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Making technology Previews succeed – OSC 09 Unconference session notes

October 9th, 2009 by

I did an Unconference at openSUSE Conference 2009 titled: Roads Less Travelled – Making Technology Previews succeed“.  More number of people than I had expected participated in the unconference session. I wanted to make the discussion notes (rough) available to a wider audience so that we could act on some of those:

Often Technology Previews are not solving their purpose. The objective of this session was to discuss, find out how we could get better feedback on Technology Previews and make them better.

The discussion is focused primarily on these areas:

  • Advertise the feature through proper channels, places
  • Make it easy enough for users to try out and provide feedback
  • Make it less risk-prone
  • What stops users from trying out?
  • Provide better documentation?

Key discussion points, suggestions:

  • Announcement in opensuse.org main page/wiki could grab the attention of community members who could help test Technology Previews.
  • Reduce hassles in providing feedback. For e.g Perhaps facility without authentication/Single-signon?
  • Easy ways/methods to provide feedback/input
  • Bug/Issue reporting made easy, command line tools?
  • Text area to provide feedback (as opposed a authentication based system).
  • Create a dedicated page for preview for e.g. previews.opensuse.org
  • irc channel for previews? (Discussion on all TPs, User testing one TP might get interested in another)
  • Announcement in openSUSE Weekly news could help
  • More Blogs, Articles, Whitepapers etc.. (blog entries should have provision for giving comments)
  • Perhaps, try to get some help from documentation team?
  • Provide instructions, mechanisms to safely try out without breaking things.
  • Additional information about new technology while the community tries to use the old technology For e.g. while a user tries to do nfsv3 mount providing an informational message that NFSv4 is available and can be used
  • Suggest using a VM
  • Caution about what might break and what might not (Make community feel less riskier to try out).

Please feel free to comment on what might work and if you have any more suggestion.

The short presentation I used to introduce the topic can be found here: http://files.opensuse.org/opensuse/en/d/de/Roads_Less_Travelled.pdf