Summary: Concerns and advice from SUSE/OpenSUSE supporters highlight the present difficulties
openSUSE has been going through troubled waters. Being an openSUSE user myself, I have often been affected by the inconsistent infrastructure. In the past two-three months openSUSE servers have been facing one or the other problem. The last thing I would want is to not able to update, install of maintain my production machine. So, this inconsistency was bothering me. The good thing is openSUSE teams are not only aware of this problem, but also have started to find a permanent fix for it.
Unlike derivatives which don’t have to develop anything from scratch as they get all of their code ready-made from projects like Debian, distros like Fedora, which are ‘creating’ the technologies used by the rest of the GNU/Linux world, have to build everything from scratch. openSUSE also falls in the same category. So, they don’t get their stuff ready-made by someone else. This fact makes it hard for openSUSE to push two releases a year. So, one possibility to deal with the problem is longer release cycles so there is more time for developers to fix things.
One must remember that SUSE is advancing Microsoft tax, e.g. on SAP applications. Microsoft’s investment in SUSE was money well spent as it pays Microsoft in return. We call SUSE “Microsoft Linux” not purely as a joke. The project/product generally lacks identity and some in the community discuss the matter:
These changes raise a question from our own group of contributors. Is openSUSE at the height of this weave of stylistic changes? This question is not about code or software integration, but exclusively about the end user experience. Reasoning carefully, the answer would be “partially.” openSUSE has not taken full advantage of the branding capabilities provided by both KDE 4 and Gnome 3. This trend is more so surprising considering that openSUSE is the first to integrate and use many new Linux technologies through its unique OBS service, yet brand-wise we remain stagnant. Early adoption and fast integration in our distribution makes it harder to work on and maintain distribution specific styling.
The brand is stagnant in part because people recognise what SUSE means to GNU/Linux. It’s what Xandros and Linspire used to mean to it, but it’s actually worse. █