Open Note to OpenSuSE...
Greetings and salutations;
I have been using SuSE distributions for quite some time now, and I am sorry to say that the 12.x distribution was almost enough to push me to Ubuntu. While the last maintenance release dealt with all the issues I had run into (for the mix of programs and features that I use), migrating from the 11.x releases to the 12.x release was a terribly painful and difficult process that added to the white hairs I have already.
There were several issues that caused me pain. First off, there were the various drivers and modules that did not work. While not a serious issue in most cases, it did mean that I was back to the generic, low functionality video and audio drivers. This caused some of the pivotal parts of the 12.x code to either fail, or work poorly. The the Plasma desktop, for example, was not a happy thing. Also, I had several more mysterious lock-ups that were hard to deal with. Then, there was the fact that a number of the programs I had been using either did not work, or, had changed so radically as to where they hid their work files it was easier to change programs than migrate to the new code. I am looking at you, Kmail, in specific. The audio issues were not pretty either, but after an update cycle or two, that stabilized. However, I had to bail out from using banshee to using VLC - which meant tracking down all the streaming audio sources I had in order to get them into VLC.
I would suggest these changes to the OpenSuSE development system:
1) For the moment, focus on quality of code, and, NOT on how quickly you can push out versions. Get it right first, then, push it out.
2) learn the difference between "this would be REALLY COOL" and "this makes the OS a better, stronger tool". Enforce those decisions for the "live" version.
3) It sounds to me as if some control has been lost over organizing code changes. Slow down the process a bit, and, have a pool of gurus look at proposed changes. Too many cooks spoil the broth. That does not mean that we cannot have a huge pool of contributors - just that there has to be some auditing by "big picture" folks.
I suspect I could come up with some more suggestions, but, trying to keep this to a reasonable length. In closing I want to say that these are presented purely in the spirit of helping OpenSuSE return to the solid, well-done distribution it used to be.