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Discussing about the future of openSUSE

December 11th, 2013 by

This week, the openSUSE team blog is written by Agustin, talking about the proposals the team has done for openSUSE development.

A few months ago the openSUSE Team started a journey that achieved an important milestone last Tuesday, Nov 26th 2013. We have worked on creating a picture of relevant areas of the project in 2016 together with some of the actions we think should be taken during the following months to achieve it. To stop working and raise your head once in a while to analyze what is around you and setting a direction is a very good exercise.

The process we followed

The first step was working on data mining. After many hours of analysis, we identified some clear trends that helped us to establish a solid starting point to begin to work with. Once that phase was over (this is an ongoing process, in fact), we worked for a few weeks/months in trying to define that future picture interviewing several dozens of people. We refined that first attempt through several iterations, including many of those who participated in the original round and others who didn’t. Susanne Oberhauser-Hirschoff was the person who drove that process with Agustin.

We soon realized that discussing high level ideas in a community used to “Get shit done” was going to be easier if we complement them with some more down to earth proposals, specially in technical aspects. We cannot forget that, after all, openSUSE is a technical (and very pragmatic) focused community.

So, in parallel with the already mentioned refinement of the big picture, we started discussing within the team the actions needed to take to make the big picture a reality, the openSUSE development version a.k.a Enhanced/New Factory. After many hours of (sometimes never ending) discussions, we agreed on the ideas we are currently being published, together with the motivations behind them.

Another aspect we tried to bring to the discussion has been a strong dose of realism, trying to ensure that whatever we came up to was compatible with the nature of the project. We have also put focus on making sure that the initial proposal is achievable. So as part of community, we understand very well we cannot succeed alone. We need to work with you. So we just opened with the community a process analogous to what we went through within the team. It might be different in form but similar in principles and goals.

What are we going through these days?

These days the proposals are being discussed in different mailing lists. We are collecting feedback, discussing it, summarizing it, adapting the proposal to it … trying to reach agreements before defining what to do next.

What the proposal looks like?

We divided the proposal in a series of smaller proposals we are publishing in the project mailing list, where the general community topics in openSUSE are discussed, and/or factory ML, where the more technical discussions take place.

  1. openSUSE 2016: taking a picture of openSUSE today
    This mail summarizes the analysis phase we went through. We have tried to provide a simple picture of openSUSE today so the following articles can be justified to some extend.
  2. openSUSE 2016 picture
    This text summarizes the proposed picture for the end of 2016 (in three years). The goal is to set a direction for openSUSE

  3. openSUSE Development Workflow

  4. O Factory – Where art Thou?
    Stephan Kulow summarizes the Action Plan for the first aspect pointed in the previous picture: the new Development process (Factory).

The following articles describe in more detail some relevant (also new) elements pointed in the previous article, since they are new or modify the current process significantly. Some of the articles are in the queue to be published.

  1. One of the options for staging projects
    In this mail Michal Hrusecky provides some details and examples on how the new staging projects might work in the future.
  2. openQA in the new proposal
    This text, written by Ludwig Nussel, explains the principles that should drive the inclusion of openQA in the Factory development process, according with the proposed workflow.
  3. Karma for all
    This mail, written by Ancor González, summarizes our ideas to include a social feature in the process to help achieving Factory goals.
  4. Policies, or why it’s good to know how to change things
    The new process needs to be adaptive. Antonio Larrosa proposed a way, taking what other projects do in this regard as reference.

There might be an eighth article describing some smaller, still relevant, ideas. After publishing the “content”, we will release one last article providing a information about how to achieve these ideas, describing also our compromise in terms of effort and pointing out the challenges we perceive in the plan from the execution point of view.

We would like to invite you to the debate if you haven’t raised your opinions yet.

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One Response to “Discussing about the future of openSUSE”

  1. Friedmann Bruno

    There’s the IRC meeting today starting at 15:00 UTC