05 November, 2010

talk about openSUSE

Yes, this will be all about me. Sometimes I need to whine a bit.

First of all, last Tuesday I endured the ritual stabbing that seems to be required for travel to Brazil (I'm going to Lationware). I'm rather proud of the fact that I didn't feint or anything (I did last time I had an injection) - less happy with the fact that I still have two sour arms and am expected to get flu-like symptoms over the weekend. Which have already started - I feel worse and worse by the hour. Yay. Expect delays in communication with me this weekend, sorry...

But such is life. On a more interesting note, I gave a talk about openSUSE yesterday - my first openSUSE talk, in fact. It was fun. Always good to have a room of people pretending to be interested in what you have to say, even if there are only like 15 people there...

For those who want to see my slides, I uploaded them here (click image with kitten for direct download). Translators welcome :D Paul Adams summarized the presentation by saying it was all about pussy. If you know Paul you will now realize that the rest of the day, subsequent dinner and the drinking afterward was all about kittens and anything related. He can be a little... Focused. Of course you could blame the others at the dinner & beer for not distracting him enough but they were just to busy supporting him in a train of thought that we should have never followed through.

How to present openSUSE

Anyway, enough about that - the presentation. It was surprisingly easy. Initially I wanted to talk about marketing, but decided that the topic of openSUSE would be better justified if I included a significant proportion of OBS and other technology. It basically means you won't have to convince anyone about anything. You just repeat words like "awesome" "cool" "incredible" and don't forget about "easy" while showing a series of screen shots (here) of the OBS build process. By the time you're at the end, most people will be stunned enough to believe anything you say.

Open Build Service

During the slide show (again link in image on right), be sure to mention things like "yeah I upload a tar-ball here but you can simply point to a source repository as well" and "so you could package software for all major linux distributions from a Windows workstation!". While of course repeating the magic words "awesome" and "easy" and so on. Oh and at some point there is a screen shot showing KIWI - if you feel people are resisting your 'leet marketing skills, talk about it. KIWI can create an always-up-to-date LIVECD, auto-regenerated from the OBS packages if something changes. As OBS can pull directly from Git or other SCM's and you can set up a cron script to kick OBS into rebuilding the package, you have a LiveCD which automatically daily rebuilds. With error messages send your way by OBS (and OBS ensures it rebuilds whatever needs rebuilding - if something doesn't work, the CD will stay the old one and thus hopefully working). Everyone will be impressed. Easy as kicking a puppy that's already down!

SUSE Studio

At the end, the more cynical in our audience will still be standing - so move on to the this SUSE Studio screen shot tour. The big finale there is the testdrive - please mention that any changes there (like creating files or changing settings) will actually be saved in the appliance. Oh and you can SSH into the running OS as well. Name a few of the Virtual Machine formats supported - EC2 (Amazon's cloud!), VMware, Xen, KVM...) and you're done.

Project Bretzn

Of course, there are always hardliners who won't be impressed still. Give em a good pounding with Project Bretzn. Tell them that the whole process of building can and will be automated from within the IDE (Eclipse, Visual Studio, Qt Creator, whatever gets 'em off) with a few mouse clicks; then the resulting binaries can be submitted to a number of App Stores like MeeGo's Garage, gtk-apps/kde-apps.org and (in time) the Ovi Store. The Bretzn plugin will spread the word for the developer on facebook, twitter and other social media (iow it will do the boring stuff). Then the users can comment on the app and rate it and such - the developer can ignore this feedback if he likes but unlike the usual feeback it won't consist of 90% "how do I build this", "it doesn't build", "do you have packages for XYZ" and other annoying stuff - so it might actually be worth reading it.

Finishing it up

Keep on repeating "awesome" in real Steve Jobs style! By the time you're at the end of your presentation, everyone will be completely brainwashed and cheering you on. Bow, thank them for their attention and get out before they recover and start asking questions.

Actually the questions probably will go fine too - just make sure you've spend a few hours clicking around in OBS and SUSE Studio, read a bit of the tutorials and it's very unlikely anyone will ask something you don't know. Easy as pie!

I know I promised that this post would be all about me, hence not worth reading - sorry. I hope at least it'll be useful for anyone who wants to talk about openSUSE and OBS ;-)

* note that anyone who dares to take this blogpost too serious will be chased down by BloodHounds. Wait, no, BloodKittens.


  1. That kitten is cute! <3 Do you have a higher resolution image? I want it as wallpaper.

  2. tar -jxf OBS.tar.bz2 || \
    mv OBS.tar.bz2 OBS.tar.gz && \
    tar -zxf OBS.tar.gz

  3. For the kittens - see the slides, you can find on the last slide a list of names of ppl who made the kitten picture, to be found on flickr.


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