TL;DRThe slogan 'Newer = better' doesn't always apply.
Q. 'B-but what about fixes and new features found in newer stuff?'
A. Some of those fixes introduce new bugs, and new features may introduce regressions.
Newer artwork isn't always better either.
So Good Riddance!
So, after having been away from SUSE since August 2014, I thought it was time to try out their latest masterpiece.
Le installationFirst thing to note was the new artwork. Nice? Yes. My taste? Not necessarily.
The installer has lost its sidebar, which displays the currently active installation step. A small nuisance.
However, what did bother me was the removal of the option to disable the Automatic Configuration (sets up a hostname and other network settings automatically). Y U no let me change hostname in loco?!
The rest of the installer is great like it always was; one of the highlights is the partitioner. If you have an OS already installed, it will propose an intelligent setup. However, I have only read this, for I have a a mono boot.
Les updatesZypper may not be the fastest, snappiest package manager out there (I nominate the glorious Arch package manager 'pacman' for snappiest), but it sure as hell is robust. Sadly, in this latest version of SUSE, it comes with an annoying flaw: it wants to install recommended packages upon upgrading the packages.
Q. 'What are you b*tching about? Just remove them afterwards!'
A. Well, if I remove them and later upgrade my stuff again, it wants to install those packages I deinstalled.
This is especially annoying after I removed some GNOME sh*te (gvfs, GOA, other unneeded GTK cr*p), some unneeded KDE applications (Konversation, Kscd). If I were to do a dist-upgrade, it would reinstall them. I had to explicitly use the --no-recommends option to avoid this. Now here's the clou: This didn't happen in 13.1. If I removed a package, it understood I didn't need it. Now it all of a sudden thinks I do need it. What the hell, zypper? Get your sh*t sorted!
Les visualsAt first boot I noticed they've included new artwork in SUSE. They've opted for a desaturated cyan rippled background for the boot screen, a bright white KDM theme with the same cyan background and a bright white Plasma theme with black monochrome icons. The KDE color scheme is based on Oxygen Light with a cyan-greenish highlight color. Not too bad, although not really my cup of tea either.
Under YaST I found the ugly Tango-esque icons. This could be due to it being based on Qt5.
Now we'll go back in time to November 2013, when oS 13.1 came out.
It featured the same darker artwork as found in 12.3, apart from a redesigned KDM theme.
A dark GRUB background with a green plant and a gecko, the same for the GFXboot theme, KDM theme and Plasma wallpaper.
The Plasma theme was also dark gray with light gray monochrome icons, with hints of green. The color scheme was a bit darker than Oxygen, also with green hints.
Also, the icons in YaST were the correct ones, namely Oxygen.
All in all, I actually like the older artwork better.
Listening to: 21st Century Breakdown (Album) by Green Day