The chief consequences are that the US forum has died, SuseUnbound which started about 2 years ago hasn’t got off the ground, Linux forums and Linux Questions have shrunk radically and this forum has picked up the traffic from the formation forums plus the shrinkage of the other three.
I was driving down a country track a couple of days ago, when a young man running/jogging came towards me, head down. It was only when we were on top of each other that I realised he didn’t know I was there (He had earphones and Ipod going). A collision was averted as I was only travelling at 10MPH and he jumped in to the Thorn hedge and carried on his way.
I think it shows the merge of the 3 previous forums ultimately was a success, and that despite our occasional tribulations and difficulties we are making slow and gradually progress in establishing a good helpful community in our forum.
The past 5 years for me on the various SuSE forums, while consuming a large chunk of my time, have significantly helped improve (in a practical sense) my knowledge of Linux, which I in turn have been able to lever to help (in some ways) my job where I actually get paid. I know there are a number of occasions where my Linux knowledge was able to solve technical problems at work fairly quickly, while if I did not have that knowledge it would have taken me much longer at work.
And on the personal side, in no small part due to participating in the various SuSE forums, my knowledge and expertise/familiarity of Linux has improved enough that some family member feel comfortable in me installing Linux in a Dual boot on their PCs. Also, on a personal side, looking back at some of the threads I was involved in 5 years ago, I think the darkside/combativeness nature of my personality is starting to improve for the better, with more understanding and less of an inclination to be dragged into flame wars (nor indeed now initiate less flame wars), although I do confess I still have a long ways to go there. I still have to face my ugly mug in the morning … The improvement (hopefully) in personality that I have derived, is also IMHO directly beneficial on both the job/professional front (my interactions with colleagues is more pleasant) and also on the personal front. …
We do have a very very small microcosm of life here on our forums, and I believe the benefits of forum participation can be helpful to those who take advantage of it.
More likely it has to do with the decline of openSUSEs popularity and Linux on desktop in general - declining quality in general with little headway in several areas, falling behind the other operating systems in several areas (drivers, usability, availability of usable applications)
So I don’t carry any data to back up anything and hopefully will not make any false or inflated or even dumb claims here (well it is hard to remove dumb claims). As a SuSE user since version 10.0 came out, I have found the openSUSE forums here to be the best thing for me since sliced bread was introduced to me as a small tot. I would say that if you use openSUSE, have a problem, question or any interest at all in its usage, then this is the place to be. I think that there are a lot of people here we have to thank for this, including most of those that have responded here. I say hats off to you and thank you for your service to openSUSE. I also agree that in using and helping here, it can indeed make you into a better SuSE user and perhaps a better person, though not always of course. lol!
Thanks for the info John. It clearly shows that Forums.OpenSUSE.org has helped to centralise the openSUSE community. Thankfully, the majority of our members appear intellegent enough to interpret these results in a sensible manner too.
What convinced me to switch was the package management. Urpmi back then (before the aquisition of Connectiva) was not up to par. It actually ruined my system by uninstalling 4000 packages when I was doing an update (yes I had all the repos set right).
I too wonder what is the FACT base for such accusations/generalities. Is there some crystal ball we don’t know about that can tell when people are humming along with openSUSE and Desktops and Linux and when they have abandoned the exercise?
Like when a tree falls in the forest and noone is there does it still make a sound, or disturb anything? I therefore suggest:
Those who are having issues with openSUSE visit openSUSE forum to ask questions and as such are countable.
Those who have had problems in the past and are helping others now are also countable.
Those who have joined the forum are countable but may or may not be quite so active.
Then there are those who are happy and going about business on their desktop and don’t come to forums. – not countable
Or how about those that haven’t upgraded because being able to concentrate on work on a functioning system out wheys the chance of something going wrong with an upgrade.
And lastly, are the few (I suspect) that either moved to another Linux Distro, Mac OS/X, or Windose.
I have been using openSUSE for a number of years. I love it and I cannot see myself using any other distro! I have some problems once in a while. The first thing I do is search the forums for answers, then the wiki’s, and then google. If I cannot find the answer then I post a question in this forum. I also read the forums daily and try to help out other user’s when I feel confident that I can be of help. I think that it’s great that most people use this forum for there questions
No matter how far you shove your head in the sand, it won’t remove the fact that 11.3 was downloaded less, had less people testing and gained considerably less publicity than previous incarnations did. Not to mention being launched with vastly more bugs than 11.2 - Xorg, Intel, ATI, nVidia issues anyone?
As for the numbers, feel free to Google for 11.1, 11.2 and 11.3 launch numbers - you can find them in the first few hits.
I have never, and I mean never, seen as few people come to IRC asking about 11.3 as I have with the previous incarnations. Considering the amount of issues people are apparently having with it, I find it a little ‘odd’.