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Archive for September 3rd, 2010

Strategy sucks

September 3rd, 2010 by
strategy statement from team

Hi all,

Over the last weeks there has been a lot of disussion, both internally and externally, about the strategies which have been proposed. However, we also missed a lot of voices from our community. We take responsibility for leaving many of you behind by focusing on a very corporate-management solution to the initial question which prompted this process. A question we think still is relevant: The identity of openSUSE both as a Community and as a Project.

Initially our goal was to answer: “Who is openSUSE and what does it (want to) do?” prompted by the discussion about the default desktop at the openSUSE conference last year. In five years the openSUSE project has evolved from a fully company-driven project to a communty project where everybody can contribute. This has brought uncertainty and a lack of direction. The current lack of a clear ‘story behind it all’ is hampering our ability to establish a common identity and sense of security. From a marketing point of view, it becomes an uphill battle…

Throughout the process, we consulted some people and the discussion about a strategy started with the goal to solve this issue. However, many feel that ‘strategy’ and the approach to find one is not fitting our community. We lost most of you in the second paragraph of the strategy pages on the wiki – too much talk.

We would like to go back to the start and focus on describing who we are, as a community, instead of finding new ways to go. The input you all have given us by mail, forums, IRC and in person was valuable and we will use that. So that is what we will do:
  • Highlight the story behind openSUSE
  • Identify what users we target and illustrate what we offer to them,
  • Connect it with the issues that matter most to our community
And then we will document this story, image, direction, strategy – or however your call it ;).

From you all – we will continue to seek your input on it once we post it. By mail, forum, IRC or in person – again. Without your help it won’t be much, so please think about that!


Your strategy team

openSUSE Connect Beta

September 3rd, 2010 by

As a result of the openSUSE Boosters’ ‘HackMeck‘ two weeks ago at FrOSCoN we are proud to present you with a new beta of openSUSE Connect.

Connect is supposed to become the central user database for the openSUSE project. Sounds bland, don”t it? But you know the Boosters, everything we do comes with a grain of spice and Connect is no different. The spice here are a lot of nifty social network features like user profiles, friending, groups, an event calendar and possibly more. Thats possible because on top of the user database we use a Free Software social network framework called Elgg. Elgg will help us to go a step further in one of the most important areas of the openSUSE project: Connecting our community. We do a very good job connecting code at the moment but there is no central place for openSUSE users to mingle, form relationships and meet collaborators.

Try it!

Did we whet your appetite? Want to try it? No problem, just head over to our beta instance http://connect.opensuse.org and login as user geeko with the password opensuse to try it out. Make some friends, create a group or run a poll. This instance is regularly deployed with the newest code from our git repository so you will always get the latest and greatest. But please don’t forget that this is a beta :-) If you encounter any problems, guess what, make a bugreport in our bugzilla!

Help out!

Or how about you get your hands dirty? So far our experience with Elgg is wonderful. It’s a tidy, extensible and well designed piece of software. The community is very helpful and there is a lot (if not to say a butt-load) of functionality available. And if something is not there already we have found that we can easily add it. You could too you know? Elgg runs on a combination of Apache, MySQL and the PHP scripting language and as this is the most popular web server environment in the world we hope we can attract more people to help to fit Elgg to openSUSE’s needs. And on top of that it’s really easy to hack on it! The changes we did so far at the HackMeck and the last couple of weeks are self-contained in plugins that extend the basic functionality. The powerful data model and view system of Elgg make it possible to change it to openSUSE’s needs without ever touching the core functions. So if you are interested in helping, get to know Elgg and then get in contact with the openSUSE Boosters.

We hope you will enjoy this new openSUSE tool. And remember: Have a lot of fun…