If there was one thing you could improve or change today about our products or services, what would it be?

Latest response

We're committed to constantly improving Red Hat products and services. Part of that is acting on feedback that we receive from you - our subscribers. And we love getting feedback anytime, whether it's here on the Portal, in Bugzilla, or in a support case.

But right now we're wondering:

If there was one thing you could improve or change today about our products or services, what would it be?

Pet peeves, feature requests, bug fixes, small or large - you name it. Let us know, and we'll do what we can!

Responses

Hi David,

One thing that immediately comes to mind is the initial issue raised at this discussion https://access.redhat.com/discussions/971933, and (see the suggestion and additionally) the link that Pixel mentioned should be considered

Also, when running a command via the satellite server (or spacecmd), all scripts get shunted to "run arbitrary script" in the Satellite history (both in the gui and in the spacecmd api history). It would be wonderful if there was a means to name them either during the process, or later. I have hundreds of "run arbitrary script" entries.

Thanks

Of course, this would be changed with Satellite 6.

Hello Remmele,
The ability to name a scheduled event (such as a script) is indeed a popular feature request, and in fact is currently planned to be provided with the upcoming Red Hat Satellite 5.7 release.

It will come from upstream Spacewalk 2.2 feature called Action Chaining, which among other things will allow you to provide an arbitrary, user-input name for a scheduled event (such as remote command).

The request for similar functionality is also being proposed for Red Hat Satellite 6 (currently in Beta) for the future.

Please feel free to file a support case to track these requests, the Satellite 5 BZ # is 1020414, Satellite 6 BZ # is 504836.

While you're focusing on Satellite, version control on kickstart snippets would be a great addition!

Version control for Kickstart Profiles would be excellent also. As well as potentially some sort of syntax validation. In regards to the syntax validation, I think that functionality should be "plugable" whereas you could install the validation applet on the Satellite, then it would be available from a list you could select to apply against the file you are modifying. (hopefully this makes sense. Some examples of why this would be helpful - we manage our sudoers file currently and there is no way to validate until we push and then test. Also a file like limits.conf should be reasonably easy to validate before you push it out.

This kind of feature could leverage the work already done by the Augeas project to classify each configuration file type / valid syntax.

free Augeas plug

Thanks Xixi,

I have previously made a support case on this; should I reactivate that one or create a new one (I would have either one would cite the BZ.
Would this also include scripts pushed either via spacecmd or the API?

Kind Regards

@Remmele - yes if that support case was about this feature request can just follow up on it there (reference this thread and ask to direct to me if that helps).

@James - Foreman (which provides provisioning for Red Hat Satellite 6, currently in Beta) versions all Kickstart Templates - changes are stored and users can look at differences between versions and revert back to older revisions.

Hope this helps and thank you for the feedback,

David - are you asking at a more "high-level" regarding Red Hat? For example, I could respond

I think Red Hat should plant a tree for every RHEL subscription that is purchased.
or
Red Hat should include a puppy with the TAM onsite visits.
(I'm making these up as I go... I didn't really have a list ;-)

Hi James,

I think the question is deliberately open ended, to allow as many people as possible to have their say.

We are looking to get feedback on any part of the Products and/or Support Services we deliver.

If you have a particular bugbear you would like to see us change, then tell us. The more detail, in fact, the better.

I know you've picked a couple of random ideas for comic effect, but you know what? That tree planting idea isn't as off the wall as at first it may look. http://www.treesforthefuture.org/donate/ suggest that their average cost for planting a tree is under $0.10, which is a compelling price for a company looking at giving. If you added some difficult to ignore reasons why Red Hat need to improve in ecological citizenship, even if it is just to explain perceptions and how they could be altered, then it would likely help the idea get noticed in review.

I should state now, that I am not part of the team that will be reviewing this thread, just pointing out that any fully formed idea is going to be reviewed (that's just how we do things).

As for puppies with TAM visits..... Well, puppies are cute and all, but require maintenance, which we would be unable to sponsor. Could we compromise on this instead? It would still have no maintenance from us, but it would be a lot easier to carry on the London Underground, not incur ongoing costs, is small and fearless, and is most awesome in its own way ;-)

br
Mark

My current issue is the ongoing push towards Satellite + Subscription Manager being a requirement. If I could change one thing it would be how RHEL is distributed, so it could be deployed more easily in disconnected environments.

