SUSE opens to yawns

SUSE opens to yawns

Summary: Given the fact that it's a community that drives better in the case of open source, first-mover advantage may actually be more important here than in the commercial world.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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open suseKen Sprouse, author of the Amateur Radio & Scanner Blog, wrote me the other day, pointing to a recent piece by our own Joe Brockmeier, asking (in effect) whatever happened to Novell's OpenSUSE?

We got your OpenSUSE right here, Ken.

The trouble is that (so far) it's opening to big yawns.

"Looking over several web sites I see no mention of it and had it happened I would have thought it would have been big news," Ken writes.

In fact, the programming assets put forward by Novell in OpenSUSE seem to stack up well against those put up by arch-rival Red Hat's Fedora project. Yet the Fedora community seems huge, compared to that run by Novell.

What gives? I think many of the same forces you find in commercial software exist in open source as well. Me-too doesn't get the job done. If you want to make a big spash you really need to be better, or at least different. And given the fact that it's a community that drives better in the case of open source, first-mover advantage may actually be more important here than in the commercial world.

The lesson for Novell and others seems obvious. For your open source project to be successful, it really needs to be different.

Topic: Open Source

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20 comments
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  • worth checking out

    I've been to their website poked around a bit and plan to download. I've yet to find a desktop linux that I really like. Don't feel insulted linux guys cause I dislike windows as well. Seems to me every ditro I check out is way over complicated. I'm one who thinks every version of windows after win95 is overkill. I suppose thats what I'd really like to find. A linux distro as simple and straight forward as win95 was. Not much to ask is it? Just do my hardware right, be simple, and be fast.
    DemonX
    • penidng on your ability

      which i don't know. I am going to recommend unbuntu linux. I have switched my father over to it, and he's a computer idiot(trust me, i'm being nice here). In fact, after my SuSe linux box and then Gentoo(a real pain in the ass to install), i like unbuntu. It is a really simple install and it seemed to have all the drivers there and ready to go. Hope this helps if you've never tried it and good luck finding what suits you.
      Monkey_MCSE
      • That's ubuntu

        "The Ubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Ubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit."
        http://www.ubuntulinux.org/
        Richard Flude
        • As I said before

          I HAVE enough forks, I don't need another one. Ubuntu uses Debian. Debian is a MAJOR Linux fork. Needs to be put down like Disco was.
          Roger Ramjet
          • RE: As I said before

            But ironically Roger, Ubuntu and Debian are more consistant with ease of update, ease of maintenance and the fact that they seem to work more reliably right out of an install. Many things I can do in Linux I can do faster with a deb than an rpm based distro. Funny isn't it.
            Linux User 147560
      • Take another look at Gentoo

        2005.1 was just released, and, for the first time, features an installer. I haven't tried it yet (I'm geek enough to like to install it piece by piece), but I've heard it's pretty good.

        Never tried unbuntu. I'm all about Gentoo now, maybe that will be the next distro I play with...
        Real World
        • Gentoo's installer

          is still quite experimental and is limited to x86 computers. Although looking at the screenshots, it is encouraging. It seems to take you through all the same steps as a manual install, only it automatically takes you to the next step and gives you a point and click environment to compelete those steps, rather than having to look at instructions for the next step and rely on CLI. However the downside is that you'll still need to know HOW to complete the steps and understand what each step is trying to accomplish. I mean other than a programer, who really knows what the difference between -O2 and -O3 are? And what do -pipe and -fomit-frame-pointer do? And why would you need a cron daemon?
          Michael Kelly
          • I found that

            aspect of the installation process to be intriguing. No, I wouldn't recommend Gentoo to ma and pa, or a computer novice. I'm not a programmer, so a lot of the compiler-specific optimizations are lost on me, but Gentoo has taught me a lot about the nitty-gritty of what an OS does (and how it does it). I think the installer is targeted at the technically inclined who don't want to go through all the machinations on their own.

            I just did a stage 1/3 install this weekend (that's a stage 1 install using a stage 3 tarball, if you're not aware). As I said, although I'm not a programmer, I found the documentation quite user-friendly, and a wealth of supporting docs for the few errors I did encounter.
            Real World
    • You might try Mandrake too.

      Sorry if all of this turns into more feedback on distros than you had in mind. From the Suse versions I've used and what I've heard of the latest one, I think you would probably like it. The other one I'd recommend is Mandrake. Many in the Linux community dislike it because they see it as too easy ("teletubby"). I find both Suse and Mandrake do a good job of identifying and configuring hardware.
      enduser_z
      • RE: You might try Mandrake too.

        Actually Mandrake is no longer around, it's now Mandriva, and if it works... use it!
        Linux User 147560
        • Mental block

          Yes, I thought about that after I hit submit. I still haven't fully come to terms with the new name I guess! Mandriva: Yuk!
          enduser_z
    • Thanks Guys!

