So I largely gave 42.3 a miss because it seemed virtually identical to 42.2. As a result, Leap 15.0 (KDE) was installed afresh.
I did like the new DVD menu boot screen. It was encouraging and surprising that the installer loaded without kernel panics without have to resort to fail-safe settings since this has always been the case with previous Leap/openSUSE versions. Since the installation program is based on YaST, the installation dialogue boxes haven’t changed much for the last 100 years, with the usual regional settings, partitioning, and user account setup.
As expected the
recommended partitioning' suggestion was ridiculous with a proposal being distributed across two of the five hard drives (the installer didn't see the previous Leap installation). I've noticed the subvolume proposal (BTRFS - sigh...) has been slightly simplified and the details are at first hidden in order not to frighten squeamish GNU/Linux newcomers. And expert partitioning’? Come on - you need to click this button in order install a vaguely sensible partition scheme, so please don’t patronise users and instead call it something sensible such as `custom partitioning’.
Within the partitioning program, I noticed the dialogue box for the mount options have become a lot slicker which is very good. However I find the main partitioning page unintuitive. If you select a hard drive in the listbox on the left, the main-page lists the partitions. However right-clicking on these partitions to edit them is disabled. Instead you have click on corresponding partition within the listbox then click edit. This is a poor design choice, because it means you lose sight of the overall partition organisation whenever you want to make any one change to single partition. A lack of thought gone into this dialogue box can also be seen in the main section because partitions are listed by purely unparsed string order - e.g. /dev/sda1, /dev/sda10, /dev/sda11, /dev/sda12, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3 etc - which is very dangerous.
Upon reboot, I found the new GRUB theme very attractive compared to the vile green screens of previous openSUSE versions. The new KDE Plasma desktop seems identical to previous version with just aesthetic changes to the loader screen (I like the filament lighting), login screen (with a green theme I liked), and wallpaper (which I did not so I’ve switched to plain black). I was surprised to see gcc not installed by default, and noticed there was also no Konqueror (or Falkon).
I was pleasantly surprised by the limited number of updates from
zypper up'. After adding by preferred repos (zypper ar’), I was able to install all programs (`zypper in’) - including ncmpcpp whose build fails in 42.3 - without any problems. As usual texlive installation comes with the usual 1000000 packages which no-one seems willing to group sensibly. I was shocked, in a good way, to see that the default gcc version has leapt from 4.8 to 7.3. This is excellent news. However the default python symlink still points to Python 2 rather than Python 3 which is a shame.
The nvidia blob installation for the driver, CUDA, and cuDNN libraries proceeded smoothly and I nearly have the system to how it was before installing Leap 15.0. It has been one of the most pain-free Leap upgrades I have ever performed and I’m impressed with the work from the openSUSE team. Except for the terrible partitioner, the installation program is fantastic. Drivers and software installed without a hitch, and at last Leap has left gcc 4.8 behind. As a result of these positive experiences, I still maintain that Leap is the best binary GNU/Linux distribution currently available.