unpopular, divisive, or otherwise negative opinion
> about our project and it’s distributions

As frequently heard on the forums, the contributors on the forums represent only a proportion of the entire openSUSE
userbase - sorry, couldn’t resist! :slight_smile:

> I think it’s been too long since anyone called it when “as frequently
> heard on the forums” was used inappropriately.

I’m not sure if this can be done from NNTP, but I’m reasonably certain that that the HTML interface allows users to
report inappropriate posts.

> It doesn’t do much for this communities reputation, and makes it harder
> for me to encourage more developers to engage here when the growing
> (mis)perception is that the Forums are home to a bunch of people who
> just complain a lot

You are of course right. But complainers are more likely to post than complimenters. I don’t regard this as a bad thing.
People are more likely to post a complaint if they actually think it will produce some kind of result, even if it is
just a response. That expectation is good thing, because it indicates that the forum userbase cares. My understanding
is that the openSUSE community does have a good online reputation. Sure, there are some prickly posters who are perhaps
a bit too quick to pour scorn at other people’s expense, but I guess every distribution must have a tail…

OK, guys, let me step in as Richards remark is probably related to my mail to the list (openSUSE Product Portfolio). And I felt his reply was a kind way of saying ‘bugger off’.

I’m not focussing on the openSUSE forums - perople here are mostly working on/with SUSE or looking for help - we can assume they are positive towards openSUSE.
I have provided the links to the german forum. Heise is publishing the most important technical magazines (c’t, i’X), they are quite Linux-minded (although focussed on Ubuntu) and there is a very mixed audience in their forums. This gives quite a good picture about the public perception, and opinions are facts! (talk to a communication professional if you question this).

I see the risk that opinion runs into the wrong direction, and this requires immediate action. Once the perception exists that Leap is more for ‘mature’ hardware its hard to turn the wheel again.

OTOH, I would be interested if the SP between SLES and Leap will be syncronized. If yes, that measn that customers of SLES will face a technical leap with each service pack.
If not, there is no synergy, and no point to build leap on SLES-basis.
Third, there my be a hidden agenda we dont know about.

Cheers
Axel

On 2015-07-08 04:36, deano ferrari wrote:
>
> robin_listas;2718708 Wrote:

> He’s essentially suggesting (encouraging us) that when we notice such
> behaviour in the mailing lists on anywhere else for that matter, that we
> can push back by asking for evidence, rather than just accepting the
> opinion being delivered without any references to back it up.

Ah, ok, I understand now. Thanks :slight_smile:


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))

On 2015-07-08 11:07, flymail wrote:

> I’m not sure if this can be done from NNTP, but I’m reasonably certain that that the HTML interface allows users to
> report inappropriate posts.

Well… with time you get to know the personal emails of a few people,
some of them admins. So you could email them, but I suppose that this
should not be done except on emergencies, because they will have
difficulties locating the correct thread. Also, that particular person
might not be connected or busy that moment.

On the other hand, the report button on the web signals, in a way I
don’t know, all the available admins, and “the one on duty” can respond :wink:

I would only use email when the forum is offline, to ask about it, perhaps.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))

On 2015-07-08 11:26, DocB wrote:

> Once the perception exists that Leap is more
> for ‘mature’ hardware its hard to turn the wheel again.

Yes, quite… I’m sure (in my guts) that this perception exists. I know
because it also is my personal feeling… I voiced it, and got replies
that said, basically, that this may not be so, as the SLE kernel gets a
lot of patches and backports. And anyway, they are also considering a
more recent kernel, one that is considered upstream as LTS.

Anyways, it is early days, the baby is not yet born, to know if it will
have grey or green eyes :slight_smile:

> OTOH, I would be interested if the SP between SLES and Leap will be
> syncronized.

I believe so. We will have Leap 42.1, 42.2, 42.3, where the decimal
relates to the SLES SP it derives from.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))

Nonsense, if I wanted to tell you to “bugger off”, I would have said “bugger off” :wink: I was terse because I’m increasingly tired of long posts saying that openSUSE should say or do something that exceed the length of the thing we should say or do :wink:

I have provided the links to the german forum. Heise is publishing the most important technical magazines (c’t, i’X), they are quite Linux-minded (although focussed on Ubuntu) and there is a very mixed audience in their forums. This gives quite a good picture about the public perception, and opinions are facts! (talk to a communication professional if you question this).

