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From: Marcus Moeller <mail-7BlZPJ8e1eab+SiqwsCprbNAH6kLmebB <at> public.gmane.org>
Subject: Strategy Discussion
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.suse.opensuse.project
Date: Thursday 20th May 2010 19:22:53 UTC (over 7 years ago)
Hi all.

I have noticed the Strategy Discussion on the news:


and would like to share some ideas. As I was off for quite a while
(helping out on Fedora/CentOS as well, e.g. organizing this years
FUDCon EMEA) I want to point those who don't remember me to my
personal page on the wiki, first:

But now back to the topic. The SWOT doc already contains some useful
information, but first question I would like to ask is what are you
heading for?

Imho there are two major points: the product itself and the community
around it.

I have picked up some imported points from the SWOT and commented below:

W: Novell is not seen - like Red Hat - as Open Source friend
`-> this is definitely true. Maybe Novell could act as Sponsor for
more oS events. But first of all, Novell should communicate their aims
clearly (besides 'We support Linux, as long we are making money from
it', which is what a large part of the community thinks). Besides
that, recently announced Novell products like 'ZENworks Application
Virtualization' are only available for Windows and there are no clear
statements if there will be a Linux version available, ever (which Red
Hat clearly communicated to their community/customers with their
latest virtualization product RHEV, where all components will be
available for Linux, too.)

S: decent .net support with mono (?)
`-> this is only visible for a real small part of the community. Most
of them does not really accept the joint-venture with M$ (which has
not been communicated very well in the past) and see not benefits in
Mono. We have to point out the real advantages of interoperability,
here. Maybe some good example (maybe even commercial) .NET apps that
work on Windows as well as on Linux would help.

W: Bad QA
`-> I once brought up the idea of an open QA group, where every
interested contributor could take part. Afterwards it has been
announced, but with limited slots (afair 30 ppl) Why that? If ppl want
to contribute, please let them! Maybe:
has to be re-introduced, either in
the news or in weekly newsletter. (which would be in general a good
idea, to introduce team and is how we handle it at CentOS)

W: lots of cool features are not documented, thus not used or integrated
`-> At Fedora, the artwork team recently introduced the one page
release notes, which contains the highlights of the newly released
distribution. I would suggest to create one for oS, too (we need a
good designer and one who has some Scribus knowledge for that, maybe
gnokii or jimmac could help out there.)

T: Distribution becomes a commodity and all distributions become more
or less equal
`-> yeah, it would be nice to only have one distro in the future, but
I guess that won't happen :)

S: no appstore
`-> Gamestore could be taken as base. Pavol already did some nice work on

W: factory not very usable
`-> I would suggest to release less, but better tested milestones and RCs

W: no openSUSE community manager even when there is an openSUSE
community manager
`-> I think that's not fair for zonker. He had some good ideas and
spent a lot of effort in different areas. Maybe he was just not that
known/visible outside the openSUSE community (and maybe even inside).
I would also suggest to remove spotlight.os.org, lizards.os.org and
only use the planet and the news. Besides that news should be also
announced on social networks like identi.ca and linux.com. I spent
some effort on that, but was quite alone, till now. (Besides that, if
you like my ideas, you could try to hire me, but only part-wise as I
like my main job :))

W: no organized (language-)local communities, nothing that connects
them to the openSUSE.org project; Ambassadors not functional
`-> the ambassadors project started quite chaotic. The main complaints
where missing swag and support from Novell. But the groundwork has
been done now and this is where the plants will grow.

W: not enough presence on universities (but that applies for FOSS in
general ...)
`-> we are already doing oS install fests twice a year (on new
students laptops) here at the ETH where usually about 40 ppl attend.
Maybe we could just communicate it better, to motivate others to do
the same. (Btw. asked for swag this year, but did not even get a reply
since zonker is gone).

O: alot of control ceded to the community in the past year and just
need to be taken
`-> this needs to be described clearly. Which are the areas where ppl
can contribute?

E.g. package maintaining is very unstructured. first of all there has
to be a mentor process, clear package guidelines, followed by a review
process. Every approved packager should be able to do package reviews,
afterwards, despises which 'package group' he/she is packaging for.

Mentoring is necessary for the Ambassadors project as well.

T: next gen is not interested in low-level stuff such as OSes any
more, so we'll get an old community ...
`-> Maybe not an OS community but at least a Ruby one :)

S: boosters team
`-> clearly communicate what they are doing or hide it completely
from the public. What's happening now is quite worse. (e.g. website
updates not announced, will the wiki content be moved over via script
or manually, as saigkill already started to move the weekly news
manually, how is wiki i18n handled in the future). All that could be
avoided with communication. If necessary, one needs to be hired
blogging about what boosters are doing, regularly. A FAQ for the
website renewal would also help.

So nough said for today (which is only a minimal subset of my ideas :))

Best Regards
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