openSUSE Strategy Discussion: Status quo strategy proposal

Today we continue with public discussions about strategy proposals, this time with the “Status quo” strategy proposal

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== Statement ==

We deliver a well-balanced GNU/Linux platform for modern computers (workstation, laptop, netbook, server) that equally appeals to end users, power users, developers and server/network infrastructure administrators. It shall protrude professionally and let the user be productive.

== Background ==

This strategy tries to quantify what we tried to do in the past — as it was not written down earlier.

So, this is what most users expect from openSUSE today, but does not give a vision for change looking forward.

In the context of other distributions, we differentiate ourselves from Ubuntu targeting the newbie and further differentiate from Fedora being experimental bleeding edge — instead we pick “the middle ground”.

== Key ideas ==

  • Creation of a general purpose distribution that
    ** anyone can use without too much effort
    ** is known for good quality (stable and usable but neither outdated nor bleeding edge)
    ** has good and sane defaults so the user can do what s/he wants to do
    ** has programs that work out of the box
    ** focused on modern hardware and their use cases (workstations, laptops, netbooks and servers)
    ** is targeted towards end users, but is reasonably equally usable for other workloads
  • Critical analysis of hyped items before inclusion

== Activities ==

=== We need to be excellent in the following ===

  • Do as we always did! That is,
    ** good compromise between actuality and stability
    ** agreeable release cycle of 8 months
    ** support for the three most recent releases
  • Supporting our target customers
    ** End users:
    *** Delivering multiple desktops, focusing on both GNOME and KDE
    *** Focus on providing tools for being productive and creative (IDEs, editors, authoring tools, graphics manipulation, office productivity, etc.)
    ** Developers:
    *** Development environments for especially C, C++, Perl, Python, Java, Ruby: IDEs, tools and support libraries
    ** Power users and system administrators:
    *** Providing admin tools that are powerful yet (reasonably) easy
    *** Agreeable command line experience
    *** Virtualization technique, e.g. KVM, Xen
    *** Standard networking services
  • Continue the naturally growth of openSUSE:Factory by incorporating contributors’ submissions.

=== We will try to do the following effectively ===

  • Innovate and keep up with latest upstream developments.
  • Include a more minimalistic desktop environment.
  • Provide a low entry barrier for potential contributors. With the openSUSE Build Service, it is easier to make contributions than any other Linux distribution to date.
  • Offer easy creation of specialized install media (appliances) through SUSE Studio.
  • Good presentation and marketing, in particular communicating our existing strengths and unique features (i.e. competitive advantages).
  • The usual niceties: speed, less bloat, possibility of minimality.

=== As project, we will not focus on the following ===

(fill in if exists)

AJ,

Thanks for this information. It should give everyone a clear idea of the openSUSE mission and vision.

True, openSUSE has been a strong GNU/Linux distribution, it has many pluses over the others I have used, specifically it actually installed with virtually no troubles on my laptop, 19 client’s laptops, and 45 clients desktop units where 8 to 10 other Linux distro’s totally failed.
“Let the user be productive” however has some clarification needed. If you are talking about an environment where the CLI & GUI-desktops function and the tools are available and present for configuration then yes it can be said it lets the user be productive. And if your talking about email, browser, chat, wordprocessing, image editing, spreasheets this too fits. If your talking about the ability to utilize hardware, more specialized audio, video, scanning, authoring software, then it productivity abilities drop off significantly moving from one version to another.

== Background ==

In the context of other distributions, we differentiate ourselves from Ubuntu targeting the newbie and further differentiate from Fedora being experimental bleeding edge — instead we pick “the middle ground”.

agreed

== Key ideas ==

  • Creation of a general purpose distribution that
    ** anyone can use without too much effort
    ** is known for good quality (stable and usable but neither outdated nor bleeding edge)
    ** has good and sane defaults so the user can do what s/he wants to do
    ** has programs that work out of the box
    ** focused on modern hardware and their use cases (workstations, laptops, netbooks and servers)
    ** is targeted towards end users, but is reasonably equally usable for other workloads
  • Critical analysis of hyped items before inclusion

focus on modern hardware is my sore point and that of my clients. Yes we want use and stability of modern hardware but also the ability to use older hardware devices that worked with previous versions

== Activities ==

=== We need to be excellent in the following ===
*** Focus on providing tools for being productive and creative (IDEs, editors, authoring tools, graphics manipulation, office productivity, etc.)
** Developers:
*** Development environments for especially C, C++, Perl, Python, Java, Ruby: IDEs, tools and support libraries

These really do need stronger attention to really make a difference

=== We will try to do the following effectively ===

  • Provide a low entry barrier for potential contributors. With the openSUSE Build Service, it is easier to make contributions than any other Linux distribution to date.
  • Offer easy creation of specialized install media (appliances) through SUSE Studio.
  • Good presentation and marketing, in particular communicating our existing strengths and unique features (i.e. competitive advantages).

I’ve been programming business solutions since 1975, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how to be an effective contributor using these services. My clients come with a need, I develop the software to meet the need, install to their system and they are happy. Works for me cause they can upgrade their system and the applications still work without need of rebuilds except when improvements are done. Where the wider community could be benefit from contributions, what i feel is needed is a detailed wiki outlining by example how to set-up to use the service.

there’s my 2 cents worth.

This is what I thought Opensuse was all this time.
Is this being here discussed to make it the official policy?
If so I agree with it.