Perception is reality, that is true, however it’s hard to counter misconceptions when, by design and intention, the final state of Leap 42.1 is in a state of flux. We’re a community project, we build things as a community, that means we have a somewhat perverse need to do two things which should be diametrically opposed to each other - we need to make very loud, very clear, very public statements about Leap 42.1 to get people interested and contributing, at the same time, we need to make very diverse, very flexible, very responsive decisions as a community to decide how Leap 42.1 will actually look when released

On the topic of Hardware support, the simple answer is, we don’t know right now. Our starting point was assuming we’d start with the SLE Kernel. More people dislike it than like it. Those who dislike it raise good reasons for disliking it, so now we discuss mitigations or alternatives

If we only waited until the baby was born before talking about it, we’d be accused of making decisions behind closed doors and not doing things in an open way…

I think this is case of we’re ****ed if we do, we’re ****ed if we don’t…so, when people like you step up and say we should do more ‘marketing’, the only option I have in my arsenal is pointing you in the direction of the 3 places I think we need to have as much information as possible, and hope you can figure out what to put there because right now I dont want to be the person changing it every 24 hours when new decisions get made :wink:

Also, I’m in regular contact with regular Press contacts, including Heise’s journalists, and it’s my intention to keep them well informed about the current status and shape of Leap, when we know the current status and shape of Leap…

OTOH, I would be interested if the SP between SLES and Leap will be syncronized. If yes, that measn that customers of SLES will face a technical leap with each service pack.
If not, there is no synergy, and no point to build leap on SLES-basis.
Third, there my be a hidden agenda we dont know about.

I’m going to ignore the suggestions of a third, malicious agenda, that’s mumpitz

Yes, it’s a FACT = Leap is aligned with SLES and it’s service packs, but aligned doesn’t mean identical.

For every package Leap has which matches the SLES source, openSUSE benefits greatly - Stable versions, professional maintainers, enterprise grade maintenance updates. Win, Win, Win
SUSE also benefits - more people using their packages, more feedback, more suggestions on how to make it better, more use in more diverse environments. Win, Win, Win

For each package Leap has which does NOT match the SLES source, openSUSE benefits - Versions which the community wants, community maintainers. But there are some downsides - community has to do the maintenance updates. Win, Win, Loss.
SUSE also benefits - shoving a new version among the rest of the SLE codebase lets SUSE see how much work would it be to offer that same upgrade to customers. So in the case of the Kernel, Leap jumping to the latest Stable kernel in Leap now helps SUSE for considering making the same jump in SLE 12 SP2. More innovations, more testing, more options for SUSE customers. Win, Win, Win

This ‘hybrid Community-prise’ distribution model is new, lots of things are unanswered, because no one else has tried what we’re doing with Leap, but from my perspective as both an openSUSE guy of 10 years and a SUSE guy of ~2, I really think we’re building something exciting for everyone here, way more so than the old openSUSE regular releases.

To me, it seems premature to jump to that conclusion.

I’ll admit that Leap is still a bit of a mystery to me, but I have enough confidence in the people managing it, that I don’t have particular concerns over this.

The impression I have, is that Leap will be more stable and have a longer support term than was the practice with previous opensuse releases.

For myself, I plan to have both Leap and Tumbleweed on my main desktop (different partitions). I’ll decide, based on experience, which I will mainly use.

Since the “as frequently heard on the forums” without a citation is much more likely to be used externally anyway, so the interface question is somewhat irrelevant or marginal at best for this particular issue. An external perception of “forums” might even include mailing lists.
Of course the original quote without a citation should be challenged , and if it turns out be true, don’t shoot the messenger but try to address the complaint. :wink:

I share the same view. I’m very much looking forward to openSUSE Leap 42.x (I may have decimal in wrong place). The concept of more maturity/stability in this ‘merged SLE/openSUSE OS’, even if at the price of slightly more mature hardware being required is ok by me. And part of the reason its ok because my having now played with Tumbleweed, I know for my hardware Tumbleweed is clearly more stable than it was in the past. I say that with firm conviction and having played a reasonable amount with Tumbleweed.

Hence if I have cutting edge hardware, I will install Tumbleweed. And then a year or two later, when my hardware is older, I will likely move that hardware to openSUSE Leap. I find this dual offering, and longer support, fabulous and I am quite keen on it.
.

As will I. From looks and feel, I seem to be using and preferring Tumbleweed over old 13.1, in spite of the regular maintenance overhead. That could all change when 42 leaps over to the stable slot.