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back to article openSUSE 12.2 release delayed, team calls for a rethink

The OpenSUSE community is engaged in an intense debate about the future of the project after the team announced that the 12.2 build won’t be ready for release on July 11 as scheduled. "Pretty much every milestone of openSUSE 12.2 has been delayed or even canceled," said openSUSE community manager Jos Poortvliet in a blog post. " …

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Entertaining, Suse is where Debian was a couple of years back

Debian had a similar situation a couple of years back with the release of Lenny (if memory serves m right) being continuously postponed.

It took some "reigning in" of democracy to get past that one - sometimes you just need an authorita(rian | tive) release manager to get the job done :)

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train wrecks

It's good to know that the community can spot and avoid a train wreck before it happens.

Are you listening, W8 dev team?

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It's good they are re-evaluating their structure. About 4 months ago I finally gave up on OpenSuse and moved to LinuxMint. I changed because of the excessive number of strange bugs i kept running into. Each successive release would fix some bugs but always had even more new ones so the problem just seemed to keep getting worse. The 12.1 release was so bad it was almost unusable on my netbook. LinuxMint isn't perfect but there are a lot fewer obvious defects than I saw in OpenSuse.

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Anonymous Coward

Quality definately gone down

I think they have actually lost a lot of good quality developers and engineers over the last year and it is beginning to show which is sad as it used to be a great KDE distro. It was a stupid decision to shorten the release cycle and now it really is coming home to bite them on the ass. Couple that with too many versions on the go (i.e tumbleweed/evergreen) there is just too much to manage. Get back to an annual release cycle, 2 years support and drop tumbleweed/evergreen.

I've been toying with LinuxMint and I like what I see and with 13 Maya you are getting 5 years support, take note of that OpenSuse.

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Re: Quality definately gone down

For a good KDE distro, try Mepis. I changed from OpenSuse two months ago and am pleased so far.

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Re: Quality definately gone down

Or Fedora 17 - a bit more modern....

The least trouble I have ever had with any desktop is KDE on Arch Linux .... It just works and works very fast.

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Anonymous Coward

"The 12.1 release was so bad it was almost unusable on my netbook."

I've seen a fair bit of negative comment on 12.1.

What I'm not understanding is what it was in 12.1 that was supposed to be so attractive? I'm still on 11.x and Windows XP here (with one remaining Windows 2000 system about to be replaced), why the big rush to be a fashion victim?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "The 12.1 release was so bad it was almost unusable on my netbook."

AFAIK, that whole update malarky was started by a particular club in Redmond who needed an argument to make people buy the same thing again and again. And when that didn't work anymore they created different looks to continue a sales cycle.

The clever bit was that they actually sold hope - hope that finally the platform had its bugs sorted, Naturally, that never happened until they made XP, which was OK enough for people to exit the upgrade game.

So that's where the update desire comes from..

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Re: "The 12.1 release was so bad it was almost unusable on my netbook."

I had to update to 12.1 only because my laptop's lame excuse for video card (intel gma) was acting up under previous kernel.

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Linux

Re: @:mico "The 12.1 release was so bad it was almost unusable on my netbook."

If you were otherwise happy with 11.4 you could have just added the openSuSE Kernel:/stable/standard repository to get the latest kernel (and video drivers, etc.).

Works for me.

The real problem with the (unnecessary) more frequent release cycle is the accompanying decrease in the maintenance lifespan for security updates.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "The 12.1 release was so bad it was almost unusable on my netbook."

"until they made XP, which was OK enough".

That is a great point! I use Windows 7 64-bit at work and it is fine, no issues, works well.

I use Windows XP 32-bit at home and it does everything I need well enough. I don't feel I am going back in time or suffering some inferior 'experience'.

Similarly I think several distros reached a level a while back that meets people''s needs and the current widgets and doodads aren't attracting them enough to make a move.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: a level a while back that meets people's needs

Add Ubuntu 10.04 to that list

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Linux

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.

Pleasant Dreams

Dave Mundt

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Re: Open Note to OpenSuSE...

Good points, but maybe you should post them to an OpenSUSE forum at http://forums.opensuse.org/forum.php to make it more likely developers see them.

(Me, I "defected" from Mandriva to OpenSUSE in my home machine a year ago, as Mandriva looked like it was going nowhere (and firing its best developers), but sad to say it was not so much an improvement as I had hoped. However, OpenSUSE has one feature other distros do not have: the SUSE Studio site, where anyone can spin customized versions with almost no Linux skills...)

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Re: Open Note to OpenSuSE...

The developers rarely read or interact with the forums. They use the mailing lists.

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Whatever they do, I'm grateful

If there was never a new release, I'd be sad and annoyed, but were that so I could stick to 12.1 for the next decade, it's so good. With KDE 4.8 it's clean and does everything I am likely to need. Yast is awesome.

Which is not to say it's perfect --- the weird obsession Linux devs have of forcing indexing, Strigi/Nepomuk in KDE and Tracker on Gnome, would eat memory and CPU if I couldn't find out how to disable things I have absolutely no need for is one instance; yet worse things happen to the sort of people who use Windows --- but it beats every other distro on the planet hands down.

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Re: Whatever they do, I'm grateful

Hi,

My $0.02.

First - for the indexing stuff ,I couldn't agree more. Just rpm -e the lot of them, and occasionally run updatedb and use GNU locate. Either that, or OpenSuse need to make some more reasonable defaults for what it searches...

There are also some external factors (NVIDIA being one), where these drivers are *critical* to maintain the KDE desktop (or in my case 3D+CUDA) , but are not controlled by OpenSuse. The ftp website, for example, is always lagging behind the latest NVidia drivers, which leaves one with a "compromised" system by using the Nvidia installer rather than rpm.

I have many machines with OpenSuse, because although a linuxhead, I do not want to spend unnecessary time configuring basic stuff, so perhaps this rethink will improve things?

P.

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Anonymous Coward

12.1 came with big changes.

12.1 is a bit so-so, 11.4 was rock solid, personally I think 18mth release cycles are better we don't need new versions every 8 months!

What I'd really like to see is a stable release every 18 months plus the ability to enable newer features in OS for example if I want the latest kernel I just add the stable kernel repo, or if I want the latest KDE4 I add that repo, me thinks this will work much better!

Did they not switch to syslinux in 12.1? Plus kernel 3 and other major changes?

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Re: 12.1 came with big changes.

> syslinux

Ithink that you are thinking of systemd.

Plus they "forced the KDE change to Akonadi dependent Kontact and friends, dropping the abillity (as in 11.4) of keeping the old 4.4.11 versions. Nothing wrong with the newer system, but the upgrade mechanism was/is broken.

I concur with the hope for a longer release and support cycle. The toying with a rolling release (Tumbleweed) has been another distraction; Gentoo and its offspring (Sabayon) have a better approach to that sort of thing.

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Love your alliterative subheading: almost worthy of Caedmon!

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Anonymous Coward

We tried two versions of SUSE

Neither was worth a damn and their tech support (sic), was absolutely clueless and didn't give a rat's arse if the product would function as advertised or not.

It's really a shame because we'd like to use a version of Linux in our small Biz but SUSE had no interest in supplying a working product or tech support. I don't know how they can continue to operate like this for much longer?

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