Default installation desktop decison criteria
There has been a lot of discussion about the "correct" default installation desktop of openSuSE, and the default for 11.2 was decided based upon popularity.
This criterion is fine, but I think this is not the bext criteria for deciding the default installation desktop. The default desktop primarily affects naive Linux users who are not being guided by an experienced Linux user (assuming the default can be changed during the install). These are the people who are most likely to make a passive decision (go with the default). Experienced Linux users and naive users being guided are going to make an active decision for a familiar, recommended or suitable desktop.
I would argue that our primary concern should be ensuring that: 1) existing users of Linux / openSuSE are not forced away by the default, and; 2) naive users of Linux should find the transition to Linux as easy as possible.
The best criteria for the default installation desktop for naive users is the ease-of-use of the desktop environment (DE), part of which is the desktop's similarity in look-and-feel to Windows. Most naive users will be familiar with Windows and will expect things in Linux to found in the same places and behave in much the same fashion.
Part of this similarity is the functionality - are all of the expected components of Windows available and working reliably in the chosen DE?
If the quality of support for the leading DEs is maintained than the decision about a default should not force away existing experienced Linux users. I think it unlikely that a decision about the DE default is going to attract experienced Linux users, unless it is projected as a prejudice in the marketing materials.
I propose that openSuSE decides the default desktop based upon the DE's ease-of-use for naive Linux users and that the project collects through surveys and other means the information necessary to make this decision objectively.
We should make this change to maximise the user base for openSuSE.
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Last change: 6 years ago