My first suggestion would be to release an 'Everything' iso similar to what was recently released for CentOS 7, that includes everything from the 'Optional' and potentially 'Red Hat Software Collections' repositories so those in disconnected environments can grab the one iso and host it locally. Then ongoing 'patch' release isos to use in these environments.

I would also like to see 'optional' merged into the iso. The separation seems to cause confusion / issues for new users and I have seen quite a few issues on here related to users not being subscribed to the 'optional' channel.

Second issue would be access to software. I feel Red Hat product expansion is getting caught in a 'catch 22' in some environments where the staff (administrators) don't get access to the technology, so can't recommend / endorse it as a solution to business. I believe administrators 'at the coal face' are Red Hat's greatest asset when selling a solution.. if these administrators/engineers can't readily access Red Hat technologies without having to engage account sales, they investigate other options.

An example of this is virtualisation platform. At nearly every site I have worked at running virtualised workloads, they aren't running virtualisation because of a vendor cold call, it's because administrators/engineers could get access to the virtualisation hypervisor without cost and start migrating less critical environments to the platform to slowly convince 'business' of its benefits which later lead to migration of critical workloads (and then licenses).

Lastly, Bugzilla.. if I could use my customer portal account in Red Hat's Bugzilla...

-edit-

That post sounds a little negative.. so +1 the tree idea to even it out. :)

About an hour ago, I likely wouldn't have had too many specifics not already mentioned here. However, our SCCM guys just pushed out a patch that broke our ability to run FireFox, leaving me stuck using a really old copy of IE, instead. Unfortunately, the nifty Ajax controls I didn't notice, previously, on the RedHat site (at least in the forums) don't work, now.

On the subject of the forums, I think that RedHat needs to broaden the community. While I'm not saying "open to all comers", you might want to at least open it to anyone that's got a Red Hat certification (sort of the way VMware and a few vendors open up sections of their sites that are otherwise only open to contract customers or vendor-partners). This might also apply to Pixel's prior comment about encouraging front-line SAs and Engineers to be adoption-drivers rather than living and dying by whether their employer thinks having a support contract is worthwhile.

Tom,

The question whether users that do not have a support contract should have access to this forum has been arisen last year too.

My point was: "Should we do it, for it might become away to use RHEL without a support contract or only self support".
The user can drop his support call as a discussion question, instead of contacting Red Hat support.

So it is a commercial dillema for Red Hat, and the paying customers. Do I want to pay for something others are trying to get for free.

There are also linkedin forums which are for free.

Kind regards,

Jan Gerrit Kootstra

Understood. That said, were Usenet feeds not so hard to find, these days, I probably never would have come to the RedHat forums.

As it stands, it's not reasonable to think of these forums as a substitute for opening a case real case. Then again, I tend to look at opening a case being a "I've encountered real brokenness" issue rather than a "I failed to sufficiently RTFM or Google" issue.

These forums are a great aggregator of information ...but there hasn't been super much here that a good and exhaustive Google search wouldn't (eventually) get you. As it is, you (Red Hat) already remind people, "for issues like this, you probably want to open a case". The aggregation perspective is especially true since the forums became public RO. It seems like an "in for a penny, in for a pound" situation. At least by opening it to off-contract (but RHCx-ed folks), you increase the number of potential contributors and with the link-outs to bugzillas and RedHat-owned articles still behind a pay wall, you haven't given away the farm. It's also one more way to encourage people to get RHCx-s since they have this forum as a nice perk.

Saying "there's other forums which are free" really only reinforces the point that the Red Hat run forums aren't the only really good place to go. Overall, the forums should be an attractant for Red Hat customers - active or potential. If you've drawn people here, they'll see "huh: if I bought a contract, I could get to these great articles". If people are forced to use other forums, the links to those articles aren't getting posted (or, if they are, the links go to sites like Scribd, instead).

You make some great points, Tom, and as Jan Gerrit suggests, the level of accessibility to the community here is something we do need to carefully balance. The idea of granting access to RHCx-certified folks is something we've discussed previously, and it's probably well worth revisiting.

I think adding RHCx certified people to the forum would be a great addition.

Maybe we could get the RHCx swag store back too?