      I appreciate the advice. Although all of you have your own opinions I heard suse mentioned several times. I'll give it a go and see if I like it. I've been a windows geek for years but have been using some specialized linux distros for awhile now. I'd really like to get more comfortable with it on the desktop. Again thank you for the advice. :-)
      DemonX
    • RE: worth checking out

      Ubuntu is good. Another is Mepis.
      Linux User 147560
  • SUSE

    Novell's takeover of SUSE effectively "killed" it. SUSE once held great promise since it was one of the earliet distros. I was also pretty neat. Now I really dont know what happened of it. Other distros like Debian and Fedora have caught on. I have been using Fedora for quite some time now (since Core 1). There are certain inadequacies which come with it too, but it is improving with every new release. I agree that people unfamiliar with Linux might face a steep learning curve, but its worth making that effort. The best thing about Fedora is it huge community which is very active and helpful. I hope SUSE doesn't get stuck in a bog!
    archnova79
    • Fedordom

      I gave up on DeadRat when they stopped making a free distro and went greedy. I switched to Mandrake (Mandriva), and have been happy ever since. Oh yeah, DeadRat DID see the error of its ways and belatedly came out with Fedora. Too little, too late, I'm a Mandriva guy now.
      Roger Ramjet
      • The Rat

        I felt the same way and thought Redhat was a sell out! But I went back and started using Fedora and love it! I have used RedHat since 3.0 or something? I hated Mandrake (no pun intended). Not sure if much has changed since it became Mandriva?
        xstep
  • Give it time

    "The trouble is that (so far) it's opening to big yawns."

    It takes time to develope a community, Fedora's big advantage was prior RedHat users that didn't jump to RHEL (remember the bitching when that decision was made?). CVS for Fedora was a long time coming and many hard lessons have been learnt along the way.

    OpenSUSE hasn't even released a final version yet and the project was only announced 9 Aug (10 days ago)!

    I love fedora, but then I'm a gnome man. If I was a KDE type I'd probably find openSUSE very attractive.

    I'm comfortable with yum and text files for configuration, but YaST is very impressive and, IMHO, superior to the Fedora's graphical configuration tools. OpenSUSE documentation is already better than Fedora.

    Debian is a great distribution for it's code stability and its longer support cycles.

    Gentoo is good for those that want every last computing cycle out of their platform.

    Its too early to knock openSUSE, give it time. Choice is good, and the community model is a great model for the commerical linux distributions for development, feedback and testing.

    Best of luck!
    Richard Flude
  • SuSe

    I have never used SuSe or anything like Debian (Except Ubuntu). But I get asked all the time "What Distro should I start with?" If I say Fedora then I expect to offer a little help to get them started. I can send them off with Ubuntu and cross my fingers.

    When people buy a new computer MS windows is on it. Most don't have to install anything but software. I think for the most part people don't want to become computer experts. They just want to use it and surf the net or load their pictures off their camera. The same goes for work, they just want to type that letter or use an application.

    People still buy books or take a class to use Windows. I see it all the time. Kids learn to use Word and Excel at school. I don't care how we slice it.. it's all about learning something new.

    For somebody like I don't care I know how to use Linux and that's what I use. But I think about those people who ask about Linux and want to try it. It should be easy as put the disk in and wait for the desktop to come alive. I think that's why some Distributions have live Cd's?

    I think your right. SuSe is a Yawn (I'll install it check it out). But Linux can't be the end users OS unless it does something more. It's come a long long way and for me it just ROCKS! It needs to offer some great things and should be easy to migrate too from windows.

    I tell people, it's free so your limited to the documentation that comes with it, an email list, the web site, and forums. If you buy it, you can call them up.

    I'm not bashing Linux (God forbid!!!) But I would like to see more done to get it on the Desktop everywhere.
    xstep
    • What it boils down to

      is that there are too many common user friendly apps that aren't quite there yet, or aren't there at all. Most default install apps that come with a Linux distribution are great apps and they are the ones an average user will spend 90+% of the time using. But it's those couple of missing applications that prevent major OEMs from promoting it. Some of those apps that aren't [i]quite[/i] there yet include:

      A photo editor not as powerful as Photoshop or GIMP but much more user friendly

      A simple, easy-to-use video editting program

      A user friendly "Access-like" database

      A user friendly "Quicken/MS Money-like" personal finance program

      A user friendly "Peachtree/Quickbooks-like" small business accounting program.



      Now, there [u]are[/u] Linux equivalants to all of those programs, and plenty of them, but none are nearly up to par with their Windows counterparts. For instance, I want to use my personal finance program to print checks. Right now with KMyMoney or GNUCash I can't, I have to use an OpenOffice template to print checks. I get by, but it's a pain in the butt, and a lot of people would not deal with that. Also, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to be able to use any Linux video editor out there, whereas there are a couple Windows video editors I can at least figure out, although I know I'll never be an expert.

      I do believe the OS and core apps are just about there (or at least there's no problem that a little elbow grease can't fix). It's those "not everyday" apps that people depend on need to be addressed at this point. It does take more than an OS and core apps to complete a platform.
      Michael Kelly
  • OT: Zotob

    I was watching cnn and they annouced that they have just been infected! Fastest worm in history!! Crazy isn't it?
    xstep