A couple of months ago at open-slx, when we (like so many times before and after) talked about how we can make the lives of Linux users easier, an idea was sparked. While there’s huge amounts of content out there, it struck us that there’s still a large number of people not being too well served when searching Google to get answers to your questions. This poses some problems though: First of all, most of the information is not in English. This poses an extra barrier for some, who might not be as fluent in English as we developers usually are. Then, the content is hard to verify: How do I *know* that the information given there makes sense? Maybe it will just delete all my erotic movies? ;) So the problem is that there’s little content for the German end-user audience, which is hard to verify. So a team consisting of openSUSE community members and open-slx employees led by my colleague Rupert Horstkötter has set out to fix this problem. They looked into existing solutions to these problem, and found that what is currently running as ubuntuusers.de comes closest to the solution we have in mind. We got in contact with the team at ubuntuusers.de, and they were enthusiastic about the idea and willing to make it happen. A good start.
Then comes the real work of course. We’ve worked out a concept that allows us to provide a modern support tool for our users, which builds on two pillars: information and interaction. The concept we come up with puts this into three different tools: a wiki as knowledgebase, a forum to discuss articles, questions and to get in contact with other people, and a blog aggregation (Planet) which collects news about developments in openSUSE and howtos for specific topics. In order to accomplish this gargantuan task, we’ve asked for help in the openSUSE community. People were immediately enthusiastic about the idea, and started chipping in, helping to review and improve lots of articles.
Over the past few months, we have reviewed about 2000 articles from the existing ubuntuusers.de knowledgebase, prioritizing 500 of them, and adapted the articles to modern standards and that they apply to openSUSE. These 500 articles form the foundation for the knowledgebase we created for the open-slx community platform. We’ve also set up a webforum users can use to communicate and ask further questions, and we’ve put up a blog aggregator.
So, if you’re a German-speaking user (or future user :)) of openSUSE, hop over to community.open-slx.de and see for yourself whether this new platform fits your needs (and if it doesn’t, let us know what we can improve). You can find the official announcement here.