Consistent conf.d include directories for services is another one on my list. As much as I appreciate Augeas and its ability to edit/manage configuration files, the lack of conf.d directories for common services (sshd springs to mind) is a real gripe, especially for cases where you're managing multiple stanzas for user/host specific config.

dnsmasq is another one, the rpm appears to have a .d directory, but the default shipped configuration has to be tweaked to include from it (maybe I should raise this as a bug).

I realise this is really dependant on upstream, especially for things like SSH.. but it does cause issues when you're using configuration management tools and you want to 'AND' multiple configs.

-edit-

Perhaps Augeas could be modified to better handle 'Match' blocks in sshd_config... probably better discussed in its own topic.

Hi David,
good to see that RH is still interested in feedback 2 points:

  1. as pointed above, access to this forums based on RH certs is good idea, forum thrives better, when community is bigger

  2. i have one thing (not discussed yet) that really bothered me past 3 years a lot - regarding the RH courses + certification tests

some advanced courses (above RHCE) + certifications, were not available for RHEL 6 (only for RHEL 5) - even after 2years and i'm not sure, if some advanced courses were even been transitioned from RHEL 5 -> 6 befor RHEL 7 was made public

i'm really not interested paying handsome $ for courses for old OS

if company is not able to make those courses available, then i should doubt the credibility of the company training / certification policies

inevietably, it comes to ones mind ... is it on purpose, that you're forced to do those courses in RHEL 5, while RHEL 7 is 'behind corner' so then you have to re-certify and pay the $ again

even though i dont think? the greed is the 'case' in this case (just incompetence or lack of resources?), but it would be nice, if anyone responsible for this in RH would be able to sync courses with actuall RHEL releases

This one is waaay out in left field... regarding products, marketing, branding... and subscription management (pricing)

So - a more clear explanation of the product offerings. 2 that come to mind that very confusing
* OpenStack - is it a Red Hat thing, or a public thing (or both, but uses the same name)... is DevStack Red Hat?
* Red Hat Workstation vs Client vs Desktop, etc...

Regarding the subscription management, it is difficult to know exactly what subscriptions you need when virtualization is involved. I.e. do I get the single-node (unlimited guest), or single-node (4 guest) - my specific thought is regarding if I was to be scoping out the subscription cost to build out an environment.

Lastly - I wish it was easier to understand what the "developer suite" provided. I think it would be cool if there was something similar to the MSDN or Apple Developer subscription that gives you basic access to all the products under one license model that is self-supported and not-for-production use.

I'm sure my message is fairly unclear ;-)

...
I'm sure my message is fairly unclear ;-)
...
...
Not to me. Subscription policy really would deserve some 'love'.

Not left field at all, James, and I know there are people looking at just this sort of stuff. Thanks for the great feedback.

"Lastly - I wish it was easier to understand what the "developer suite" provided. I think it would be cool if there was something similar to the MSDN or Apple Developer subscription that gives you basic access to all the products under one license model that is self-supported and not-for-production use."

+1

I have raised this above (my catch 22 point) and completely agree. Getting access to products to run proof of concept tests / setup labs etc. for integration testing, test driving new products etc. would be excellent.

I would also like to see (at least some of) the jboss offerings better integrated into the Red Hat customer portal.

Document reference numbers would be another nice addition.

I am finding that when I want to find newer versions of PDFs I have downloaded from the site, it takes 5-10 minutes of searching to find it, even when refining the search to documentation and searching by the title of the document.

If each document had a reference number on its front page including revision, and this could be recognised by the search, so entering a document identifier into the search takes you immediately to the document page (where it is posted with comments), it would be a massive time saver.

If this feature exists and i've missed it.. or if anyone has any better methods for finding documents, let me know!

-edit-
eg. Try finding the document link for the "Red Hat Satellite 5.6 Satellite Errata Management" document.

Thank you for your excellent suggestion.

I'm the person responsible for improving the search experience and results on the Customer Portal. I'd like to explore that idea so that I not only completely get what you're suggesting, but to make sure that you and everyone else is getting an improved value by increasing the accuracy and reducing the time it takes to find something.

