Home_greyopenFATE - openSUSE feature tracking > #313777
Dashboard | Search | Sign up | Login

Please login or register to be able to edit or vote this feature.

OpenSuSE UX/UI Refresh Proposal

Feature state

openSUSE Distribution


OpenSuSE prides itself in being one of the few older projects actively developed and supported as compared to the rest of the GNU/Linux Distributions that exist currently. However, in order to see OpenSuSE rise to the top right next to the likes of Ubuntu and Mint, I suggest that we design a wholly new desktop environment based on Wayland, exclusively for OpenSuSE.

I would like to head or at least assist in an effort to design a new desktop environment that captures the fascination of everyone who uses it. A quality user interface that is not confusing, fast and makes use of 3D acceleration for a smooth experience are a few of the goals to aim for. And of course, the idea is not to be different for the sake of being different, but to truly bring out OpenSuSE's potential as a desktop operating system.

I can contribute mock ups of the UX/UI design for the proposed environment and leave the floor open to comments, criticisms and suggestions. This way, we as a community can have a desktop environment to truly call our own that makes everyone excited to give OpenSuSE a spin and eventually permanently install on their computer. Of course, for a project like this to be successful, a team would need to be formed around this to help drive the effort to a home run finish.

Because this is a UX proposal, it is imperative to also give the security model, package management and other user tools a look to see if there isn't something we can do better than it is already. Finally, built-in wireless drivers, additional media codecs and other added touches should be included as well.

User benefit:

This effort isn't so much to reinvent the wheel as it is to give OpenSuSE an exceptionally distinct flavor in the desktop Linux arena, avoiding the me-too syndrome that is undoubtedly prevalent in countless other Linux distributions that exist today using KDE and GNOME. After investigating the recent success in marketshare growth of both Ubuntu and Mint, thanks to their respective overhauls of the desktop experience with Unity and Cinnamon, OpenSuSE could definitely benefit from this as well. Everyone, nerds and regular folk alike, crave a clean and fun, yet consistent and organized experience that brings a fresh look to the table without "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" in regards to time tested principles in UI design, much like how KDE and GNOME have done in recent years.

In closing... let us remember SuSE's slogan, "We adapt. You succeed."

This is our effort to adapt to the tastes of new and seasoned Linux users alike, in order to bring them a rich experience that is both revolutionary, yet fundamentally understandable and accessible at its core.


icons/user_comment.png P. G. wrote: (5 years ago)

Sorry but I have to down-vote this. Further fragmentation in the Linux desktop space is something I really don't see as beneficial. There are plenty of other ways for a distro to differentiate itself and SuSE already does that with many of its other underlying technologies, e.g. YaST, OBS, SuSE Studio. You mentioned in your first revision of the text the notion of openSUSE presenting a 'me-too' user experience by going with KDE or GNOME like other distros. I would argue the problem there is more that there are too many 'me-too' distros.
Creating a whole new DE is an absolutely enormous effort. Canonical have put a lot of manpower (and hence financial resources) behind their Unity project. Mint's Cinnamon, on the other hand, is effectively just some extensions that sit atop GNOME. Other projects like Enlightenment are still only now reaching their 1.0 release after many years of effort. Things like accessibility and user testing can take a huge amount of time to bring up to a standard that is on a par with other established interfaces.
Taking Cinnamon as an example, that probably represents a better way to go; taking a standard base where most of the work is already done, and then adding on top of it. That way many bug reports and testing goes on upstream. Look at how flexible and configurable KDE is, for example, and the newer Qt technologies that are being introduced such as QML. It would be better to use that as a base and build a new 'front-end' out of it; indeed, there is already RazorQt.
But then think about what happens if you and others involved in such an effort move on to other projects or pastimes in future, lose the motivation or decide to go the whole hog and split off your own distro. Where does that then leave openSUSE, dependent not on a big, independent and well established community like KDE or GNOME but some 'in-house' devs?

Instead of 'throwing the baby out with the bath water', as you put it, this would be akin to aborting the baby and installing a shower.

icons/user_comment.png M. N. wrote: (5 years ago)

Hi Peter...

You do bring up valid points, and I am sure that developing a whole new DE does take considerable time and effort. But my biggest concern is this: with Ubuntu and Mint becoming the defacto standards for the Linux desktop, OpenSuSE could unfortunately continue to drop on the DistroWatch list and tumble into obscurity. Why? Because despite the nice under the hood tools, the average joe wants something that "just works". Granted, since a build from scratch idea seems more difficult than its worth, building upon preexisting DEs as a starting off point is completely legitimate and workable in the long run. A Cinnamon-style approach could lend itself to a quicker and more rapid development schedule.

icons/user_comment.png M. N. wrote: (5 years ago)

Finally, unlike the Enlightenment project you mentioned, I don't think OpenSuSE's primary benefactor (SuSE) is hurting badly for resources. Wouldn't they at least contribute financially to the effort if it meant the difference to staying relevant or becoming even more niche? Just a thought.

icons/user_comment.png M. P. wrote: (4 years ago)

wayland/weston is the future, but writing a brand new desktop environment make no sense to me. there's already too many options (kde/gnome/xfce/...). Far more useful than writing yet another desktop environment would be to help slim down kde (kde is the best one, but it's way too heavy, specially memory wise).

Last change: 4 years ago
Score: -3
  • Negative: 6
  • Neutral: 2
  • Positive: 3
Feature Export
Application-xmlXML   Text-x-logPlaintext   PrinterPrint