LAS Reviews openSUSE 12.2

Seemed like they were fair for the most part. I could argue a bit but then again its not a debate just a review.
openSUSE 12.2 Review | LAS | s23e06 - YouTube

eh… personally I considered that whole episode to be rather poorly done. All topics other than the space combat sim weren’t really done right, particularly their whole marketshare segment. I mean Google Trends is a significantly worse indicator than even Distrowatch, because at least with Distrowatch the dataset involved is pure (which is to say you don’t have things like people searching for bugfixes for instance in the dataset). Granted that that dataset is useless for consideration in anything other than what’s trending on Distrowatch, but again they were trying to show bad with worse. Of course then again the people claiming marketshare always seem to be rather bipolar on the issue, but that may just be me. The only semi-valid statistics they used were the browser based one but their conclusion from it was very flawed because they treated the data as if it was saying that all ubuntu users used unity, particularly with the postulation that the derivatives were split out because mint was split out was rather silly in my opinion because Mint is major enough at this point to warrant it’s own category.

As to the review of openSUSE itself I’d give them a 4/10 on review quality mostly because of what I saw as unfair criticism based upon assumptions they made from the default install options of openSUSE itself. In particular what I’m getting at is their complaints about how openSUSE appeared to them to be too much desktop oriented for server work, while complaining about what they viewed as server tools being on the desktop. Now the packagekit backend criticism was valid even if they didn’t know what the issue really was, as the packagekit backend really really does needs to be fixed.

In either case I found InfinitelyGalactic’s review to be far superior, and certainly far more fair:
openSUSE 12.2 Review - Linux Distro Reviews - YouTube

I haven’t gotten to the review of OpenSUSE yet, but the marketshare segment was uncharacteristically frustrating. Chris cited Bryan saying he sold more software to Ubuntu users than all other distros combined. Of course he did - Chris neglected to mention that Bryan sells his software in the Ubuntu Software Store. Given he has almost zero publicity other than previously being a host, isn’t it common sense that most of his Linux buyers will be Ubuntu users? That was far more deceptive than anything related to Distrowatch’s figures. On top of that, when he was citing Wikipedia, he seemed to be confusing hits with unique users… again, not any more accurate than Distrowatch, and probably much less so.

On top of this, in the subreddit Chris declared that Ubuntu LTS “is the future of desktop Linux”, and Matt Hardy somewhat seems to agree with him. Matt wrote an article recently where he makes it sound like he’s settled on Ubuntu as a desktop, and even though his article was titled “Three Alternatives To Ubuntu” and subtitled “There’s more to Linux than just Ubuntu”, all three alternatives, Mint, Pear OS and Peppermint, are Ubuntu respins! Steven J. Vaugn-Nicholls also wrote an article this week about Linux on the desktop where he agrees with de Icaza that Ubuntu is the future/hope for Linux on the desktop.

Many of the major Linux pundits have now seemingly decided that there’s no use/hope for any other distro and Ubuntu is the way forward for everyone. I challenged LAS on the subreddit to hold a debate about this since this is something all Linux users should decide. There are serious issues surrounding Canonical’s revenue model, it’s declaration that it’s “not a democracy”, it’s development model (paying developers based on what features make it into the release, which a former developer describes as being responsible for many, including him, commiting half-baked code to releases with the idea of fixing it over the next 2-3 releases), it’s lack of contribution to the community, the way it treated Banshee, etc. These are all serious issues and there’s been lots of debate about them on both sides and to simply declare by fiat that it’s a matter decided is really disturbing to me. Now instead of having that debate running a segment suggesting that Linux users use Ubuntu 70-1 vs. other distros seems like digging in their heels instead. I’m starting to feel the other distros may need to band together (unionize?) and act to force a debate on this issue… otherwise we’ll continue to see things like Steam only being released for Ubuntu, Canonical cutting deals to bring other commercial software solely to Ubuntu, Bryan Lunduke (a man I otherwise like and respect) writing an asinine blog post suggesting Valve should forget about Steam and release L4D2 on the Ubuntu Software Store instead (although this may simply be greed, as he neglected to tell his readers that he sells through the Ubuntu Store and thus has a conflict of interest in writing an article advocating that it be beefed up and legitimized), etc.

Matt wrote an article comparing OpenSUSE and Ubuntu that seemed reasonably fair, but made some mistakes about OpenSUSE:
Grudge Match: Ubuntu 12.10 vs openSUSE 12.2 - Datamation
Matt is under the mistaken impression that the modern zypper and its SAT solver are inferior to the ancient technology that is apt. I’m beginning to think OpenSUSE needs to include a press guide with the release to help walk reviewers through its features and explain these things to them to avoid misinformation being passed on to their audience.

Thanks, I will check out both of your links. I agree about packagekit/apper, but otherwise openSUSE is fantastic for me. I am a fairly adept user and it was reliable enough to make me switch from Debian.

Well I wasn’t aware of that but okay that even further shoots their credibility in the foot.

Yeah… In all honesty it seems like that crowd is trying to bluff what they don’t have and what they drove off in order to try to regain it.

This +10,000, openSUSE needs to be proactive with the reviewers and set up that press guide and show them how it all works, also Smolt needs to become more widespread so that there is an actual proper marketshare analysis to be used to debunk that whole nonsense. If you watch the review duncreg you’ll see that what he’s talking about is really the zypper packagekit backend being broken in regards to the whole “Failed: Failed” thing. Which has been pretty much their only valid complaint.