So let me break down the issue and suggestion into its component parts.
- you want to find a specific document that's been updated or has a newer version
- you search for the title of the document
- unfortunately, even when searching for the title of the document you don't get the right result
-- (a side note. a lot of our documentation content has either very similar or identical title meta-data... which is why during search, sometimes you'll see multiple results of content with the same name-- I'm working with documentation to 1: create document rules so that every unique URL has a unique title that can be differentiated from other, similar documents & 2: improving the meta-data of the content to be better aligned with the search queries we collect)
- adding a unique reference number to the document will immediately send a signal to our search algorithm to return that unique document.

I'm going to put your suggestion on my list of improvements to search immediately.

Thanks again for your feedback and I appreciate you taking the time to make a suggestion.

Cheers.

Hi JP,

Great summary.

My primary use case is that I generally download documentation to PDF when I find something useful and store it locally. When the time comes to use the documentation, I need to determine if there is a newer version available in case anything else has changed.

My second use case is that I provide links to documentation when answering community questions. For these documents I have a local copy but I want to provide a link to the other Community member, which unfortunately takes time. If I could say "look at RHD:2014-703:01" (Red Hat Document 703 from year 2014, revision/version 01), it would make referencing this much easier.An alternative to this is having a link on the front page of each document "the most recent version of this document can be found here ".

While i've got your attention, there are two other minor issues/questions! :)
- Are documents deep searched or is it only the title and metadata? I find that HTML documentation seems to appear well above any PDF links, and I suspect that this may be why finding a document by title is so difficult?
- I mentioned 'revision' in my example above for a very specific reason. When I am on customer site I often reference Red Hat documentation for architectural decisions or best practices. Currently I do this by document title and document version number, which is fine when the document is current. As soon as a new version of the document is released it is difficult to find previous versions. My concern with this is that references within the document change between versions, and if the customer doesn't have a local copy of the referenced document version, it's difficult to access the previous version.

This is fantastic feedback!

re: primary use:
That makes a lot of sense. I have a few ideas on how to generate an automatic update notification that'll prevent you having to do any of the work :)

re: second use case:
the primary use case can probably be applied to fix the second use case here. (I'm adding these to my "search and findability improvement project doc")

re: deep search
Forgive me if I sound a bit like Google and get "hand-wavey" about relevancy tuning and ranking... We use Title, metadata, on page content and other ranking signals to get our results. You've noticed that HTML gets preferential treatment over PDFs in our rankings, that's a best practice in search usability - generally people expect an HTML page as a result rather than a PDF. So, while your use case is important (and I think I can start working on some suggestions to address them) when it comes to search results, I have to keep in mind how people use our search in aggregate. Changing the relevancy on PDFs will cause other searches to change and as a result, user behavior, content consumption and other metrics will be affected.

Nevertheless, search can always be made better, findability can always be improved and you can always give me your feedback and suggestions.

Cheers!

Hi David,

This is about Satellite.

Satellite server has got a good web interface. But still there are lot of tasks which needs to be done through cli. Some of them includes

  • uploading a custom build rpm to a custom channel
  • deleting a channel

I hope to see this in future releases of Satellite server.

-
Thanks

Swapnil Jain

Swapnil,

I agree that Satellite 5 would benefit from these features.

Have you downloaded and taken a look at Satellite 6?

I believe the approach and capability has changed considerably and you may find some of what you are looking for in the new version.

One for David,

Can we add the capability to 'quote' text in the community forum? Currently I am using italics to achieve this, but it would be nice if you could use quote tags to identify quoted text similar to the triple tilde for code snippets.

Also, in the 'Formatting Help' the triple tilde (~~~) looks a lot like triple minus (---) on Windows / OSX which I believe is leading people to post '---' which is interpreted as a heading.

I thought the greater than symbol did quoting.. but I think maybe it's just an indent tool

This is a test

This is another test with 2 x GT symbols

Yes, that would be useful. I'll see if we can implement a quote feature.

I believe the accidental headings are usually caused by people prefixing their commands with a "#" which is interpreted in markdown as a heading.

All,

The suggestions do not make any difference to a OWA user. I get a plain text without a nice layout.
Still it is nice to users of a HTML or Rich Text mail programm.

Kind regards,

Jan Gerrit Kootstra

Jan,

Are you referring to the response notifications? Or are you accessing the community discussion as a mailing list?

For RHCP (RedHAT Customer Portal)
I would propose a chat live window to talk at a glance with a tech support guy.

Great idea. I would also add IRC for the group as well. (although I've never used IRC before..)

