05.17.11

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OpenSUSE Status: Not Good

Posted in GNU/Linux, OpenSUSE at 2:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Volleyball

Summary: After about 8 years of following SUSE/OpenSUSE news, I struggle to find much or almost anything at all of substance in the project

OpenSUSE recently lost Rex, which is not a good sign. Well, to be fair, Rex was more of a Novell management person. Maybe his departure was not so fatal. But yesterday I did further research about the OpenSUSE project, running through no less than 500 recent blog posts. The signal from them was low, comprising either personal experiences or rants of some kind. The release of version 11.4 of OpenSUSE did not generate much hype compared to previous years and some of the project’s key people are altogether absent. It got even quieter when Novell was sold and SUSE separated. Nevertheless, it is expected that a conference for the project will take place later this year. This event, unlike Brainshare, is likely to happen despite massive layoffs.

“SUSE is just a shadow of its former self; deals with Microsoft tend to do that.”Sascha Manns’s blog has moved (others too) and it does not matter much, except the fact that he has been the main and sometimes only source of OpenSUSE news. Without him, or in case he moves on to other endeavours, the project will lose a lot of momentum. Even polyglots depend on him — those who help inspire others to actually deploy OpenSUSE rather than other distributions.

It is very unfortunate for Novell’s Duncan Mac-Vicar P. that his blog got hosed, with other things going wrong all around the same time. it just isn’t a good time for SUSE and Novell’s ripoff of Red Hat work is all the project seems to be able to rave about. Techrights does not cover OpenSUSE as often as it used to simply because there is hardly anything to cover there. SUSE is just a shadow of its former self; deals with Microsoft tend to do that.

Over the past couple of years we have shown that the project lost some talented people and the group is looking for volunteers, even with public calls for participation. As much as I would hate to acknowledge this, the distribution that I have used for the longest period of time is going down, not up. There are even frequent downtimes reported by the OpenSUSE community this year. GNU/Linux will be fine, but the SUSE flavour of it has fallen behind after it climbed up for a while. A lot changed when Microsoft signed the deal with Novell. To many users, that deal was a deal-breaker. A few days ago we discovered yet another high-profile person who left SUSE as a result of this deal.

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