15 October, 2010

Last piece of strategy before the conference

Hi all!

The strategy discussion in openSUSE is a difficult one. I wrote in the latest announcement this:
So if you've held back, have not had a look at this yet - now or never! Provide your input on the draft on co-ment and help shape our description of what being a Geeko means to us all. Yes, this will hopefully describe ourselves - where we stand, but also add a bit of pepper and salt and show our ambitions. Our strategy document has to be inclusive - but not too long. It has to show some ambition - but must also be realistic.
This is not easy. We're a hugely diversified community with all sorts of users and contributors. We do NOT aim to change that - we're openSUSE after all. But we also have to make choices and have a profile potential users and contributors can recognize themselves in. Take 'beginners'. What does that mean? Are we talking about people who haven't used computers before? openSUSE should be fine for them - if they are looking to learn, play with it a bit. Someone who only needs a computer to check mail will probably need help, however, to get it up and running. They are not interested in reading on a forum about how to install multimedia codecs. So we target the person who will help him or her installing it and setting it up! Which again doesn't exclude a community team working on a super-simple openSUSE with everything a beginner needs - our infrastructure supports them. But we have to pick our battles, and openSUSE is traditionally a distribution which is powerful and flexible - we don't want to sacrifice functionality in our default offering. We want a graphics professional to be able to have all the powertools at his or her fingertips; we want a sysadmin to have an easy-to-administer system; we want a teacher to have a wide choice of interesting learning tools; we want a pro-audio user to easily install a low-latency kernel. openSUSE should not be harder than it has to be - but you may notice the power under your fingertips.

Anyway. Lots of talk, the resulting new paragraph in the description of our target users is dramatically shorter than the old one:
openSUSE users are looking for an easy and comfortable computing experience which does not limit their freedom of choice, offering sane defaults and easy configuration.


I think I like it, but the 'old' one (with updates) is also up on co-ment - let me know which one you like more. I even have a bunch of iterations in a piratepad here, feel free to look at the evolution. Altough this is only from today, yesterday I worked until 1 with Thomas Thym (thanks!). Today I had help from Klaas Freitag, Will stephenson and Henne Vogelsang for helping with this single sentence... I could not have done it alone! To paraphrase Thomas from last night: a team is more than the sum of the individuals.

Love, Jos