Thanks for the suggestion. It would definitely be a useful feature. Stay tuned for updates on this one.

I realized this is simplistic, but I use it all the time, like today to see if RHEL 6.6 was officially released. The kernel release page, https://access.redhat.com/articles/3078 , is a great example of what I'd like to see with a list of available Workstation/Server repositories and what paid service plan you have access to these repos. (Maybe it exists already and I've not yet found it).

For example, we've been looking to see where the latest oracle-based, Red Hat provided, Java (jdk/jre) RPM packages moved to (repo wise)? They seem to be a moving target this year. Someone on these community forums said they now fall under a new paid service plan, but provided no details. We'd pay for that.

A one-stop-shop page of all available repositories might be useful to others too. It sounds simple to maintain, but maybe its not.

Thanks!

Hello Chris, thanks for the feedback and suggestion -

Re Oracle Java packages, please see this Solution "Where are Oracle Java SE packages located?", and related Discussion. Feel free to contact support referring to above Solution number 732883 for more information or to request evaluation/purchase.

Re general repo listing, have you tried searching for packages in the Downloads section of the Customer Portal?

First a suggestion for this page: adding a +1 button or something similar would allow other users to "vote up" good suggestions. There are already some excellent suggestions here.

Something that has bothered me in the last couple of months is that a lot of bug fixes (in satellite) are released only in 5.7. However with 6 released there is little point in going through the upgrade process from 5.6 to 5.7 now. Especially since some of these were opened against much older versions of satellite.

Finally I checked out the new Subscription Management Utilization. I am surprised to see some entitlements used but not all. Since we use satellite I expected to see only the satellite entitlement in use. It would be great to be able to see the actual usage of entitlements even if a satellite server is used. And even better if the systems hostname could be seen as well.

I have a new one.

As I am outside the US, I need to convert times of webinars that are sent out by Red Hat to my local time. In all the webinar emails it includes a 'Time zone converter' link which just links to here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

There is no option there to display the webinar time in my local time (ie. the email should pass the webinar time to the URL).. instead, I put in my location and it tells me my local time.. which isn't particularly handy given the context.

Perhaps this link worked once upon a time? but I don't think this is providing the feature that Red Hat think it is... and it has been the same link since I have been receiving these emails.

Expected behaviour:
I get forwarded to URL that has the webinar time passed in, I put in my location and it tells me the webinar time in my location, or alternatively it lists all cities with time conversion for the webinar time.

Actual behaviour:
I get forwarded to a world clock URL that displays the current time in all cities and the time in my location when I select it.

Thanks for the heads up on this. I'm thinking you are right and this used to work the way you described. And if not, it should. This is being routed to the correct stakeholders who can address the issue.

I'd REALLY like email notifications changed: while it's handy to see that someone has added a comment to a thread you've participated in, it's rather less so when you get a notification each time they edit their new post. Tell me about the first one - the edits I really don't care about, particularly when I get a half-dozen messages in my Inbox all pointing to the same comment.

Perhaps you could establish an "allow to edit" timeout/window on new posts? After the window closes, the author can delete their post (if there've been no responses to it) but not edit it. Once the window closes, THEN send a single new comment notification.

Hi Tom, this one is an issue for me as well. I'm going to address it with the proper team members. Thanks as always for your comments as we work to make the Portal community as awesome as possible.

Heh... If David Powles receives a notification for every action on the portal, I'd hate to see what his mail spool looks like. =)

I do, and it's pretty frightening ;)

Tom, we've also considered implementing in-platform style notifications (similar to the red notifications flag you see on Facebook). This would exist alongside email notifications but hopefully decrease the dependence on them. Can you see this being a useful improvement?

I know I am a major culprit here.. and it's usually due to me posting / reviewing because there is no 'preview' option and the edit box can be tedious to scroll through when you have a large amount of text.

I might start editing off page and then post it in to save everyone the pain!

I'm definitely guilty of it, too, and for similar reasons. It always makes me dread hitting the edit button because I know it will spawn a wave of emails for each edit. That said, sans preview functionality, unless you offline edit in a MarkDown editor, you never quite know if what you paste into this site will render properly.

Guilty as charged as well.

Agreed. Markdown can be sometimes be a pain to work with. on here

I use the add-on called "It's All Text!" to make it easier to use an external editor, but for some reason it does not work with these discussions.

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