openFATE is now up and running for a few days. openFATE is, in case you missed the announcement, the community accessible feature- and requirements tracking for the openSUSE distribution. We developed and used the FATE system (which has some more components than just openFATE) before internally, but since we want to really open up development it was a logical decision to find a good way to let the community participate.
openFATE is not a stand alone system. The openSUSE distribution is as you know the base for our enterprise products. That means that discussions we do around openSUSE features sometimes have impact on what happens in the enterprise products later on, or vice versa. If features become important for SLE that also might have importance for openSUSE.
That is implemented in openFATE. It is connected to a common database which holds all information about features for all products. A chain of tools filters out information that can not go public.
It is basically about the SUSE Linux product family, where the openSUSE distribution and the SLE products are part of. If a community member gives input on a feature which has a product context for the SLE product, the input
is seen by the SLE product- and project manager as well as the involved developers. I think it is important to realise that this is part of our understanding of open development. openSUSE is not cut off the things we’re doing for SLE, but can have a direct influence.
So far we nearly had 300 changes to existing features and a whole bunch of new feature requests from the community. That is a very good result for the first few days I think. Please keep on giving your input. We are happy to see people involved in product planing, eg. for openSUSE 11.2 .