June 18, 2009

Another Major step for openSUSE: Factory is Now Open

Article Source Dissociated Press
June 18, 2009, 2:36 pm

The openSUSE Project continues to make great progress in becoming more open and allowing contributors to step up and take responsibility for parts of the project. Today we announced that Factory, the development distro for openSUSE, is open and ready for business.

Well, not business exactly. It’s open for fun. Development fun. Contribution fun. Most importantly, it’s open for you whether you work for Novell or not. From the announcement, the juicy details:

Factory development is being split into devel projects organized by topic areas, such as KDE, GNOME, Education, Java, and so on. Devel projects are responsible for sets of packages and will be able to organize themselves rather than following a top-down model of management.

The idea is to allow teams to be self-organizing and for all contributors to have equal footing in terms of being able to contribute to openSUSE Factory.

To get started, the current Novell and openSUSE package maintainers will be working with each other to define responsibility within the devel projects and how the team will work together. As time goes on, they will integrate new maintainers into the teams and commit privileges will be based on merit and not whether a person is employed by Novell.

How to Get Started

If you’re new to working with Factory and the openSUSE Build Service, you can start with the Factory Packaging page on the openSUSE Wiki. This explains the Factory workflow, how to check out packages and submit changes, how to create new devel projects, and so on.

Have questions or need help getting started? There are plenty of openSUSE Factory contributors who’d be happy to answer questions and help you get started. To learn more, join the opensuse-factory mailing list, or get real-time help in the #opensuse-factory IRC channel on Freenode.

This is the culmination of some very hard work by Henne Vogelsang and other openSUSE contributors.

Let’s look at all the things that have happened in the last year or so on the tools and policy front to make openSUSE more open and independent as a project, and to make it easier to contribute and/or use openSUSE for new projects:

  • The openSUSE Build Service has added features to allow all contributors to be able to work on openSUSE and submit changes directly using the same tools that Novell developers are using.
  • The project has opened up the feature tracking and request system, called openFATE, and we‚Äôre accepting features from openSUSE members and eventually a wider community. (Work in progress, but moving ahead nicely!)
  • We‚Äôve revised our trademark guidelines and distribution license to make it easier for people to remix and republish openSUSE in a way that meets their needs.
  • The openSUSE Build Service has added features to allow builds not just of packages, but of entire product images ‚Äî so people can build customized openSUSE releases in the openSUSE Build Service.
  • Switched from an appointed board to an elected board.
  • openSUSE is also available in SUSE Studio ‚Äî currently in beta ‚Äî which makes it ridiculously easy to create openSUSE derivative distros.

Thanks to Henne and all the openSUSE contributors who have made this possible. This is a major step for the project and will make openSUSE even easier to contribute to.

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