11.08.08

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE Board Discussion, 11.1 @ Beta 4

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 9:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Penguins swim

OpenSUSE Board

THE news about the board is a bit old now. It was mentioned last week, but there is more coverage of this in quite a lot of Web sites right now. Examples include:

1. OpenSUSE Starts Steering its Own Course (also here)

It’s not easy for a Linux company to let go the reins of control over its community Linux distribution. Just ask Red Hat, which started to let go of Fedora and then decided to keep managing it (Red Hat keeps its grip on Fedora). But, now Novell is loosening its apron strings on its community Linux openSUSE.

[...]

Novell is pleased by these first steps. Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier, the openSUSE Community Manager, said “I think this is an important milestone for the project. As you know, the previous board was handpicked by Novell — and I think that the company made good choices for the “bootstrap” board, but it’s necessary for the project to elect its own members for the community to really feel like it’s being well-represented.”

2. Community relations key to open source success

Novell has announced its first community elected board for OpenSuse, with 178 people voting. Henne Vogelsang was the most popular insider, Pascal Bleser the most popular outsider.

It’s not a purely popular vote, as you can tell from the total. Only OpenSuse members were given the franchise. But these are the people most affected by what OpenSUSE does so no objection here.

3. For the First Time, OpenSUSE is Board

The openSUSE Project — responsible for the openSUSE Linux distribution upon which Novell’s SUSE line is based — has completed a major transition, more than a year in the making, with the announcement this week that the first-ever openSUSE Board Election is complete.

4. OpenSUSE opens up to non-Novell employees

Indeed, this is somewhat unique among commercial open-source companies, to allow non-employees to participate in the governance of a project.

In the above, Asay later changed the headline from “OpenSUSE opens up to non-Novell employees” to “Novell opens up OpenSuse’s board.” Could someone have contacted him? It looks likely that 2 days after the original post had been published the headline got modified (the post was seemingly modified about 5 times).

The reader who sent in this last citation to us added: “I’ve been back reading the OpenSuSE forum… is almost devoid of new material…”

Some comments from the new board appear in Ryan Paul’s post.

“I think the next big topic we have to tackle as an open source project is code contribution. We already have a strong community of people who write in the wiki, support other users on the mailing list, do translations and provide artwork. We also have a large community of code contributors. There are people contributing to key parts of the openSUSE distribution, like YaST, the BuildService or package maintenance on a regular basis. But we want more,” Vogelsang told Ars in an e-mail. “We want to make it as easy as possible to leave your footprint in openSUSE. We want to be the first distribution to really open up the development. The first steps we already took, with building the upcoming version openSUSE 11.1 in the BuildService with all its great collaboration features. Now we have to refine the process on how we will use these features for the distribution.”

Some more comments are weaved into this Linux.com article, in addition to general coverage:

The distribution’s first board was appointed by Novell in November 2007, tasked with the unusual job of “bootstrapping” a community-elected board that could guide the project with a balance of Novell and non-Novell influence. Less than a year later, that community-elected board is now in place, and looking forward to its new role.

Remarks from Marcel are included in the latest part of his show.

Today’s stories include a new president for the United States of America, your tax dollars at work avoiding the benefits of FOSS, an open source election at OpenSUSE, a new legal challenge to the RIAA’s anti-piracy campaign, and more good Linux news on the netbook front.

Technical

Another good word for OpenSUSE:

For the last month, every time insert one of the four pieces of 512mb ram, Windows (Vista and XP) get a blue screen of death on start up. But, just out of interest, I decided to see if the problem also persists with OpenSuse Linux. So I booted up the system and selected OpenSuse. OpenSuse started up (and worked) like a charm, like there was nothing wrong.

And another impending test drive:

Update: OpenSUSE offers about two years of support per release, and that is enough to get me interested.

I’m downloading new OpenSUSE 11 and Fedora 9 ISOs now, and I’ll burn them in the morning.

Mike has written a post about checking for memory bottlenecks (specifically in SUSE, which is rare).

Applications

A short while after CrossOver had been given away for free, Ben Kevan wrote about Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, specifically under OpenSUSE, being his reference (and preference) distribution. Here is a similar one for Counter Strike. To be fair, Ben also wrote about Free software, but it’s OpenSUSE-flavoured most of the time.

So why am I telling you about these repositories? Because repositories can be used to enlighten your openSUSE experience. I’ll walk you through a setup (using the zypper command line utility) of a repository so I can install bluefish (a great opensource alternative to dreamweaver).

OpenSUSE 11.1

There is quite a lot of stuff which is worth including here. For starters, the fourth beta is finally out. It comes after delays.

Hot on the heels of openSUSE 11.1 beta 3, the openSUSE Project is happy to announce the availability of openSUSE 11.1 beta 4.

Here is an early look.

Open Suse is coming out with their new version of 11.1 and we are at it. openSUSE 11.1 beta 4 is just released, while the official launch of the final version is on 18 December, 2008. We took a detailed look into openSUSE 11.1 beta 4 and here are the gems we found.

There are also some Plasma tweaks that are being incorporated into this distribution.

Discussions about the usefulness of the Plasma desktop toolbox arise regularly. Usually it focus on the “Zoom Out”/Activities feature which as also Plasma developers admit is not as far implemented and nicely integrated as of KDE 4.1 as everyone wants it to be. If one removes (maybe even irreversible) the “Zoom Out” button, nothing is left in the desktop toolbox which is not also available in the panel/desktop context menus. So why not make it optional completely? For openSUSE 11.0 we offered that as a hidden option.

A new partitioning module is mentioned by Kristin Shoemaker.

One of the changes long time openSUSE users will notice right away is the new YaST disk partitioner.

Not everything is about addition though. OpenSUSE finally sheds off RealPlayer, which proprietary spyware.

I can’t believe that it’s because of the cost issue (as RealPlayer’s website doesn’t say there’s a cost but you do have to sign a license with them).

Pascal promotes the countdown banner (to OpenSUSE 11.1 release) and here is a note about the release schedule and how it fits with the rest.

The launch also marks the project’s second release this year, following Hardy Heron’s launch in April. The release also is out ahead of its competitors’ release cycle, with Red Hat Fedora 10 and Novell OpenSUSE 11.1 both slotted for release before the end of 2008.

Included below is a new video which shows the installation of OpenSUSE 11.0. There are no radical changes in 11.1 as far as the installer goes.

Ogg Theora

Direct link

For more information, Weekly News might be handy.

In this week:

* Less then 50 days to openSUSE 11.1
* Results of the 1st openSUSE Board Election
* Ben Kevan: fslint – Take control about your Filesystem
* OpenOffice.org 3.0 final
* counter.opensuse.org updated

We shall now move on to SUSE.

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