I’m going to watch the review first thing tomorrow morning, but the more I think about it the more I really do believe we need the press guide. There’s a lot of information scattered around the OpenSUSE site but it does need to be pulled together to walk a reviewer through it, since so much innovation in OpenSUSE lies just below the surface. Dedoimedo is the only reviewer I know who even keeps a copy of the last version installed so he can test the upgrade procedure and also uses the distro full time for several days or longer to find the quirks. There’s a lot reviewers can miss otherwise unless it’s pointed out to them.

I’d definitely volunteer to help put together a press guide. So much doesn’t get talked about during OpenSUSE reviews, like “one-click install”, in Matt’s article he didn’t realize that the Firefox install has a search engine for, no one ever mentions the hundreds of pages of documentation that comes with OpenSUSE (most new users might not even know it’s there), etc.

You’re absolutely right about Smolt. I think I’ll suggest LAS offer a poll on their web page regarding viewers’ primary distro (hit counts can be distorted by people watching from other machines, those who view from their phones or HTPCs or Windows PCs at work won’t get counted at all as Linux users, people could distro hop or dual boot, use one OS on their HTPC and another on their desktop, etc.). It would be interesting to see the poll figures vs. what Chris was estimating and see if his estimates hold up (not likely).
Another Linux website had a poll about users’ favorite distro in 2012. When 1,853 votes were in, the totals were Arch 9%, *Buntu 20%, Fedora 7%, Mandriva/Mageia/ROSA 3%, Mepis/AntiX 1%, Mint 12%, OpenSUSE 11%, PCLOS 19%, Sabayon/Gentoo 3%, Debian 7%, Slackware 3%, Other 5%.In 2011 the award for best distro saw Ubuntu getting 21.83% of the vote, so this seems to match. Could lots of people be voting for distros they don’t use? I don’t know. I checked Wikimedia and the data is… odd. The number of Linux requests for August is 6.81%, almost tied with OS X’s 7.78%. There’s no way Linux is almost as frequently used as OS X though. Ubuntu does have 959 M as opposed to Mint’s 11.3 M, but I seem to recall this issue coming up before where some of the Ubuntu-derived distros continue to report themselves as Ubuntu in the browser. In fact, the one statistic Chris misses is “Linux Other” which surpasses Ubuntu at 1,216 M. Linux SUSE dwarfs a lot of distros at 21.8M, but Linux OpenSUSE barely registers at 30k. I just checked my Firefox user agent string and it’s reporting just “Linux”. :slight_smile: I think that takes a lot of wind out of the sails of using Wikipedia or browser user agent strings in general to differentiate between different versions of Linux, especially when “Other” is the most used Linux if you don’t count Android.

You’ve really got me thinking now. :slight_smile: But now I need some sleep and then I’ll watch the review first thing in the morning. I’ve been really concerned for a while now though about how little credit OpenSUSE gets and that Ubuntu seems to be becoming the Windows of Linux - people use it by default because they don’t know they have other options. Linux users are used to being second class citizens compared to Windows, but now other distros are experiencing it within the Linux world - a Lifehacker article about “customizing your Linux desktop” turned out to be about configuring Unity within Ubuntu (a conversation with the author revealed that at that time 100% of Lifehacker writers who used Linux used Ubuntu!), articles commonly read “to install blah on Linux use sudo apt-get blah”, and even in articles about “the top eight problems with Linux”, five of them turn out to be problems with Ubuntu/Unity. Not only can’t I get Linux writers interested in discussing this issue, they all seem to be lining up behind the “let’s limit desktop distros to only one - Ubuntu” over the last few weeks. :frowning: Our OpenSUSE community outreach person, Jos, did make a great comment speaking only for himself on another blog that if Fedora, Red Hat, SUSE, Debian, IBM, Intel, etc. disappeared tomorrow the Linux community would suffer, but if Canonical disappeared life would still go on as usual (because they don’t really contribute anything upstream). Maybe he’d be interested in dialog about this and ways to let the world know that OpenSUSE isn’t going to roll over and let Ubuntu become the only Linux desktop distro by default. :slight_smile: He’s been busy lately on other blogs, including one where a blogger was commenting on a forthcoming “software store” backend that turns out only exists because OpenSUSE used a Google Summer of Code allocation to make it happen with KPackageKit. That’s the second year in a row I believe OpenSUSE used a GSoC slot to do something that either benefited all distros or benefited everyone but OpenSUSE (we used one to separate the library that lets YaST run in GTK, Qt or ncurses from YaST itself so other distros could use it in their software). How much OpenSUSE gives back to the Linux community like that (even the “Collaboration Across Borders” theme a few conferences ago where they invited reps from other distros to talk about how to collaborate more) is yet another issue that the Linux media doesn’t seem to be aware of.

Ok, I’ll stop babbling now. Goodnight and thanks for the stimulating conversation!

Yeah, the distribution amounts you listed actually makes a lot more sense and I suspect somewhat resembles actual market share (although the PCLinuxOS results seem odd to me and probably throwing off the percentages of other non-*buntu distros). I’m curious though about the break down of the *buntus given that video was also pushing the idea that Unity wasn’t and isn’t still an utter flop. I have a suspiscion that KDE or XFCE is at the top of that breakdown and the other of those two is the second.

And yeah, openSUSE is arguably the most collaborative of the distros (although I say that with some reservations given that Red Hat/Fedora has been leading the way to a degree with starting up cross-distro infrastructural stuff (packagekit, systemd, RPMs) and more generalized infrastructure to be used by distros (wayland, pulseaudio)). I mean Arch just got it’s own hooks into the OBS last week was it? There’s just a lot of work done here that is specifically aimed at helping everyone.