I don’t know if everyone in the community sees it the same way, but I’d say OpenSUSE/SUSE is dying out. I’m over 20 years with SUSE/OpenSUSE and when I yesterday reviewed some statistics, they more or less correlate with the feeling I have, that users are perishing off the community.
Back in the old days, people with a little bit IT skills at least some idea of what is SUSE, but these days even people in the Linux community barely know OpenSUSE/SUSE. I seems to be the same story for Open and Commercial SUSE.
Are there any projects for OpenSUSE promotion going on?
I think that if we do a serious “product marketing”, we could possibly put it on the right track. What “customer” segment do people think the OpenSUSE is good at? I personally would say, that among the Linux distros, it performs best as a common desktop. It can be used (and is around me as your wife’s PC, your kids can easily learn use it too. It’s quite reliably istallable using YaST, the GUI way, not that common among other distros. We’re not getting a share of Ubuntu (linux leader by large margin) users, as they’re usually with this distro for the likes of it (unless they ended up in that community by mistakes), usually programmers and such.
I don’t want to watch OpenSUSE to die. With that in mind, I was thinking it would be great to go back to schools (where SUSE was once present, at least a bit, at least here in those parts of Europe). By that I mean volunteers would run some kind of program, which would proceed roughly in this way:
- Offer schools to join the program, which would promote community-driven, publicly owned software and offer a help with introduction. In this step, we’d have to explain to the schools, that OpenSUSE can be used for the IT lessons the same way they do use typically commercial operationg systems. Typically to teach kids how to create a spread sheet, a text document, typing, typography basics, graphics design basics, programming basics, cloud services, social media, etc. Even a better way, an attractive to schools one, would be to not get dragged by what teaching schedule schools trying to cover it, but move ahead and stay ahead with a ready schedule of what the kids should learn and how (let’s say first two years).
- Introduction - OpenSUSE volunteers would come to the schools, helping out the IT teachers with explaining basics, helping installing OpenSUSE and software, training the teachers for the stuff they’ll be passing to kids the years to come.
From there on, it will be up It doesn’t matter if one or ten or hundred volunteers do that, we’d have to get really a *lot *of volunteers into the program, to have any chances in long term.
The more passive way would be just to have a documentation to help out the teachers, but that would be way less effective.
This is just my thinking, I wonder what you guys think about that, if you see the community perishing too and what ideas you have to save OpenSUSE. Obviously, I don’t know if my opinion is welcomed, but I hope we’ll keep the discussion in the factual level.