OpenSUSE Conf 2009: OpenSUSE 11.2 with Microblogging, But Not WebYaST

Sep 18, 2009

On the outskirts of the OpenSUSE Conference, core developers revealed details on the new openSUSE version 11.2. Although it will have Kernel 2.6.31, browser users will have to wait a bit longer for YaST.

For the first meeting ever of openSUSE developers in Nuremberg, Germany, September 17-20, where Linux distro project members have until Sunday to mingle, 300 participants registered, of which half are from Novell. The idea was to form personal contacts and clarify factual issues. As community manager Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier expressed it, "a thirty-minute conversation here is often more effective than a week-long discussion in the IRC."

OpenSUSE project lead Andreas Jaeger promises robust package management.

When all the votes were in, openSUSE coworkers such as Novell project manager Andreas Jaeger revealed certain goals for openSUSE 11.2 planned for release on November 12, at least according to the latest milestone. Next to the current software versions that Jaeger claims are easy to integrate via SUSE Build Service, developers are working especially on the robustness of package management. As Jaeger promises, "The functionality at installation and updating will not change, but when a download aborts, the tool will automatically search for the next server or load packages from multiple servers." The next step is to bring social networks to the desktop.

The social networking idea for the desktop, already hot at Linuxtag, became more concrete at the OpenSUSE Conf via KDE developer Will Stephenson of Novell. With openSUSE 11.2, users can branch off from the browser to Twitter and Facebook. The building block is KDE 4.3, which, compared to the upstream developed network manager in previous versions, is preconfigured with connection data to UMTS networks, although it probably won't make it until the next release. The same fate will probably greet WebYaST, a configuration frontend managed from the browser. After learning from past mistakes, the decision was not to create an interface automatically but manually, therefore openSUSE 11.2 contains only the framework, with a serious number of plug-ins available to developers only in the subsequent version due out in the spring of 2010.

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